With the summer heat upon us, this is a great time of the year to…
Are bees on a suicide mission when they sting you? A bee sting can be quite a painful thing to encounter, and that is why several people try to avoid it. The body can react differently to different bee attacks, the stings are however not deadly. Bees choose to fight over flight when they feel threatened, and that is the number one reason they sting. Bee stings often result in inflammation and discomfort around the place where the sting occurs. Now the big question; Do these creatures die after stinging someone? Yes, honeybees die after they sting.
How the sting happens
A sting happens when a female bee lands on your skin, she then uses her ovipositor against you. During the sting, the bee is known to pump venom into your skin from her attached venom sacs using a needle-like portion of the sting apparatus called a stylus. The stylus is located between two lancets with barbs. When a bee stings you, the lancets become embedded in your skin, the bee then pushes the stylus in your flesh, the venom sacs then pump venom into your skin. Bees have tiny barbs which help them grab and hold the victim’s flesh when stinging these barbs are known to be easily retractable so the bee can be able to withdraw its stinger.
Why honeybees die after stinging
In honeybee workers, the stinger has large, backwards-facing barbs which are located on the lancets. When the worker bee stings you, these barbs dig into your flesh, making it difficult for the bee to pull its stinger out. When the bee flies off after having stung you, it has deposited or left its stinging apparatus, venom sacs, lancets and stylus in your skin. The honeybee dies as part of its abdominal rapture.
What to do when you get stung by a bee
- Remove the stinger as early as possible.
- Apply ice to avoid too much swelling
- Should irritation occur, consult with your doctor.
How to avoid being stung by a bee
- Avoid wearing sweet-scented perfumes
- Don’t hold a can of soda or juice for too long
- Don’t wear brightly coloured clothing.
- If a bee lands on you stay calm