Bees produce some of the sweetest stuff around. Though we may love their honey, bees can be some of the most irritating and painful insects. When a honey bee stings, it is doing so to protect its hive, according to Wonderopolis. This is why a lone bee pollinating a flower or searching for nectar will typically leave you alone. However, if you do happen to be the victim of a bee sting, according to Mayo Clinic, you will likely experience the mild symptoms of sharp, burning pain and a red welt at the site of the sting, as well as swelling around the wound.
Only a small percentage of the U.S. population (five per cent according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America) is actually allergic to bees. More often, people think they are allergic because their panic triggers new symptoms similar to those of a severe allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing and a rapid pulse. If you are not allergic to bees, the first thing you should do after being stung is remove the stinger and clean the wound. Next, follow one or more of the following home remedies to relieve the pain and heal the sting.
1. Honey. Who knows a bee sting better than honey? Mother Earth Newsrecommends dabbing honey on the wound and then covering it with gauze for 30 to 60 minutes.
2. Garlic. Garlic is an excellent healer. Press a crushed clove or two against the wound. Cover with a moist towel and relax for 20 to 30 minutes, advises Mother Earth News.
3. Rhubarb. Rhubarb not only tastes good, but its juices are also effective at relieving the pain from a bee sting, according to beekeeper Claire Goodall of Everyday Roots. To use this home remedy, break the stem of fresh rhubarb and apply the juice directly to the site of the sting.
4. Parsley. You may think a garnish is an odd treatment for a bee sting. But Buzz About Bees has had much success with the home remedy. Simply crush fresh parsley leaves and apply them to the sting in order to relieve pain and neutralize the venom.
5. Onion. Buzz About Bees recommends rubbing a slice of raw onion on a bee sting to prevent infection and draw out toxins.
6. Baking soda and vinegar. A mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and water, is a great base to neutralize the acid in the bee sting. Apply the homemade remedy to the wound for 30 minutes, says Mother Earth News.
7. Household ammonia. Lifehacker says ammonia is most effective for treating a bee sting, while vinegar is best for a wasp sting. According to Dr. Bill Grierson of the University of Florida, ammonia works because the alkaline neutralizes the acid in the bee’s venom.
8. Toothpaste. Mother Earth News swears by the tried and trued method of reducing the pain and swelling from a bee sting. Squirt some toothpaste on the site of the sting and let it dry for 20 to 30 minutes.
Don’t let a bee sting stop your summer fun! Use these home remedies and find relief in no time.
How do YOU treat a bee sting? Tell us and SHARE this article on social media!
RESOURCES WONDEROPOLIS, MAYO CLINIC, ASTHMA AND ALLERGY FOUNDATION OF AMERICA, MOTHER EARTH NEWS, EVERYDAY ROOTS, PARSLEY, BUZZ ABOUT BEES, AND LIFEHACKER