How to treat a bee sting

Summer is a popular season for outdoor activities. The long stretches of day light provide the perfect atmosphere for backyard barbecues, gardening and childhood games. However, the warmer weather and blooming foliage attract necessary nuisances called bees. One sting from these insects can spoil your entire afternoon. Here are some ways to treat bee stings as well as information about bee types and their preferred nesting environments.

Methods for Treating Bee Stings

Bee stings produce physical reactions because of the protein that bees impart to their victims when they sting. Reactions range from mild to severe. If you experience severe allergic reactions that include difficulty breathing, dizziness, nausea or extreme swelling, you should quickly contact a medical professional for treatment options.

Mild or moderate reactions to bee stings can be quickly treated with some common household items. After cleaning the affected area and removing the stinger with a straight-edged item, you can apply a baking soda and water paste to your skin to alleviate some of the itchiness and pain that come from the sting. Calamine lotion is noted to work in the same manner as the baking soda paste treatment. Ironically, honey is also used by many people to treat bee stings; the sweet syrup has antibacterial properties and provides a protective barrier for wounds.

Types of Bees

There are over 20,000 species of bees, and they live nearly everywhere in the world except for places that have sparse plant life. Unlike wasps and hornets, bees usually sting only when they feel that you have threatened them or their hive. Some types of bees can sting continuously, but others that have barbed stingers die soon after they attack.

Here are the most common types of bees in North America:

  • Bumble bee
  • Carpenter bee
  • Honey bee
  • Africanized killer bee

Surprisingly, the mild-mannered bumble bee can sting a person repeatedly if provoked. The solitary carpenter bee also can sting multiple times to protect its nest. Honey bees that live in hives with tens of thousands of other bees can only sting once. Africanized killer bees can only sting their victims once, but they are known to attack in swarms and chase down their victims at great distances.

Where Bees Dwell

Bee hives or nests are found in a variety of places. Bumble bees construct their nests in the ground or under roofing structures. Carpenter bees bore through soft wood to build their nests. Honey bee hives are found in trees or even in chimneys that are used infrequently. Killer bees usually place their nests in discarded debris like old tires, junked cars and card board boxes.


Bees are an important part of the eco-system. But when their nests come too close to your nest, call the experts at Capitol Pest. We’ve been making backyards safer for families since 1936.

By |2017-08-29T19:21:19-04:00July 15th, 2016|Bees & Wasps|