The venom of bees, wasps and hornets contains substances which cause the local pain and swelling that usually go after a few hours. However in some people, the venom causes more severe reactions, which can range from more problematic swelling to the potentially fatal anaphylactic shock.
The allergic reaction some people suffer may be hereditary, however scientists are still unsure why such a large percentage of the population suffer from this.
Home treatment bee stings may include placing a cold compress of ice onto the wound. If you have multiple stings or a severe allergic reaction, you need medical help at once.
For pain, take a general pain killer. For strong reactions, try a nonprescription antihistamine. For children, use cough medicine containing antihistamine.
For anaphylactic shock, the usual treatment is the bronchodilator epinephrine. See a doctor immediately for further treatment. (Note: Bee-sting kits are designed for adults for children, read the directions.)
Homeopathy - A few drops of Pyrethrum tincture, available over the counter, to a sting. If the area swell, take. Speak with your pharmacist for dosage information. A few drops of Pyrethrum tincture, available over the counter, to a sting. If the area swell, take. Speak with your pharmacist for dosage information.
Aromatherapy - Lavender or Tea Tree Oil applied neat may sooth the sting and reduce the chances of infection. Lavender or Tea Tree Oil applied neat may sooth the sting and reduce the chances of infection.
If the sting remains in the skin, scrape it away with a knife or fingernail. Do not use tweezers as more venom can enter into the skin. For bee stings, a paste of baking soda will ease the itching. Wasp stings are alkaline and can be neutralised by vinegar or lemon juice. If you're far from home, apply mud; as it dries, it will draw out some of the toxin.
If you are allergic always carry a fully operable bee-sting kit.
When to seek further professional advice