Honey Bee Sting

An Africanized honey bee will attack you ruthlessly. They flow right out of their beehive and swarm their victims with stings when disturbed.

What is it?

The honey bee–not to be confused with bumblebees–are venomous, flying bugs ranging from 0.4 to 0.6 in long. They’re social and cooperative insects infamous for their stingers and honey-producing abilities. There are three types of honey bee species┬áthat live together in a hive: the queen bee, worker bees, and male bees–or drones–all of which have different duties and responsibilities within the hive. Honey bee stingers are about 0.2 mm in length but despite their small size can cause extreme pain to its victims. Honey extractors farm them for the honey flow they can produce in their bee hive.

Where is it located?

The honey bee is native to South and Southeast Asia but over the years have found their way all over the world in every continent except Antarctica. They’re normally found in close proximity to their hives where they store and produce honey and pollen. Their honeyflow and beeswax are highly valued and beekeepers tap into this valuable resource whenever possible.

How will it kill you?

When a honey bee stings you, it leaves behind its stinger in your skin. The stinger still holds part of the bee’s muscles, nerves, abdomen, and digestive tract, meaning it dies shortly after an attack. The main venomous component of a sting is a toxin called melittin, which can cause extreme pain and swelling from as little as a few hours up to an entire week. Victims with an allergy to melittin will have a higher propensity for developing life-threatening symptoms. They’ll experience more severe side effects in their respiratory and cardiac systems, with death usually occurring due to anaphylactic shock.

How to survive?

Many stings occur when bee keepers are bee keeping: anywhere from backyard beekeeping to urban beekeeping to rooftop beekeeping. If you’ve been stung by a honey bee, the first step is to remove its stinger from your skin as soon as possible then clean the wound with soap and water. A cold compress or ice pack can then be applied to the affected area along with taking aspirin, acetaminophen, and Benadryl to help ease the pain and itching. Those who are allergic must immediately use an Epipen Auto-Injector to quickly deliver a dose of epinephrine–or adrenaline–into your system to help treat the anaphylaxis. Failure to do so can result in swift and sudden death.

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