Angry Bees and Bee Stings: What To Do If You Are Allergic to Bees

August 24, 2021

It is officially nearing the end of summer, which means we are at the height of the "angry bee" season. During this time, stinging bees and wasps become even angrier because they are preparing their queen for the winter, and are more protective near the hive. This aggravated behavior heightens as their local food resources are depleted, and they grow hungry. If you are noticing there are a lot of bees around, please take extra precautions in case you or a loved one is allergic to bee stings. If you do get stung by a bee or wasp, AFC Urgent Care Vernon has some immediate steps you can take from our guide of Angry Bees and Bee stings: What to do if you are allergic.

Immediate steps to take if stung by a bee or wasp

  1. A bee will usually leave behind a stinger attached to a venom sac. Try to remove it as quickly as possible using a scraping motion, without pinching the venom sac at the end. (Wasps don't leave their stingers in the skin after stinging, which means they can sting more than once.)
  2. Wash the area carefully with soap and water. Do this two to three times a day until the skin is healed.
  3. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth or a cold, wet washcloth for a few minutes.
  4. Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.
  5. For pain and itching, give an over-the-counter oral antihistamine if your child's health care provider says it's OK; follow dosage instructions for your child's age and weight. You could also apply a corticosteroid cream or calamine lotion to the sting area.
  6. A sting anywhere in the mouth needs immediate medical attention because this can quickly cause severe swelling that may block airways.
  7. Get medical care if you notice a large skin rash or swelling around the sting site, or if swelling or pain lasts for more than 3 days, which could be signs of an infection.

What about preventing angry bee stings?

Although it would be nice to avoid bee stings altogether, we are beginning to see a lot of bee stings and allergic reactions. Here’s a list of things you can try so that you can avoid getting stung by a bee.

  • If you are outside and have sweets around, it is best to keep drinks closed and put food away. Bees LOVE You don’t want to attract a colony of bees while on a picnic.
  • If you are going into a field where there will likely be bees, wear long pants and shoes that cover your whole foot.
  • Keep garbage in sealed receptacles. When out at a public park or playground, steer clear of open or full garbage bins as bees are often nearby
  • Avoid brightly colored and flower print clothing to help keep bees away.
  • Avoid fragrances or cosmetics with floral scents.
  • Call a pest professional if you notice a hive or nest on your property

These signs may indicate a serious or potentially life-threatening allergic reaction to bees or wasps

If you tried the preventative suggestions, but still couldn’t avoid a bee attack or sting, you should be aware of these next steps if you are highly allergic.

Use an epinephrine auto-injector  (epipen) if it's available, and either come in to AFC Urgent Care Vernon or call 911 immediately if you notice any of these signs:

  • wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • tightness in throat or chest
  • throat begins to close up
  • racing heart
  • swelling of the lips, tongue, or face
  • dizziness or fainting
  • nausea or vomiting
  • high fever
  • serious headache

AFC Urgent Care Vernon is ready for angry bee season

BUZZ, BUZZ! We are seeing a number of kids and parents coming in with painful and sore welts from stings, this time of year. The bees and wasps don't seem to care that it's the new school year! If you or a loved one has been stung by a bee or have more questions, AFC Urgent Care Vernon can help treat bee stings and bee allergies. We're here for you with immediate care, 7 days a week. You can walk right in at 179 Talcottville Road, Vernon, CT. There is no appointment needed, and you can always call us at (860) 986-7600 if you have any questions pertaining to health and safety during COVID-19.

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