Did You Know?
Sweat bees are known to be kleptoparasites, because they feed on the eggs of other bees, and lay their own eggs in the owner bees' nest.
Sweat bees is the name given to a large number of species of bees belonging to the family Halictidae, of the order Hymenoptera. Currently, about 49 species of sweat bees have been identified. These bees are fairly common across the world, except Australia, and vary in color from red to yellow to green to metallic colors. A rather discernible feature of these bees are their long hairy legs, which are extremely useful in the vital process of pollination. Their relatively small size, between 4 mm to 10 mm, make them rather inconspicuous. They are known to nest in the ground or occupy cracks in the soil or sidewalks. They are even known to visit window or terrace gardens 30-stories high!
Why the Name 'Sweat Bees'?
They are named 'sweat' bees because they are attracted to the salt present in human perspiration. Their tiny size ensures that we humans barely notice or register when they alight on our skin. Naturally, during summers, these bees tend to become a nuisance since they love human sweat. These bees generally do not sting, unless you happen to accidentally squash them or press them against your skin.
If they do sting, it is fairly harmless―a mere pinprick. According to the Schmidt Sting Pain Index―a scale that rates the pain experienced by bee stings―sweat bee sting is rated as 1.0 (on a scale of 0 to 4), which is harmless. A point to note here, as with other species of the genus Apis, the male member of these bees never stings. It is the female sweat bee which, if at all, will sting. So for those who are allergic to insect bites, here are a few remedies to treat a sweat bee sting.
Remedies for Sweat Bee Sting
● For instant relief, take a pea-sized drop of toothpaste and add half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to get a paste. Now, apply this mix over the sting to reduce the burning sensation.
● Another effective household remedy is ammonia, as its application on the sting will also help in easing the swelling.
● Once the sweat bee stings, that part of the body will cause irritation. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda in one teaspoon of water and apply it over the sting. The baking soda will effectively suck away the heat from the site of the bite.
● Avoid scratching the wound and continue pressing it with ice, till the burning sensation recedes. The ice helps in slowing down the blood flow, over the sting, resulting in the reduction of the swelling. Therefore, do not use ice for longer intervals.
● Take equal parts of apple cider vinegar, powdered meat tenderizer, and baking soda. Make a thick paste out of these and apply it over the sting. This, by far, is known to be very effective for immediate relief.
● Apply antihistamine creams over the sting and take painkillers, prescribed by your physician.
These were a few home remedies, you could try, for fast relief from sweat bee stings. But if the allergic reactions persist, then make sure that you immediately see your physician. If there are hives of these bees in your surrounding, then at night, when they are inactive, splash some liquid detergent or Diazinon over their hive, and destroy them.