Bee Stings and Home Remedies

| 2/27/2014 3:40:00 PM

Tags: Bee Stings, Home Remedies, Baking Soda, Medical Advice, Pam Tinnin,

Pam TinninSeveral years ago while I was at work, my husband and my mother-in-law walked up to the upper portion of our farm to check the spring box. Unfortunately there was a surprise waiting for them, an underground yellow jacket nest hidden in the tall grass just a few feet from the concrete spring box. Both of them incurred multiple stings, including many on their upper torsoes and heads.

By the time they ran, walked and stumbled down to Mary's house, she was feeling a bit strange so Zack drove her (somewhat above the speed limit) to the nearest emergency room about 20 miles away in the next town. While she was receiving treatment, in the waiting room, my husband started having chest pains and difficulty breathing. He ended up requiring a shot of adrenalin and was sent home with a bee sting kit.

I've never had trouble with bee, yellow jacket, or wasp stings, at least not until last week. I had parked the car and was unloading groceries when I felt a sharp burning pain on the middle finger of my right hand. A large honey bee clung there, its stinger stuck fast in my top finger joint. I shook off the bee and then removed the rather large stinger that had a small gob of bee tissue on the end. I have read that this is the bee's venom sac.

As I said, I'd never had much reaction to stings so I continued unloading the car, occasionally blowing on the finger which felt like it was on fire. About twenty minutes later I realized my finger had begun to swell and was already inflamed. Assuming this was typical of a bee sting, I ignored it. Within a few hours, the finger was twice its normal size and the swelling had begun to spread to the top and palm of my hand. I finally followed my husband's and son's advice and coated the finger in a thick baking soda paste. It felt cool and the itching and pain eased up a bit, so I did this several times that evening.

Next morning, the entire hand was swollen down past the wrist. Did I call the doctor? No, it was Saturday and I was determined that I was not going to the Emergency Room for a bee sting. Yes, I know they can be dangerous, but I was suffering from the old, "It won't happen to me" syndrome. Besides, I have this bizarre fear of being thought a wimp. So I did the most logical (HA!) thing and sent out a plea on Facebook asking for home bee sting remedies.

I must admit that more than a few of my FB friends said "GO TO THE DOCTOR," but I decided that the home remedies would do the trick — the suggestions were numerous from my own baking soda paste to unseasoned meat tenderizer paste (just mix baking soda or meat tenderizer with enough water to make a thick paste - also you can use a combination of both). Several folks said that Preparation H works, while one person said that, as strange as it sounded, toothpaste helps. One down-to-earth person said that the best treatment is ice packs for 20 minutes at a time.

Enci Box
9/5/2014 2:33:43 AM

My husband, my toddler, and I, we all have been stung by bees as we are keeping a bee hive in our back yard. The only remedy I have used on all occasions and which worked right away, was rubbing aspirin as soon as possible on the sting. First you scrape out the stinger with anything flat, so the poison won't be squeezed into your body. Then crush half an aspirin into powder, add a drop of water to make a paste and rub it onto the area of the sting for a minute or so. (We keep crushed aspirin in our kitchen to make the process faster, then we only add a drop of water so we can make a paste.) This remedy has completely stopped the swelling, the pain, and the itching. My toddler was playing without a second thought about being stung within 5 minutes. Once I didn't take care of myself right away and only added the aspirin remedy about 2 hours after the sting. My finger swell and I had to cut off a ring from it. The swelling continued for a few hours, and I had to ice it to keep the itching, swelling, and burning to a minimum. The swelling, itching and burning from a bee or wasp sting can last 3-5 days.

3/10/2014 11:12:18 PM

Hi, Dave - I hope it doesn't offend you if I tell you that you gave me a chuckle. Yes, we do seem to be somewhat alike in our attitudes. I can remember some similar shenanigans - like the time I was grounded but I snuck out and went to the basketball game anyway, walked in the gymnasium door smack into my father. I don't think he had ever been to one of the high school basketball games and to my knowledge never went again, but that night a pal asked him to go. Of the four kids, I was the rebellious one and always had the worst luck. (By the way, thanks for the good wishes - my finger's fine except that I'm shedding. All the skin is peeling off.) Take care and stay away from wasp nests…

3/2/2014 9:38:04 AM

Pam, I haven't been stung since my high school days. Barns are notorious for wasp nests and everyone just ignores them as much as possible. My task was to milk cows (13) morning and night so seeing a wasp or two was normal. It so happens my parents and sister were going away for a few days and I was in charge of the farm. Being a normal teenage high school boy, I had big night life plans while they were gone. The very day that they left during my evening milking, for what ever reason, an angry wasp decided to nail me in the cheek right under the right eye. I didn't think much of it because I'd been stung before and it hurt for a little while and that was the end of it. By the time the chores were done it had begun to swell. Being very similar to you, I decided well I'll just stay home that night and move my great night life plans to the next night. By morning the right eye was swollen shut and the whole side of the face was puffed up. To make a long story short, my face remained swollen for the rest of the week and the great night life plans never happened. Maybe that was a good thing. I sure didn't think so at the time. Any way I hope your hand is all better now. Have a great no bee sting day.

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