What are Bee/Wasp stings?
Bees and wasps inject venom by stinging people using the “stinger” resembling a needle-like extremity in their lower half. The insects both in the Hymenoptera family, one of the largest orders of insects both have the capacity to sting a person. However a bee is only capable of doing it once before dying as a result, whereas a wasp has the capacity to sting repeatedly due to the fact it does not have a barb on its sting and does not therefore, like the bee, end up tearing its lower body off in the process of stinging.
What are the causes of Bee/wasp stings?
Both wasps and bees will only tend to sting as a defensive action when threatened and this is most often the case when a person is encroaching upon a hive or nest where a colony of them exist. This presents a particular hazard as under those circumstanes one sting may precipitate a coordinated attack from an entire hive, however in most cases bees are fairly docile and will only attack upon considerable provocation. Wasps are known to be more aggressive than bees in a lot of cases, however the most common cases of wasp stings are simply as a result of a person being unaware of the presence of the wasp on their sting and the wasp reacting to the prospect of being crushed unknowingly by the person.
What are the symptoms of Bee/wasp stings?
Bee and wasp stings cause localised pain around the area of the sting, with a visible red spot however the symptoms are usually fairly mild and diminish within a few hours. In some cases allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis can occur and this is potentially life-threatening and will require immediate medical attention. Emergency treatment should be sought if the symptoms that manifest are particularly severe and include any of swelling/itching on other parts of the body, an acute skin reaction, breathing problems, headaches, nauseau, increased heart rate or dysphagia.
What is the best treatment for Bee/Wasp stings?
In the case of a bee sting, care should be taken to remove the sting and venomous sac which as previously noted, will tend to be left behind on the sting-area, unlike in the case of a wasp sting. A hard-edged surface such as a credit card can be utilised to remove the stinger and subsequently the area should be washed with soap and water, and a cold flannel applied. If the pain is particularly acute then icepacks can be deployed, analgesics or antiinflammatories such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can be adminstered, or antihistamines. In most cases the symptoms will be mild enough that a limited treatment regimen will be perfectly sufficient to alleviate them.
Where can I get the best treatment for bee/wasp stings?
All the above treatments can be found in your local chemist.
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