Are you seeing more “angry” bee’s buzzing around during these last days of summer? And not just angry, but stinging more? It’s not all in your head, it’s a fact.

During the late summer and into early fall we are at the height of “angry bee” season. Emergingwhat-to-do-if-stung-by-bee from hibernation in early summer, bees and wasps usually max out their living space as fall is just beginning, and sometimes as early as summer’s end. They’re cramped and annoyed. Below we’re going to share the immediate steps to take if stung by a bee, wasp, or yellow jacket.

During this time, some species of stinging bees and wasps become even angrier.  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. And not very nice. A few happy bees are nice to have around as they pollinate flowers and plants, and kill some insects that harm the vegetables in your garden, however, as their population reaches maximum capacity and food sources grow scarce, they become more of a nuisance, sting more, and even try to enter your home. Oh no, no, no. No good!

Steps to take if stung by a bee or wasp:

  • 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.)
  • Wash the area carefully with soap and water. Do this two to three times a day until the skin is healed.
  • Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth or a cold, wet washcloth for a few minutes.
  • Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.
  • 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.
  • A sting anywhere in the mouth needs immediate medical attention because this can quickly cause severe swelling that may block airways.
  • 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.

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

epipen-epinephrineUse an epinephrine auto-injector  (epipen) if it’s available, and either come in to our urgent care center 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

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!

Have you or a loved one been stung by a bee or have more questions? We’re here for you with immediate care. Come in, no appointment needed, 7 days a week, or call us at (860)986-7600