Bee stings can happen to almost anyone. Unless you are allergic they are more of an annoyance than anything. But did you know that there are several natural remedies that can be done at home to relieve some of the symptoms and can be made with little ingredients? Let us teach you some of them.
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Natural Home Remedies For Bee Stings
It’s that time of year where bees are every where. My husband is one of those unlucky people who seems to attract both mosquitos and bees. He will not provoke them but they will go out of their way to attack him.
One time we were in a parking lot trying to get in our car and there was a bee flying around our car. The dumb thing landed on my husband and stung him.
For those of you who have been stung before, often honey bee stings usually result with the stinger still present in your skin. He asked me to remove it.
I grabbed a napkin and grabbed the stinger and pulled it out. DO NOT DO THIS! I had no clue that when you grab the stinger and squeeze it it actually releases more poison from the stinger.
Oops. I know now!
And my husband likes to remind me of this alllllllll of the time. “Hey remember that one time you squeezed poison into my arm from the bee stinger?” I will never live that one down. But I did learn something. Next time I will not do that.
Facts About Bees And Bee Stings
- There are a little over 20,000 different species of bees in the world.
- Some types of bees die after they sting you. The bee’s stinger is attached to their abdomen so when they sting you and go to fly away, part of their body gets ripped from them.
- The more time you spend outside, the more likely you are to get stung.
- Only female bees can sting due to the venom sac they store which is attached to their reproductive system.
- Approximately 3 percent of people stung by bees and yellow jackets experience a severe allergic reaction causing anaphylaxis.
Bee Sting Symptoms
- Burning or Itchy skin
Severe Allergic Reactions Can Include
Serious allergic reaction to a bee sting can include one or more of the following:
- Hives (red itchy welts on skin very similar to bug bites)
- nausea and/or vomiting
- coughing or wheezing
- turning pale or red faced
- swelling of the tongue or throat
- loss of consciousness
- stomach cramps
- difficulty breathing
If you are having a severe allergic reaction, this is a medical emergency and you should seek immediate medical attention. DO NOT attempt one of the simple home remedies below but rather go to your closest emergency room.
What To Do If You Get Stung By A Bee
First thing you need to do is get the stinger out if it is still in your body. As we know from my story about my husband, you do not want to squeeze the stinger with your fingers or tweezers. This will release more poison into the body causing a bigger reaction. Even simply leaving the stinger in for a few minutes can result in more poison entering your system.
You want to remove that stinger as soon as possible with your finger nail, the edge of a credit card or anything else that can lift it out without pressing on it. Basically, you want to do a scaping motion in an upwards direction to knock the stinger up and off.
Second, you need to wash the infected area. You do not want an infection happening on the site of the sting. Best way to prevent that is to sterilize it.
Next, you can put some ice on it. This can reduce swelling by limiting blood flow to that area. Please note that it is never a good idea to put ice directly onto the skin. Wrap it in a napkin or fabric or use a cold pack, ice pack or cold compress.
Lastly, you can take a antihistamine to help relieve any itching or swelling that could take place.
After those 4 steps have been taken you may still have some discomfort. Here is where our home remedies come into play.
Home Remedies for Bee Stings
It is believed that baking soda can neutralize bee venom which can reduce swelling and itching.
The CDC recommends mixing
- 1 teaspoon water with enough baking soda to make a thick paste.
- rub paste on affected area
- leave on for at least 10 minutes
- rinse off
I would also recommend mixing baking soda with coconut oil. Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal so it can help with inflamation as well as keeping the sting site free from infections.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a scientifically backed antibacterial. It can be used to again, neutralize bee venom, prevent infection and help lower inflammation.
- Simply soak a cotton ball in a diluted mix of water and apple cider vinegar and place on the sting area. You can then wrap with a loose bandage or bandage for about 10 to 15 minutes. If skin starts to feel extra irritated, discontinue this method and try a different one.
I love witch hazel! I use it for a number of things. It helps the skin with inflammation and acts as an astringent. It also can take away some of the itchiness and irritation that can occur from the honeybee sting. It can even relieve the pain of the sting.
Simply just apply witch hazel directly onto the sing as needed.
Activated charcoal can be use to help draw out any remaining venomous toxin that is left under the skin and in doing so will calm the affected area.
- Mix activated charcoal with equal parts water to form a paste.
- Apply to affected area.
Honey comes from bees and so it is no surprise to me that it can be used to help relieve the pain and swelling of a bee sting. Honey has very strong antimicrobial properties which means it can help reduce bacteria and fungi. It is also said to release oxygen into the wound which helps speed up the healing process.
- simply rub honey on affected area.
- leave on skin for up to an hour.
- Can cover with a loose bandage or leave on open skin
There is some debate on how and whether this remedy actually works. I am including it just in case you want to try it or if toothpaste happens to be the only thing you have on hand at the time, for instance if you are camping.
It is said that toothpaste has a high pH which when neutralize the acidic bee venom (low pH) Toothpaste which is often minty, can also give a soothing effect to the infected skin.
- Dab on toothpaste.
- Leave on for 10 to 20 minutes
- wash off with warm water
There are many benefits to using essential oils. And there a lot of essential oils that can help with inflammation.
When using essential oils on your skin you need to dilute them first. One of the most common ways to dilute them is with coconut oil. You can also dilute them with witch hazel which as you can recall from a bit earlier that is another one of our at home remedies.
I make a bug bite relief stick using Witch Hazel, Tea Tree oil, Lavender and Peppermint oil. It would be a great remedy for bee stings as well.
Remember the story about my husband at the beginning of this post? His bee sting was bugging him a day or two later still and my neighbor suggested we try her venom extractor. I had no idea there was such a thing. But she offered to bring it over.
She showed up along with her husband because he wanted to watch. It ended up being pretty entertaining. As she started pulling the venom out of the sting, it started foaming.
It was the craziest thing and we were all in awe. His bite did seem to let up after that so buying a venom extractor might be a good thing for a first aid kit just in case. Plus you can use it on mosquito and other bug bites.
Home remedies are so easy and usually most, if not all, of the items are kept on hand in most house holds so they can be used on short notice. These home remedies can be made quickly and ease the pain, itchiness and swelling caused by bees stings.
Have you ever used one of these home remedies for a bee sting? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments. We love to hear from our readers and would love to hear about your go to bee sting remedy.