You probably don’t savor the agony of a well-stubbed toe, but pain is a boon. Stings teach us to avoid similar dust-ups in the future, but entomologist Justin Schmidt refuses to heed the warnings.
“I pick up the tweezers one at a time—a bee squirming at the end of each pair—and press it to my back, waiting for its burning sting.”
I’ll have people say “I got stung once-I am terribly allergic, it got all swollen!” That’s actually not an allergic reaction-it’s a normal, localized one. Anaphylactic shock, or a systematic reaction, (which are quite rare) are the only true allergic reaction there is. So don’t panic. But having worked with bees for a while, and been stung, I have a few solid go to home remedies for bee stings to help ease the discomfort.
Operating with a biologist’s definition of an animal – an organism with specialized sense organs that responds rapidly to stimuli – one creature has proved to be far more lethal to Americans than all other animal species combined: human beings. Each year in the US, the Centers for Disease Control counts over 16,000 homicides and over 41,000 deaths from suicide and self-inflicted injury.
Yet among nonhuman animals, the creatures that cause more American deaths than any other are bees and wasps.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have demonstrated that a toxin called melittin found in bee venom can destroy HIV by poking holes in the envelope surrounding the virus, according to a news release sent out by Washington University.
From cleaning out the wound to keeping your child calm, these tips on treating a child's bee sting will help you through this common childhood occurrence.
What's the best remedy for a bee sting?
Bee or wasp stings are a common problem, especially in the spring and summer and in warm climates. They're painful, as many of us can attest to, but not a serious issue for the majority of people.
Insect venoms are complicated. Really complicated. You could be forgiven for thinking that it must be a relatively simple company of chemicals that makes up the painful sensation of a bee or wasp sting, but in fact a hugely complex mixture of all sorts of compounds – proteins, peptides, enzymes, and other smaller molecules – go into a small amount of venom.
A number of steps can be taken in the home treatment of uncomplicated stings, including some dos and don'ts.
There are many medical and home remedies that people use to treat stings but the best course of action is just plain ice You can also take an antihistamine to reduce the swelling and a painkiller to dull the ache.
The first thing to remember is that prevention is better than cure: leave foraging bees, as well as hives and nests well alone and allow the bees to go about their business in peace.
In truth, the real risks from a stinging incident are actually not that great, but it's easy for the dangers to be exaggerated.
When most people are stung by an insect, the site develops redness, swelling and itching. However, some people are actually allergic to insect stings. This means that their immune systems overreact to the venom.
If you are insect-allergic, after the first sting, your body produces antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). If stung again by the same kind of insect, the venom interacts with this specific IgE antibody, triggering the release of substances that cause an allergic reaction.
Because many of these species live in colonies, if one stings you, you may be stung by many. Although most stings cause only minor medical problems, some stings may cause serious medical problems and even death.
If you think you have been stung by one of these insects, tell an adult immediately. Some people are allergic to stings from insects. The symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives (red patches on the skin that sting and itch), nausea, dizziness, a tight feeling in the throat, or difficulty breathing. If these symptoms occur, the person needs medical attention right away.
Bee stings are a common outdoor nuisance. In most cases, bee stings are just annoying, and home treatment is all that's necessary to ease the pain of bee stings. But if you're allergic to bee stings or you get stung numerous times, you may have a more serious reaction that requires emergency treatment.
Most people will have only a localized reaction to a bee sting. In the normal reaction to a bee sting, the skin is reddened and painful. Swelling and/or itching may also occur, but the pain usually disappears over a few hours. In the so-called large local reaction to an insect sting, the swelling, redness, and pain may persist for up to a week. Areas adjacent to the site of the skin may also be involved in the large local reaction.
In a systemic allergic reaction, the entire body is affected. The victim may develop hives, redness, or swelling at sites on the body distant from the site of the sting.
The average person can safely tolerate 10 stings for each pound of body weight. This means that the average adult could withstand more than 1,000 stings, whereas 500 stings could kill a child. However, in a person who is allergic to such stings, one sting can cause death due to an anaphylactic reaction...
Many individuals have been given false information on allergic reactions. As per Auerbach in his Wilderness Medicine text: “There is no correlation between systemic reactions and number of stings in the past or number of stings per incident and severity of an allergic reaction.” “In a study of 138 adults with a history of anaphylactic reactions, 99 had no anaphylactic reaction to later stings, 17 had more severe reactions, and 22 had mild reactions.”