February 10, 2023 By First Aid

First Aid for Bee Sting

Most Australians can recall a time when they were young and chasing vibrantly patterned bees around their backyard.

They can probably also remember the pain of the sting when that cute little bug turned out to not be very friendly.

For most people, that tough lesson was enough to stop playing with bees for good. But what if you have children of your own now, or you’re allergic?

The reality is, Australians are twice as likely to be hospitalised by a bee than any other type of venomous animal. Knowing how to provide first aid for bee stings is essential for Australians – and you can learn everything you need to know here.

What Happens When a Bee Stings You?

When a bee stings, its stinger is pulled from its body. Unfortunately for both of you, this means the stinger stays in your skin and continues to inject venom, while the bee itself dies.

The stinger acts like a needle that pierces your skin to create an entrypoint for the venom. This venom, known as an apitoxin, contains melitten which destroys red blood cells and causes the pain and swelling you feel when stung.

How Can You Treat a Bee Sting?

Before discussing the treatment of a bee sting, it’s worth mentioning that prevention is most effective. Bees are naturally placid, and won’t usually attack unless you interfere with them. .

However, if getting a closer look at a hive is too irresistible and you get yourself stung, read on for treatment steps.

1Remove the Stinger

The most important thing to do is remove the stinger as quickly as possible. Bee stingers can be removed easily because they are so small. Simply brush or flick it away with your finger.

Try not to squeeze it, such as by removing it with tweezers, as this could actually push venom down into the skin.

Removing the stinger quickly is essential because a bee doesn’t release all of its venom at once. The venom is contained in a sac that is attached to the back of the stinger. This slowly releases over time. Therefore,  if it’s removed quickly less venom will be absorbed.