Talk:Bee sting

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Changed "bee sting" to "sting". Never, in my entire life, have I heard someone refer to a wasp sting or a hornet sting as a bee sting. Considering the fact that referring to a wasp sting as a "bee sting" is not correct, and that I have not seen this behavior before, I must assume you are dealing with a colloquialism.

I have heard entomologists complain that they often meet people who believe that "bee" and "wasp" are literally synonyms, and are surprised to learn that there is a distinction. I have never met any of these people myself, either. Xezlec (talk) 22:20, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

My edits reflect that some may call it so.

Why the hell does wasp sting direct here?

Bee Sting treatment[edit]

Years ago, in Boy Scout first aid badge study in England, I learned that bee stings are acid, and that ammonia, an alkali, is an effective treatment and pain reliever. Going further, wasp stings were said to be alkaline, and yielded to applications of vinegar, a dilute acid. The mnemonic for remembering the treatment was AB, VW = ammonia/bees, vinegar/wasps.

Ammonia works great for wasps stings for me Jidanni 16:50, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

I've tested this idea on a physician friend who gave me an uncomprehending stare. Is there any truth to the concept? I'm not provoking insects into stinging for the sake of an experiment.

Perhaps it was uncomprehending because he did not understand! Paul Beardsell 14:06, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Indeed, wasp stings are somewhat basic, and using a weak acid like vinegar to neutralize the base is a good idea. I'm not sure about bee stings, though.

Even if the the sting is acid or alkali it is injected into the skin, anything you rub on is not likely to reach it to neutralise it( if somehow you got the proportions exactly right as by your reasoning over compensating would result in pain too). Also, the proteins which evoke a large part of the pain response and damage would be uneffected and continue to cause you pain. So it's very unlikely to be true, and effect is likely to be a placebo. Wolfmankurd (talk) 00:36, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't disagree with the chemistry or that it is unlikely that liquid applied to the surface will not absorb and neutralize the venom that was injected, but I do have experience with bee sting as well as saddle-back caterpillar sting and amonia. Amonia is very good at quickly neutralizing the pain. I am curious if anyone has personal experience with wasp and vinegar. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:18, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Is lanceting a good idea?[edit]

I've heard that you should open the sting, and drain some blood out by squeezing. is this a good idea?

  • Some poking around the web suggests that the answer is "No". Any cutting could lead to infection, and any squeezing could push more the venom further into the skin. But be aware that I'm not an expert. -- 23:04, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
The amount injected is so little that it's unlikely lancing would get any of it out, it may even cause more pain that cure. Also the infection mentioned above.Wolfmankurd (talk) 00:37, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Honeybee vs bee[edit]

Why is the article "bee sting" but the majority of text is under "honeybee sting". Are all bees honeybees? In which case the section heading is redundant! Or is the prevention and treatment of stings from bees which are not honeybees different? If so, we need more info. If not, the section heading is redundant. Paul Beardsell 06:04, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

The honey bee article here on wiki describes it as a subset of bees.Wolfmankurd (talk) 16:23, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Links by removed[edit]

clearly a case of spamming.. example below:

  • —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:25, 1 April 2007 (UTC).

--Versageek 11:59, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Wasps have Barbs too.[edit]

In the bee sting article it states that "Honeybees are the only hymenoptera with a barbed stinger" which is not the case. Wasps have barbs, just smaller than the honeybees which is why a wasp can sting mammals and not lose it's abdomen.

[[1]] has a good article on wasp stings, which mentions wasp barbs. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 10:55, 8 May 2007 (UTC).

Upgrade Article Classification to B- or A-Class[edit]

This article is really well written and highly informative. The language is smooth and intriguing. I nominate its quality to be upgraded to B-Class or A-Class. -Ice Ardor 05:55, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

wasp sting[edit]

to reply to the comment below about how wasp stings are alkali - i had a wasp sting on my neck 2 days ago. my mother advised vinegar to help it. i agreed anyway, and didn't notice much difference if any at all in swelling or pain relief. 2 days later the area feels bruised and there is a mosquito type raised bump but only very small. no redness at all. i think wasp sting should be diverted to a page on wasp stings, not bee stings

There should be a general Sting(Insect) article in fact too. Anyway, I bet most of us get stung by wasps more. Jidanni 16:50, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Intra sting formula adjustment?[edit]

Mention if wasps, bees, etc. can adjust the venom composition according to what kind of attack, (Here's a warning sting. Uncooperative eh? I'll give you a little more of Agent Q and Compound X for this next sting, muhahahah.) and differences in composition between repeated sting #1 and #2, etc. during the attack. Jidanni 16:50, 26 July 2007 (UTC)


I reckon it would be more sensible to merge this article into Insect bites and stings which is a more general article. Any thoughts? BeefRendang 15:06, 28 July 2007 (UTC)


