Reactions to Bee Stings
is a great time to get out and about in
the countryside to enjoy the sunshine,
fresh air, wildflowers and.....bees!
Bumblebee, Wasp, Hornet and Yellow Jacket stings-all potentially
life threatening to those hypersensitive to Hymenoptera
venom, which can cause fatal Anaphylaxis if not treated
with localized pain, itching and swelling around the sting
site, victims can experience life threatening, systemic
problems within fifteen minutes to an hour, which may include:
hives, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, drop in
blood pressure, lethargy, loss of consciousness, bronchospasms,
swelling of larynx/throat, swelling of face, tongue and
mouth, shock and in some cases, death.
stall Anaphylaxis, it is vital the victim get an epinephrine
shot if symptomatic (every ten to twenty minutes if necessary,
until arrival at hospital) as Anaphylaxis can recur between
shots. Epinephrine can save precious minutes of the victim's
life in the event of a severe reaction far from a hospital.
(EpiPen and EpiPenJr product information is available at
a Honeybee stinger, which looks like a splinter; gently
scrape it out with a credit card or fingernail making sure
not to put pressure on the stinger, which will automatically
pump until all the venom is released. After removal, wash
the site with soap and water and apply an icepack to reduce
swelling. 90% of the venom is released in the first twenty
seconds of the initial sting; the faster the stinger and
venom sac are removed, the better. The bee will die a short
while after stinging you.
Hornets, Yellow Jackets and Bumblebees are able to sting
multiple times. On killing a Yellow Jacket, a scent is released
which will attract his buddies and they will try to attack
you. The best line of defense is to run to the nearest house
or a car - an enclosed shelter of some sort. If a few get
trapped in the car with you, drive a mile away, then get
out of the vehicle and let them out, too. If multiple stings
are sustained, seek medical help immediately.
Up: At the end of the season, the culprits seem to sting
without reason, making it difficult for those with severe
allergic reactions to plan their outdoor activities. It
is wise to cover as much of the body as possible; wear solid
white or pale colored clothing, long sleeves, a hat, long
pants and socks. Bees are attracted to dark and floral patterned
clothing. Always carry life-saving epinephrine shots - just
in case of an emergency.
Spray: For exposed areas, make up a spritzer bottle of one
teaspoon of tea tree essential oil, one teaspoon of lavender
essential oil, one teaspoon of citronella oil and half a
cup of vodka. Firstly, spray it on the hands then apply
to the neck and face, avoiding the eyes.
multiple stings do not help desensitize the effects of Hymenoptera
venom; in most cases, it works the opposite way. Immunotherapy
may help some people. A physician or allergist will provide
full details of available Immunotherapy Programs.
Copyright 2001 Victoria Ries All rights reserved
Ries is a freelance writer living in the rural mountains
of Arizona. She home school's four of six children still
living at home. Visit her web site at www.ruralcountryliving.com
and subscribe to her free monthly eZine by sending a blank