Bee sting treatments


The best bee sting treatment I got when I was a kid was tobacco, soaked and wrapped in a wet paper towel and applied to the sting. Supposedly it was an old Native American cure and the tobacco drew out the poison. I realize now it’s much more likely that I was being fed a line and that it only felt better because of the placebo effect.

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All of this followed by a viewing of “My Girl”, of course.

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Actually, she watched H2O, an Australian kids show about pretty teens in mermaid suits.

…Or use Tiger balm!
Plus, it will remind you of that last trip to Singapore, that was so great…

Good choice - probably less traumatic.

Last week my SO got stung. He cut a sweet onion and rubbed the onion/juice on the spot and the stinger popped right out. He said it stopped stinging within seconds of the stinger coming out.

They have “Rapid pulse” as a symptom of an allergic reaction. I’d suggest it was symptomatic of any reaction.

When I was 10, the cure should have been not taking a crap on a beehive. True story.

I just got stung while in the neighborhood pool a couple of days ago. Several years ago a neighbor told me about vodka working wonders on stings. My (current) neighbor was drinking a Smirnoff Ice in the pool, so I poured it on the sting (after removing the stinger). The combination of that and the chlorine in the water made it completely forgotten in a couple of minutes.

Re: the Tobacco trick.

I don’t think it’s placebo. As it was supposed to be chewed before applying and saliva has enzymes much like the papin cure…not to mention what other types of enzymes are in the tobacco itself. I think the onion trick works about the same way as onions can break down proteins.

Here is mine:
Have someone significantly younger next to you get stung at the same time.

I was fantastically afraid of getting bee stings when I was a kid after getting stung a couple times a summer for a few years. Then for several flower suspecting years I was not stung at all. I was about 12 when I got stung again blundering over a nest along with some younger kids. I heard and saw the bees and started ushering my little friends (7-ish) out of the bushes to safety when the tiny yellow monster struck my leg. It hurt, but I was busy so I just ignored it for a bit. Didn’t even bend down to scrape out a potential stinger.

After I decided that, yea, it hurts but really its not that bad. Not nearly as painful as a finger in a door or a sprained ankle, and it fades away pretty quick. Really pretty low on the scale of occasional childhood injuries.

Bee stings: just use your snake bite kit on them.

At a campground as a kid I was stung, and my dad put some pre-mixed pancake batter on my face to ease the swelling and get the stinger out. Something about the baking soda. Luckily it was a halloween weekend, and that night there was a halloween gathering at the main hall of the camp ground, so I just doubled down on the pancake batter and went as a zombie…

In the southeastern US, you can treat it with a spit poultice made of plantain leaf.

This plant grows just about everywhere-- sidewalk cracks, vacant lots, fields, yards, you name it. You make a spit poultice by chewing up a bit of the leaf and then putting the stuff you just chewed up on the sting. It takes the sting out very effectively. I think tobacco would work similarly, but I usually use plantain since a) I can identify it and b) I am not a smoker so I don’t usually have tobacco on hand.

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I’m fairly allergic to bee stings. Not “gonna die” allergic, but close enough I’ve had doctors warn me a couple of times. I can tell you most of these don’t work. I’ve tried all of them. Avoidance works best, which is hard with kids. Tip #1 works. Since the last time I was warned (“if you get stung more than two more time start carrying an epipen”) I’ve managed to knock any stingers out before the bee/wasp finished stinging. In other words the critter still had its ass end embedded in my arm. With the bugs your most likely to be stung by nothing gets injected until the stinger separates from the body of the bee/wasp (not the case with most of your bigger wasps or anything that can sting multiple times). No reaction if I was quick enough. Over the counter pain/fever relievers like ibuprofen work well to take the edge off or help any fever, joint aches, or headaches an allergic reaction could cause. I find a double dose of diphenhydramine absolutely necessary to mitigate the allergic reaction. So its likely a normal people dose would help anyone who doesn’t swell up like a cartoon character. Steroid cremes and calamine can help with itching and swelling a bit, but I never got much real improvement out of them. Those benzocaine sticks, I remember them being magic as a kid and not working worth a shit as an adult.

Other than that most of these suggestions are very painful. Some of them gave me mild infections at the sting site that lead to scaring. Including the spit poultice some of you have recommended (Boyscouts!), and notably having my sting anointed by water from a Saints Well in Ireland (Catholic Relatives!). You are technically dealing with an open wound so its a good idea to treat it like any other. Clean it, antibiotic ointment, bandaid.

@oicurtis, I was under the impression that most snake bite kits don’t actually work so well. And that’s another thing I tried on a bee sting in the boy scouts (not my bee sting, not my snake bite kit). I remember it being a bit ridiculous and having no effect.

He’d probably have been better off using the knife to scrape the stinger out- it will keep injecting venom until it’s removed, so the quicker it’s removed the better.

I’ve been stung maybe ten times, and the worst by far was one on the top of my head- it took me several minutes to find someone to help me get the sting out. I’ve seen experienced beekeepers flick them out with a fingernail, but I guess that takes a bit of practice.

Not for a beesting, but my son got stung by something, maybe a wasp, and a quick spray of Solarcaine did the trick.

I have grave doubts he would’ve been able to remove it faster with a knife from a side of his arm that he can’t directly see than he did using that onion.

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