It is hard to find someone who does not likes honey. But the same bees that produce sweet smelling and tasting honey are also capable of stinging you senseless. Some species of honey bees can be more aggressive than others.
Getting close to a hive without adequate protective clothing can be a fatal mistake. While most people can get through being stung by a bee or two, being stung by a horde of bees can be catastrophic.
Bees often sting to protect their hives or in self-defense when they have been provoked. A single be will sting you and emit a hormone known as pheromone which alerts other nearby bees to come and join in the fight.
One to two bees can quickly turn into hundreds and that can be a major problem. Bees are only capable of stinging once and then they die. The sting that resembles a tiny wood splinter gets embedded in the skin and deposits a venom. It is this venom that causes irritation and itchiness.
Remove the sting from the skin by scraping it off with your fingernail or credit card. Removing the sting from the skin is imperative because that reduces the itching and swelling significantly.
After that, there are many remedies that can be applied to help ease the discomfort.
- Wash with clean water
The sting area should be washed using clean soapy water if possible before applying anything. Also the sting should be removed to ensure no more venom from the sting is being deposited in the skin
Ironically honey applied to bee sting, after removal of the sting from the skin, will help calm the sting area by reducing itchiness and soothing the skin.
- Essential oil
Certain essential oils are known for their antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and skin soothing qualities which can be helpful in restoring balance to a bee stung area. Such essential oils include:
- Lavender oil
- Thyme oil
- Rosemary oil
- Tea tree oil
- Witch hazel
As a rule of thumb, when using any essential oil for topical use, it should be diluted with a carrier oil such as almond, coconut or olive oil
- Calamine lotion
If the itchiness on the stung area is persistent despite having removed the bee sting, rubbing some calamine lotion to the wound will help bring relief.
The rationale behind using some toothpaste on a bee sting wound, is that the alkaline contained in the toothpaste should neutralize the acidic venom of a bee sting.
- Aloe vera
If aloe veragrows in your area grabbing a leaf and cutting it in half will reveal the Aloe Vera sap. Dabbing a bit of that sap on a bee sting can help soothe the pain and calm the surrounding sting.
So the next time you or your child gets stung by a bee, it is important to clear the area quietly but quickly to safety. Once safe, remove the bee sting if you can, then wash the stung area with clean soapy water. After that, you can apply any of the above remedies to sooth the area.
Incase your home or compound has a bee hive of aggressive bees, call a licensed pest officer to inspect and share with you what possible solutions to employ for the sake of safety