Previously, the intro did not mention that bee stings hurt. Seeing as how this fact was referenced numerous times elsewhere in the article, it should certainly be mentioned up front. It may seem "obvious", but it is improper style for an encyclopedia to assume things along those lines. I know some people claim that bee stings don't hurt them very much. Hard for me to believe, as I've never experienced anything that hurts worse than a bee sting (soldering iron burns seem roughly the same), but maybe I just have weird body chemistry. Anyway, I've used the phrase "many humans". Xezlec (talk) 22:20, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

You might have some kind of sensitivity/allergy to it that manifests itself in a weird way. Hypersensitivity to neurochemicals is known but uncommon. It's the same reason why in rare cases for some people with a broken arm or leg, getting it rebroken to be set again without any novicaine actually hurts less than the novicaine for at least a minute or two. But then again, I've done soldering before and gotten it on myself, and it wasn't that bad for me. I've experienced things that make getting hot solder on yourself seem almost pleasant, such as back pain resulting from a ruptured sciatic nerve (imagine someone drilling through your back and thighs with a giant drillbit made out of dry ice, about the only pain I've ever had that I couldn't just walk off). Or, something milder I've experienced was walking down a hill, going airborne, and landing on the blacktop of the parking lot below, with my bare knees skidding for a two foot length into the parking lot (you could see bits of my skin in the parking lot). My knees were open and red for a couple days. Another time I stubbed my toe so hard while getting a drink in the middle of a workout that it cracked the toenail up the middle, I fell forward about 15-20 feet, and my toe was bleeding like a stuffed pig (yes, I finished the workout despite that). I could go on and talk about migraines I've had, but I'll just leave it at that. Count your blessings that you haven't experienced any type of pain like I just described. MVillani1985 (talk) 15:02, 9 January 2011 (UTC)


I had a Cranium (board game) question last night, which claimed that only female bees and wasps were capable of stinging. We found it hard to believe, does anyone have any information? --Brideshead(leave a message) 14:26, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

That is true.Wolfmankurd (talk) 16:24, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Only honeybees die after stinging?[edit]

I have been stung by a bumblebee, which left its stinger and abdominal material behind - I would think that this would be fatal for the bee. The reference (3) explains that solitary bees do not die after stinging as this would have a selective disadvantage (the nest would die without the adult to maintain it). However, bumblebees are social, living in small groups, so this does not apply to them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:07, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

That would be remarkably exceptional, if true. I've worked with bees for 30 years, and know all of the world's leading authorities on bees (including bumblebees), and yours is the first claim I've ever heard of a bumblebee leaving its sting behind after stinging. You may be the only person in human history to observe such a thing. Dyanega (talk) 20:00, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

what is the chemistry of a wasp sting?[edit]

wikipedia redirects you to this page when you type in wasp sting however the chemistry (and treatment) of a wasp sting a is different from that of a bee's. a brief google search shows that while a bee's sting is acidic a wasp sting has a ph of between 6-7.

I would be sincerely grateful if someone more knowledgeable about the subject would make a page devoted to wasp stings. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:36, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Second paragraph contains "instructional and presumptuous language"[edit]

According to the MoS, "instructional and presumptuous language" should be avoided when possible. I therefore think that the second paragraph of this article ought to be removed:

"It is important to differentiate a bee sting from an insect bite. It is also important to recognize that the venom or toxin of stinging insects is quite different. Therefore, the body's reaction to a bee sting may differ significantly from one species to another."

This may be true, but it does not belong in a Wikipedia article according to the style manual. The problem is that telling readers what is important "inappropriately presents an editorial point of view." Instead, our charge here is to "[s]imply state the sourced facts and allow readers to draw their own conclusions."

Let's remove this paragraph. Cak58 (talk) 12:40, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Treatments: Meat tenderizer[edit]

The link that this treatment sends the reader to is for the spiked metal mallet form of meat tenderizer, which would make for a very novel bee sting treatment indeed! Humorous though this is, I suspect that the link was meant to direct the user to a chemical/enzyme that tenderizes meat, but not being an expert in the field, I feel unqualified to make the edit myself. Would someone more knowledgeable mind sparing a minute to look into this, please? (talk) 20:21, 4 August 2011 (UTC)Lenggries

I've changed the link to papain, because that article says that it is used as a treatment for bee stings, among other things. Graham87 01:30, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Corrected statistic - please feel free to compare to source[edit]

I've corrected the statistic in the page that seemed to imply that 2% of people stung experience anaphylaxis. The cited source states that about 2% of people experience hypersensitivity, which it defines as increasingly serious reactions. Can be hard to explain stats, so please could someone cross-check that my rewording is what the source is saying. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:52, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. I've fixed the link to the source. Graham87 16:24, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Contradiction in the article[edit]

There is contradiction within the text about whether honey bees die or not after they sting. at one point the text suggests they definitely die, another part mentions that they don't necessarily. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:03, 21 April 2014 (UTC)