Angry Bees and Stings: What Do I Do If I Am Allergic to Bees?

September 8, 2022

Bee trying to find resources during angry bee season

Summer is coming to an end which can only mean one thing, "angry bee" season. Stinging bees and wasps become aggressive because they are getting their queen ready for winter, and are more vigilant of the hive. This behavior grows because they are hungry due to lack of food resources. Please take precaution if you notice a lot of bees around, especially if you or a loved one is allergic to bees. If you happen to get stung by a bee or wasp, AFC Urgent Care Vernon has some immediate steps you can follow from our guide of Angry Bees and Stings: What Do I Do If I Am Allergic? 

Steps to take if you or a loved one gets stung by a bee or wasp

  1. A bee will most likely leave a stinger attached to a venom sac. Remove it as rapidly using a scraping motion. Avoid pinching the venom sac at the end. (Wasps can sting more than once since they don't leave their stingers in the skin after stinging.)
  2. Carefully wash the area with soap and water. Wash two to three times a day until the skin heals.
  3. Put an ice pack wrapped in a cloth or a cold, wet washcloth in the affected area for a few minutes.
  4. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.
  5. For itching and pain, take an over-the-counter oral antihistamine. If you have a child, make sure the child's health care provider says it's OK; follow dosage instructions for your child's age and weight. Corticosteroid cream or calamine lotion can also alleviate the sting area.
  6. If stung anywear near the mouth, please seek immediate medical attention because this can rapidly cause severe swelling that may block airways.
  7. If you notice a large skin rash or swelling and pain that lasts for more than 3 days, please get medical care. This could be a sign of an infection. 

How to avoid getting stung by an angry bee?

It has become very common to see a lot of bee stings and allergic reactions this time of the year. Below is a list of tips you can try to avoid getting stung by a bee. 

  • Bees LOVE sweets. If you are outdoors, avoid having sweets around. Put food away and keep drinks (especially sweet drinks) closed. This will prevent having a colony of bees from joining you on a picnic. 
  • Wear long pants and closed toe shoes (that cover your whole foot) if taking a walk in a field where there will likely be bees.
  • Garbage must be kept in sealed receptacles. When visiting a public park or playground, stay away from open or full garbage bins as bees are often nearby.
  • Avoid wearing bright colored and flower print clothing to keep bees away.
  • Avoid fragrances or cosmetics with floral scents.
  • Contact a pest professional if you see a hive or nest on your property.

The following symptoms may indicate a serious or potentially life-threatening allergic reaction to wasps or bees

If you couldn’t avoid a bee attack or sting, please pay close attention to these next steps if you are highly allergic.

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

  • Respiratory issues such as wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • tightness in chest or throat
  • throat begins to close up
  • racing heart
  • lips, tongue, or face swells up 
  • fainting or dizziness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • high fever
  • serious headache 

AFC Urgent Care Vernon is ready to help you and your love ones during angry bee season

At this time of the year, we are noticing a high number of children and parents coming in with welts from stings. 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-in any day of the week! There is no appointment needed, but you can make one online, if you want an easier way to check in.

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