Bumble Bee Sting Treatment, Allergies Reaction, And Prevention. (158)

Bumble Bee Sting Treatment, Allergies Reaction, And Prevention: Find here the information on bumblebee stings, guidance for reducing the likelihood of being stung by a bumblebee, and the possible reaction to a sting including its effective treatment. At first you have to know the threats and how to avoid them. For more information, please visit Bumble bee sting, pictures, consequences and how to avoid them.

Bumble bee sting Treatment and allergies Reaction

01. Bumblebee, honeybee, and wasp stings

Bumble bees can be found in the usual environment in many countries. They are similar to honeybees for pollination of agricultural and horticultural crops. They are of various subspecies and different appearances in regard of colors and patterns. Usually, they are larger than honeybees, and more furry than wasps.

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In regard of stinger, they are similar to honey bee and wasps. Only the workers and queens have a stinger. The male or drone has no stinger and hence can’t sting. The stinger is used as weapon for self defense. While they feel vulnerable, they push their stings in humans or animals to protect themselves.

Bumble Bee Sting Treatment, Allergies Reaction, And Prevention.
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Through the stinger some venom is injected that can cause a short time severe pain. Usually Honey bee can’t take out the sting from spongy flash and left it into victim’s body and die away.

But the Bumble bee can withdraw her stinger, and able to sting several times. When a honey bee tries to withdraw her stinger, it splits from the abdomen with venom gland. So, she loose an important organ and become weaker and die. Rarely, approximately in 1% cases the injected venom develops an allergic reaction for those who are allergic sensitive. The response to the bumble bee sting can differ for each occurrence.

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02. How to prevent bumblebee stings

I stated before, Bumble bee stings only in specific circumstances. And we can reduce the possibility of stinging if avoid making them aggressive. Always be cool with them and don’t move your arms or body hurry toward them. Slowly observe and calm them with smoke. Sometimes smoking can help you somewhat. Usually Beekeepers use smoker with tobacco or pellet.

Strong perfume, scented cosmetics, alcoholic after shave lotion, watches, bracelets, colorful clothing can make them aggressive to sting. That is why the beekeepers usually wear white suit and veil. Recommended protective clothing can reduce the risk of stinging. Remember, bumble can sting even through your ordinary clothing.

03. Bumble bee Sting: Reactions and treatments

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(a) Non-allergic, or local reaction

Bumble bee sting usually leads to a local reaction which is non-allergic. Swelling, itching, and redness around the biting spot are known as local reaction. It can directly occur after bee sting and lasts only few hours. Sometimes it can take longer time to disappear the symptoms, but still now considered as local or non-allergic reaction.

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Treatment of a non-allergic, or local reaction

For local reaction, usually no extensive medical treatment is required. But if the stung is near to any sensitive organ like eyes, the victim should take an anti-inflammatory, such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen. Moreover, a cold compress should be applied to the injured place.

To reduce the itching an anti-itch ointment can be applied. Several types of such anti-itch ointments are available. Choose the one that contains Diethyl-m-toluamide.

If the stung in the mouth or pharynx or near to any air path, this can cause to block the breathing. So, immediately the patient should be taken to the Hospital. They will keep in observation and apply Corticosteriods, such as Prednisone.

(b) Allergic reaction

Only 1% of total occurrences may lead to an allergic reaction in case of several stings. This is called general allergic reaction, or a systemic allergic reaction, or an anaphylactic reaction. Due to an allergic reaction involves antibodies created during a previous occurrences, it’s not possible to have allergic reaction at first sting. But this actual allergic reaction becomes visible within few seconds to half an hour of stinging.

Allergic reactions are categorized in four levels, depending on the severity:

Level 1: Experience itching, redness and swelling all over the body.
Level 2: This level is considered when intestinal problems, that is vomiting, or diarrhoea, including the symptoms of level 1.
Level 3: This level includes difficulties in breathing and, or a feeling of disgusting with level 1 and, or level 2.

Level 4: This last level is considered while the patient feels heart palpitations, fainting, and anaphylactic shock including level 1 and, or 2 and, or 3 symptoms. Anaphylactic shock can be accompanied by dizziness, excessive sweating, and cold shivers.

Treating an allergic reaction

Contact a General Physician for level 1 reaction. They’ll keep the patient in observation and take the decision on the basis of situation. A hospital is desirable due to the reaction may increase gradually over time. In case of vomiting that is definitely the symptoms of level 3 or 4, the patient must be taken to hospital immediately.

In allergic reaction, antihistamine such as clemastine is useful. It’ll reduce the swelling that is caused by histamine in the poison. Sometimes, the doctor may prescribe corticosteroids, such as DAF or Dexamethasone.

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In case of level 3 or 4 reaction, it’s necessary to apply adrenaline at first. It excites the heart, compresses the blood vessels, and opens the airways. Adrenaline can be self-injected by means of an adrenaline auto-injector, sucha as EpiPen or Jext. If the patient already had an allergic reaction to bumble bee sting, Adrenaline auto-injector is available only by prescription. It also can be available to the companies work with bumble bees.

(c) Toxic reactions

When someone is stung dozens of times in one period, Toxic reaction will occur. Usual allergic reaction occurs in the nervous system or circulatory system, which results cardiac arrhythmia or difficulties with breathing. In this case also the patient should be taken to hospital and keep in observation.

(d) Hyperventilation

In level 4 allergic reaction, as a result of shock hyperventilation may occur or cause unconsciousness. In any of above situation, it’s necessary to call emergency medical service immediately.

04. Increased risk

Bumble Bee Sting Treatment, Allergies Reaction, And Prevention.
Bumble Bee Sting Treatment, Allergies Reaction, And Prevention.
A pregnant or a person using certain medicines like beta-blockers is at high risk when allergic reaction occurs for bumble bee sting.

05. Bumblebee allergy

Remember, if you had an allergic reaction once before, it’s not necessarily to have an allergic reaction next time. Particularly for level 1 and 2, the chance is very small. Reactions may differ from person to person and each case separately.

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It’s possible to test with purified venom to determine whether you’ll have allergic reaction in the next sting. Purified venom can be used for hyposensitisation treatment also. But immunotherapy with bumble bee venom may not useful for patients with honey bee or wasp venom allergy. So, treatment for each type of bee allergic reaction is different from others. It’s applicable for that type only.

Hyposensitisation treatment is intended to desensitise the body with bumble bee venom. If you don’t like this treatment, you can to obtain a prescription for adrenaline auto injector from a doctor or physician. For test and treatment you can contact Allergology department of RDGG or directly to Dr De Groot at the Diakonessehuis location in Voorgurg.

06. Information for doctors

For more information about the medical treatment of allergic reaction, contact and request Koppert. Or contact an allergy specialist or doctor of internal medicine.


De Groot, H. Allergie voor insecten, Huisarts en Wetenschap 2002; 45 (7): 362-7.
De Groot, H. Allergy to bumble bees. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol 2006; 6: 294-7.

This information is provided for education purpose only. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem. Because, it’s not a substitute of medical care. If you have or suspect you may have health problem, please consult your medical Advisor. This is only to help you recognize the problem to take advance precaution.

Resources of information

National Honey Board
American Honey Producers Association
American Bee Journal
The Pollination Home Page
Photo Credit – Picasa
Photo Credit – Google images – unrestricted
Experience of my own beekeeping project

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