Bees, bees, everywhere!
Welcome to angry bee season. You know, the latter half of summer into early fall where you start to see bees in all sorts of places. It’s not your imagination. They are also aggressive during this time of year because they are approaching the end of their life span. So, watch out! They’re ready to sting at any given moment.
AFC Urgent Care Saugus is seeing an influx in people coming in for bee stings and treatment, so we have prepared a guide for you on how to avoid getting stung by an angry bee.
Avoiding bees and bee stings
It is important to know that bees release a chemical when they sting, which may attract other bees. Avoiding bee stings can be tough, especially when your first instinct is to run. The CDC suggests going indoors or to your car if you are being chased by bees.
There are other tips that you can do to avoid attracting bees:
- Avoid colorful and flower-print clothing to help keep bees away, as well as fragrances or cosmetics with floral scents.
- Be careful with food and sweet drinks (ex. soda). Bees will often fly into the drink and sting the drinker when he or she takes a sip.
- Wear long pants, long socks, and closed toe shoes if going to a field where there will likely be bees. Don't run and don't swat them. If they are around you or on you, standing still will keep the bees calm and, most likely, they will fly away.
- Keep garbage in sealed receptacles. When out at a public park or playground, keep away from open or full garbage bins.
- If a bee “bumps” into you, you might be near one of their hives. Run the other way!
If you notice a hive or wasps nest on your property it is best to contact a pest professional and avoid taking out the hive yourself.
Treating a bee sting if you are not allergic to bees
- Scrape the stinger out as soon as possible—do not pull or squeeze the stinger out with a tweezer. Doing so may release more venom.
- Clean the sting site with soap and water to prevent infection.
How to soothe a bee sting
Try these highly effective home remedies:
Ice: Ice reduces swelling by constricting vessels and minimizes the flow of venom in the blood. Also, the numbing effect soothes pain and itching.
Baking soda: Create a paste of baking soda and water to apply on the sting site. The alkaline nature of the baking soda helps to neutralize the acidity in the venom. You can also mix in some meat tenderizer which contains a naturally occurring enzyme (papain, from papaya) that helps to break down the protein in the venom.
Vinegar: Vinegar is the soother of choice when getting stung by a wasp. Use this trick to remember: Baking soda for bees (both at the beginning of the alphabet), vinegar for wasps (both at the end of the alphabet).
Toothpaste: This is a great remedy which works on the same alkaline/acidity premise as baking soda. Small amounts of glycerin in toothpaste may also add to its soothing properties. A small tube of toothpaste is handy to pack in a travel first aid kit or picnic basket.
Treatment for bee stings at AFC Urgent Care Saugus
Bees are out and about and they’re ready to sting you. If you do happen to get stung by a bee and need treatment, you can come see us any day of the week.
AFC Urgent Care Saugus is your number one go to urgent care in Essex County and can help you and your child for bee stings and treatment. We are located at 371 Broadway, Saugus, MA, 01906. We also accept most insurances.