Play It Safe: How to Care for a Bee Sting

Bee on a Flower
You could smell too sweet and be mistaken for a flower.


I don’t want to put a damper on your outdoor summer activities and picnics that you have planned, especially with the upcoming July Fourth holiday.  However, you’re not alone out there.  As you’re having fun with friends or family or just soaking up the sun, bees and wasps could spoil a day. Though I hate to be a pessimist, I just wanted to pass along some helpful tips on the best ways to treat a bee sting. After all, it’s always better to be prepared with a little knowledge than suffering longer.

The first thing that you want to do is get that bee or wasp stinger out as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more that bee’s buried sac with venom continues to spread through your system.

Nonetheless, you need to be careful in how you handle this task of bee sting removal. Try gently forcing the stinger up with something thin and flat like one of the cards from your wallet instead of squeezing it up with tweezers or fingers.  Too much pressure could make it that much worse by releasing more venom.

If you happen to be wearing jewelry in the area of that bee sting, take it off immediately because you may unable to remove it easily later like a ring on a finger.

Clean the area next to prevent an infection.

Then apply ice, ice packs, or even a bag of frozen vegetables can do in a pinch for help numbing pain.  Keep icing from 15-30 minutes because it will bring down the swelling.

You could also try neutralizing that bee’s or wasp’s acidic venom by making a paste of baking soda and water to apply.

A meat tenderizer is another that helps since it contains papain, which is ideal for breaking down the venom’s proteins.

On the other hand, call 911 to seek emergency medical treatment if breathing becomes difficult, hives develop, or your tongue swells. Don’t delay because serious allergies can be life-threatening so get to the emergency room.


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