Bee careful (tips for bee&wasp stings)

So I never thought of bee allergies, well I did, I know my mom’s arm once turned blue from a wasp sting and I watched the Movie My Girl where Macaulay Culkin’s character died from bees attacking her. I just didn’t think my husband would end up hospitalised and even after three days under hospital care still be walking around with his lips looking like botched botox and his arms covered in marks.

It was super scary and we were not prepared for it at all so I did what I always do, I researched the heck out of it and this is what I came up with courtesy of this is for bees and wasps (couldn’t find local resources)


1. Localised reactions
Swelling at the site of the sting, which can be more than 10 cm in diameter and last for more than 24 hours. The rest of the limb may be involved but no generalised symptoms are present. These reactions are more common in children than in adults.
2. Mild systemic reactions
These reactions are characterised by skin swelling and hives in an area of skin remote from the sting. Children experiencing these reactions are not thought to be significantly at risk of future life-threatening reactions compared to others. However, in older children and adults, such reactions are considered to be a risk factor for a future severe reaction.
3. Moderate / severe systemic reactions (Anaphylaxis)
Any or all of the following symptoms may be present:

  • Swelling of throat and mouth
  • Difficulty in swallowing or speaking
  • Difficulty in breathing – due to severe asthma or throat swelling
  • Hives anywhere on the body, especially large hives
  • Generalised flushing of the skin
  • Abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting
  • Sudden feeling of weakness (drop in blood pressure)
  • Collapse and unconsciousness

The symptoms of anaphylaxis occur because the sting causes the release of allergy-producing chemicals (mediators) into the blood which can affect the whole body, and in particular, the breathing and blood circulation.


If the sting has been left behind, it can be helpful to remove it gently in order to prevent further venom release. Do not pull it out with your fingers, and this may squeeze the venom sac causing the opposite effect. It is best to flick the sting out with your nail. Generally speaking, wasps do not leave their sting behind, this means that they may sting you more than once. If possible place an icepack (pack of peas will do) on the area of the sting and ideally sit down or lie down, especially if feeling faint.
1. Localised reactions (involving swelling of affected area, urticaria and flushing):
Use a non-sedating, rapid acting antihistamine as advised by your GP or pharmacist. Large local reactions can also be treated with oral steroid tablets as soon as one is stung and repeated daily for up to 3 days. These tablets will need to be prescribed by your GP.

2. Anaphylactic reactions:

  • If an adrenaline (epinephrine) auto-injector device is available, use it immediately
  • An ambulance should be called immediately.The controller must be told that the patient is suffering from anaphylaxis
  • Keep the patient lying down and stay with them. Don’t let them stand up or walk
  • If they have not recovered in 5 minutes, give a second adrenaline injection, if available
  • Even if the patient recovers quickly, they must still go to hospital for observation in case of delayed or repeated reactions
  • If the patient has an asthma blue inhaler, they should use it AFTER the injection. But do not delay administering the adrenaline injection

Please check out for more info you could save a life

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