My son got his first bee sting this morning. There was a dead
(or so I thought) wasp lying on the floor of our dining room. I
was talking to our daughter on the phone and was going to dispose
of the bee as soon as I got off the phone. Not a minute later,
my two-year-old son was crying because he had touched the bee and
it had stung the end of his finger! I looked closely at the bee
and saw it was still alive, though barely. Just alive enough to
Fortunately the stinger didn't lodge in my son's finger and the
pain didn't last long. I coated the area with a paste of baking
soda and water, which he couldn't resist licking off after a
couple of minutes. The pain disappeared after an hour or so,
with no apparent allergic reactions, thank goodness.
If you or one of your children gets stung by a bee, the first
thing you need to do is determine if there is a stinger that
needs to be removed from the skin. Wasps, hornets, and yellow
jackets do not leave their stingers behind. A honey bee, however,
leaves its stinger embedded in the skin, and the stinger will then
need to be removed.
The main thing to keep in mind while removing the stinger is that
you don't want to pull it out by squeezing it, such as with a
pair of tweezers. Squeezing the stinger will release any
remaining poison and actually worsen the sting. Gently scrape
against the side of the stinger with your fingernail until the
stinger is dislodged. Next apply an icepack to help reduce
A number of home remedies are available for lessening the effects
of a bee sting. These remedies have been proven to be as good or
better than their store-bought alternatives. The main objective
is to use something that will neutralize the acid contained in
the bee's poison:
- Apply a paste of baking soda and water
- Apply a paste of meat tenderizer and water
- Apply household ammonia directly to sting (many store-bought
remedies list ammonia as one of the main ingredients)
- Apply a paste of aspirin dissolved in water
- Apply toothpaste
- Apply apple cider vinegar
If you see any signs of an allergic reaction to the bee sting you
should see a doctor immediately. Signs of allergic reaction
include hives, headache, trouble breathing, tightness in the
throat or chest, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. Also see a
doctor if swelling spreads to a large area of the body or if pain
and swelling last more than three days.
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of
What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick
easy dinner ideas. For recipes, gardening, organizing tips, home
decorating, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative
Homemaking at http://www.creativehomemaking.com.
Reader comment: Another home remedy for bee stings is to tape a penny over
the sting area and leave it on for at least 15 minutes. I have tried
this on my granddaughter and it really works! No pain and hardly any sign
of where the sting was...Pam
on this article or submit your tip to CreativeHomemaking.com.
for a printer friendly version of this page.
Follow me on Pinterest
Receive new article links via Twitter
Follow Creative Homemaking on Facebook
this article to a friend!
our article archives.
to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.