Bee Stings

A bee sting strictly means a sting from a bee (honey bee, bumblebee, sweat bee etc). In the vernacular it can mean a sting of a bee, wasp, hornet, or yellowjacket. Some people may even call the bite of a horsefly a bee sting. The stings of most of these species can be quite painful, and are therefore an object of dread for many people.

It is important to differentiate a bee sting from an insect bite. It is also important to recognize that the venom or toxin of stinging insects is quite different. Therefore, the body's reaction to a bee sting may differ significantly from one species to another.

The most aggressive stinging insects are vespid wasps (including bald-faced hornets and other yellowjackets) but not hornets in general (e.g., the European hornet is gentle). All of these insects aggressively defend their nests, although they have not developed a sting targeted at mammals like the honey bees.

In people who are allergic to bee stings, a sting may trigger a dangerous anaphylactic reaction that is potentially deadly. Honey bee stings release pheromones that prompt other nearby bees to attack.

Symptoms of Bee Stings:

The severity of a sting is determined by a number of factors. The type of insect, the location of the sting, the number of stings, and the allergic sensitivity of the victim can all affect the outcome. Most people do not have allergic reactions to bee and wasp stings however below are some symptoms related to localised stings:

  • Immediate pain, redness, swelling, and itching at the sting site may occur.
  • A large (greater than four inches across) local reaction may develop over the next 12-36 hours.
  • A bacterial skin infection, although uncommon, may also begin during the first 12-36 hours (or even after the first few days).
  • These may cause an enlarging area of redness at the sting site. It may be difficult to tell a local skin reaction and a local bacterial skin infection apart.

    Treatment with Shuttle Lotion:

    The first step in treatment following a bee sting is removal of the sting itself. The sting should be removed as fast as possible without regard to method: studies have shown the amount of venom delivered does not differ if the sting is pinched or scraped off and even a delay of a few seconds leads to more venom being injected. Once the sting is removed, pain and swelling should be reduced with a cold compress.

    Many traditional remedies have been suggested for bee stings including damp pastes of tobacco, salt, baking soda, meat tenderizer, toothpaste, clay, garlic, urine, onions, aspirin or even application of copper coins.

    Bee venom is acidic and these interventions are often recommended to neutralize the venom; however, neutralizing a sting is unlikely to be effective as the venom is injected under the skin and deep into the tissues, where a topically applied alkali is unable to reach, so neutralization is unlikely to occur. In any case, the amount of venom injected is typically very small (between 5 and 50 micrograms of fluid) and placing large amounts of alkali near the sting site is unlikely to produce a perfectly neutral pH to stop the pain, that is however until the invention of Shuttle Lotion. The cool and calming effect of Shuttle Lotion is used all over the world to cure the inflammation and irritation that comes along with a bee sting. The active ingredients in Shuttle Lotion act as a neutralizer to the acidic properties of a bee stings.

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