BUZZ BUZZ…We’re now approaching angry bee season!
During the late summer and early fall, bees and wasps become really aggressive and are more likely to sting you if provoked. Specifically, yellow jackets are the ones getting angry and stinging everyone because they’re getting close to the end of their life cycle and are preparing to die off. Bee stings hurt!.... and for some they can be potentially fatal, if you’re allergic. But, not to worry, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent angry bees from stinging you.
AFC Urgent Care Springfield can help you avoid getting stung this angry bee season with these tips below. And, if you do get stung, we can treat you too!
If an angry bee “bumps” into you, take that as a sign to RUN!
Have you ever had a bee “bump” into you? Whether you think it’s an accident, or bees just being bees, it’s actually a warning sign for you to run. If you’re out in your backyard or on a hike and a bee “bumps'' into you, then you are most likely near their hive. Most colonies of bees may think you're a predator and will send a few bees to guard and attack if necessary (hence the “bumping”). If running is your first instinct, then run like the wind.
According to the CDC bees release a chemical when they sting, which may attract other bees. We suggest you run indoors or go to your car as quickly as you can to avoid an angry bee attack.
Just let them “BEE”
Some people think that by shooing or swatting at an angry bee, that it will solve the problem. However, there are actually more bees around the corner than you think! Killing a bee also releases the same chemical as it would by stinging, only to attract other bees to the scene of the crime. This is not ideal, especially if you are with a group of friends or loved ones who are allergic to bees. You don’t want to be the reason they end up going to the hospital for an allergic reaction.
What you should do is let it “bee”. Only run indoors if they start swarming and coming after you!
Scrape the stinger out immediately!
Notice how we said “scrape”, and NOT tweeze.
Removing the stinger is not an easy task. Most people think that you need to pull or squeeze it out. But, we suggest you don’t do this so that the stinger doesn’t spread any more venom into the afflicted area. Instead here’s what we suggest you to do immediately after getting stung by a bee:
- Scrape the stinger out with your fingernail or use a gauze to wipe it out
- Apply a cold compress or ice
- Treat with tylenol or NSAID
- Apply topical ointment such as Neosporin to fight any possible infection, and possibly Caladryl, to combat itching
Extra Tips: Don't use tweezers to squeeze it out. Using tweezers to remove a bee sting runs the risk of squeezing more venom into the wound. Credit cards can also work!
Tips on how to soothe a bee sting
Sometimes bee stings can feel irritated and itchy for a few days. You can reduce pain, itch and swelling of a bee sting with these at home remedies:
- Baking soda: Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the sting site. The alkaline nature of the baking soda helps to neutralize the acidity in the venom.
- Vinegar: Vinegar is a sting soother. 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.
Immediate steps to take if you are highly allergic to bee stings
If you or your child is allergic to bees, you should always carry a bee sting kit. This includes a bronchodilator epinephrine shot (Epipen) or inhaler, which will dilate the airways and allow your child to breathe. If the person has an allergic reaction, call 911 or bring them in to us as soon as possible. They will need to be treated immediately.
AFC Urgent Care Springfield can help treat you for bee stings
August and September is the end of a bee’s life cycle. Over the next few weeks, you can expect to see more bees! We hope you don’t get stung, but if you do, we can help treat bee stings.
AFC Urgent Care Springfield at 415 Cooley St. #3, Springfield, is ready to answer any questions or concerns regarding angry bee season and bee stings! We are open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and also 8am-5pm on the weekends. We also accept most insurances.