They’re here! Angry bee season is upon us and you need to prepare for bee stings and bee attacks. During the late summer and early fall, bees and wasps become overly aggressive and are more likely to sting you if provoked. Specifically, Yellow Jackets are the ones getting angry and on a stinging spree because they’re getting close to the end of their season and are preparing to die off. Bee stings hurt and for some it 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 Torrington has 5 tips on how to prevent and treat bee stings so you can enjoy the rest of your summer.
1. Run if an angry bee “bumps” into you
This may seem like the obvious, but a bee bumping into you is no accident. 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. 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.
2. Don’t swat or kill an angry bee
Some people think that shooing it away or killing an angry bee might solve the problem, but 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;ou don’t want to be the reason they end up going to the hospital. What you should do is let it “bee”. Only run indoors if they start swarming and coming after you!
3. Scrape the stinger out!
Removing the stinger is not an easy task. Most people think that you need to pull or squeeze it out. Wee 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 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!
4. Remedies to soothe bee stings
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.
5. Do this if you are highly allergic to bee stings
If you or someone is allergic, you should always carry a bee sting kit. This includes a bronchodilator epinephrine shot (Epipen) or inhaler, which will dilate the airways and allow you or your child to breathe. If the person gets an allergic reaction, call 911 as soon as possible. They will need to be treated immediately.
AFC Urgent Care Torrington can help treat bee stings and allergies
For the next couple of weeks, we are anticipating a lot of angry bee stings. We hope that you find these tips helpful to prevent a bee attack and to know what to do if you get stung by a bee. And, if you do get stung and are allergic, AFC Urgent Care Torrington is here and ready to treat your bee sting. There is no appointment needed- you can walk right into our center seven days a week for bee stings, COVID-19 testing, X-rays, lab work, minor injuries, and more treatable urgent care needs.