Bee Sting Treatment

bee stinger
Diagram of a bee stinger

Bee sting treatment depends on the severity of the bee sting. First of all, call 911 if you have a history of severe allergic reactions to bee stings and insect stings or if you’re having trouble breathing, feeling faint, or have a swollen tongue. If you do not suffer from a severe allergy to bee stings, then the bee sting treatment is quite simple:

First of all, remove the stinger with tweezers (or carefully scraping the surface with your fingernail). Do not pinch the stinger! Doing so can accidentally inject more venom.

Next, treat the wound. Start with controlling the swelling. The best bee string treatment is, surprisingly, also the simplest: ice. That’s right, despite the vast offerings of over-counter-solutions, applying ice for 20 minutes to a bee sting is one of the quickest, easiest ways to reduce swelling and pain caused by the bee venom. If the sting is on your arm or leg, it will also help to elevate it. Also, be sure to remove any jewelry that might get stuck! We know from personal experience that the ice treatment for bee stings works, but this excellent 2003 article on bee sting treatments agrees. The author exposed himself to many bee stings to test out many bee sting treatments, including both over-the-counter ointments and home remedies. His findings? Ice works better than anything. And another home remedy came in a close second.

A slurry of baking soda and water (or baking soda and vinegar), also proved to be a successful bee sting treatment. Create the slurry, not too thick, and apply it to the sting. The slurry might bubble for a while but it will dry into a paste that soothes the sting. This will mostly help with the itchiness. An antihistamine can also help. To help alleviate the pain, an over-the-counter painkiller will also help.

A bee sting should heal after two to five days. Bee sure to keep it clean!