- Sting from a bee, hornet, wasp, or yellow jacket
- Over 95 percent of stings are from honey bees or yellow jackets
- The main symptoms are pain and redness
Cause of Bee Sting Reactions
- The bee's stinger injects venom into the skin.
- The venom is what causes the symptoms.
Local Skin Reactions to the Sting
- The main symptoms are pain, itching, swelling and redness at the sting site.
- Pain. Severe pain or burning at the site lasts 1 to 2 hours. Itching often follows the pain.
- Swelling. The bee sting may swell for 48 hours after the sting. The swelling can be small or large. Stings on the face can cause a lot of swelling around the eye. It looks bad, but this is not serious. The swelling may last for 7 days.
- Redness. Bee stings are often red. That doesn't mean they are infected. Infections rarely happen with stings. The redness can last 3 days.
Anaphylactic Reaction to the Sting
- A severe life-threatening allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis.
- The main symptoms are hives with trouble breathing and swallowing. It starts within 2 hours of the sting.
- This severe reaction to bee stings happens in 4 out of a 1,000 children.
- Hives. After a bee sting, some children just develop hives all over or face swelling. Hives or face swelling alone may be able to be treated at home. But, at times, these symptoms can also lead to anaphylaxis. Be sure to call your doctor now to help decide.
Prevention of Bee Stings
- Don't go barefoot if bees are around.
- Be careful in gardens and orchards.
- Insect repellents do not work against these stinging insects.