First Aid Facts – Bee Stings

Being Stung By A Bee

When you get stung  by a Bee you will experience temporary severe sharp pain and a puncture wound.

This can then lead to redness, warmth, itching and swelling.

If you have any other symptoms such as swelling of the throat or nausea you may be allergic and should call 000 immediately. If you are allergic you may suffer anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.

As long as you’re not allergic to bee venom and you remove any sting left in your skin your immune system should flush out the melittin chemical the bee releases with its sting within a week.

If you’re stung remove the sting and ensure the stinger is removed by scraping with a finger nail or credit card.

Do not squeeze the stinger or use tweezers in an attempt to remove it, as this can cause more venom to be injected.

Once the sting is removed, wash the area with clean, warm soapy water.

How do you treat a bee sting?

For swelling – apply an ice pack to the area you were stung to reduce swelling and ease the pain.

For pain – take ibuprofen to or paracetamol after it happens and at regular intervals if the discomfort persists.

For itching – head to the pharmacy and get an over-the-counter cream like crotamiton or hydrocortisone.

Home Remedies:

Honey – apply a small amount to the area and add a plaster over it for an hour – this should help healing and reduce pain and itching.

Baking soda – mix with water to create a paste and apply a thick layer to the area and cover with a plaster for 15 minutes. This should neutralise the bee venom from the sting and reduce swelling.

Apple cider vinegar – soak a cloth in the vinegar and apply to the stung area for at least 15 minutes. This should neutralise the sting.

When will the swelling go down?

The swelling from a bee sting may peak at around 48 hours after you’ve been stung, but it usually should be completely gone within a few days and maximum a week.