Fight the Bite

Every parent knows the dread of a bee sting and the worry that accompanies it. Is the stinger out? Will my kid be allergic? How badly does it hurt? In most cases, the stings are simply an unpleasant experience. For those who are allergic or who experience multiple stings, the reaction may be more serious and require medical treatment.

A mild reaction to a bee sting typically includes an instant, sharp and burning pain. A red welt or swelling may develop around the area and should go away in a few hours. Others experience a moderate reaction that involves extreme redness or swelling that grows over a day or two. The worst is a severe allergic reaction and possibly life-threatening systemic anaphylaxis. Symptoms develop quickly and may include hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat or tongue, nausea, dizziness or even loss of consciousness, among other things

Social bees and wasps (the ones who live together) are the ones to watch out for because they will sting in defense of their nest. The majority of bee and wasp species are not social and therefore rarely sting - they have no colony to defend. Honey bees possibly represent the greatest medical risk in the United States among the social bees. Yellowjackets are the most problematic among the social wasps, with hornets and paper wasps also ruining their fair share of picnics.      

Another interesting tidbit, only the females of the social Hymenoptera sting. They possess a modified ovipositor which they use to sting rather than lay eggs.  This hypodermic needle injects venom into the sting site and protects against predators to the colony. So, if you get stung, you’ll know the female of the species is to blame.

We hope you’ll avoid the unpleasant experience of a stinging insect attack. And, if you notice a papery wasp’s nest around your home, give us a call. We don’t like stinging insects either!