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Bee Sting Swelling

Bee stings are painful and annoying. Read on to know how to minimize the sting's effect.
HolisticZine Staff
Last Updated: Aug 8, 2018
Bee on yellow flower
Summer time is a time for camping, trekking and nature trails. The warmth and pleasant climate of the summers can be wrecked by bee stings contracted during the time spent outdoors. Yellow jackets can certainly become wet blankets on a beautiful summer's day.
The sting can be quite a painful experience. Bee sting swelling and the harrowing experience associated with it etches unpleasant memory onto one's mind for life. Let's quickly understand what happens during a bee sting, what spearheads the intense, stinging pain and what to do for bee sting swelling alleviation?
Bee Sting
Bee Species
Bees possess stingers, whose primary function is to defend the bee from predators. So don't resort to the misconception that bees are out to sting you. Bees sting only when they find themselves threatened.
The worker bees have barbed stings, which when inserted into the skin stays there. However, the female bees end up tearing the abdomen in the process of inserting the venom.
Honeybee
Thus, female honey bees die when they sting and they resort to this suicidal act only when they find themselves in grave danger. So it's obvious that preventing bee stings is in the benefit of all.
When the bee feels threatened, it pierces its stinger into one's skin. The venom from poison sacs in the stinger is injected in the body. Since the stinger is left behind in the skin, venom from poison sacs keeps seeping into the skin even after the bee leaves. This venom spearheads the stinging sensation, swelling and redness at the site of the bee sting.
Home Remedies
The pain associated with the sting may disappear in half an hour or so, however, the swelling duration generally ranges from a day after the sting to even a few weeks. Let's have a step by step look at what to do when you are stung by a bee.
Step 1: Since the honey bee releases a scent in the air, in order to attract other bees to help it in times of danger, your first step should be to get away from that bee as fast as possible. You don't want an entire hive following you!
Step 2: The next step is to inspect the sting site and remove the stinger as quickly as one can. The idea is to minimize the amount of venom seeping into the skin. The faster you remove the stinger, the lesser the after effects of the sting.
You can remove the stinger with your finger, tweezers, by rubbing or even scraping it off. The way you remove it is not important. What's crucial is how fast you discard the stinger. However, try remaining calm during this time. Getting anxious and nervous won't help in any way.
Step 3: Once the stinger has been removed, you need not fret at all. The pain will alleviate in sometime. To enhance the healing process you can take a piece of iron and rub it onto the skin around the bee sting to counter the bee's venom.
This is one of the conventional remedies which works fast and effectively. The skin may appear slightly greenish in tinge after rubbing the skin, however, this is normal after rubbing iron and nothing to worry about.
To reduce swelling, one can also apply a mixture of equal amounts of lemon and honey to the sting site. This will sanitize and heal the stung area. For alleviating the inflammation once the sting has subsided, one can apply a pack of Fuller's Earth. This will soothe the sting. For excessive burning and itching sensation, calamine lotion can be applied.
Bee stings are harmless, however, can conduce to a lot of pain and discomfort. A bee sting can be treated at home itself if one has been attacked by just one bee. However, if a hive has attacked the person, then seeking medical treatment is required.
Moreover, if a person is allergic to bee stings, the situation can take a fatal turn, causing severe anaphylactic reactions. This is why people with such allergies should get immediate medical attention.
So now you know what to do for bee sting swelling, you need not panic the next time a bee stings you. Try not to threaten the bee and attracting its attention by wearing floral clothing, wearing perfumes, etc., while out camping.