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Bee sting – allergy, symptoms and other risk factors

One of the most common outdoor nuisances is the bee sting. In the most cases when we have bee sting, then this is a very uncomfortable condition. There are many natural remedies which can help us to ease the pain of the bee stings. If you get stung numerous times or you are allergic to bee stings, then you need to talk with your doctor because in this case the natural remedies may not help you. There are many steps which you can use to avoid bee stings.

Symptoms of Bee sting

These kinds of stings can have different reactions. Some of them can be temporary which means that you will have temporary discomfort and pain while in other cases you will have a severe allergic reaction. If you have one of the mentioned reactions, then this does not mean that you will have the same reaction if you get another bee sting in future.   In some cases when you get bee sting in another case, then you can have more severe reactions.

Mild reaction: In the most cases when you get bee sting, then this is a mild sting which means that you have minor symptoms such as

  • Slight swelling around the sting area
  • A red welt at the string area
  • Instant, sharp burning pain at the sting site [1]

In the most cases the pain and swelling are go away in the first few hours.

Moderate reaction: Also there are some cases when people get stung by a bee or another insect and they have moderate reactions such as [2]

  • Swelling at the site of the sting that is gradually enlarging over the next day or two
  • Extreme redness

If you have some of the mentioned moderate reactions, then they will get better in a period of 5 – 10 days. If you have a moderate reaction, then this not means that you will have a severe allergic reaction when you get a bee sting in some next time. If you have moderate reaction, then you must talk with your doctor as soon as possible because he or she can help you in the prevention and treatment of this condition.

Bee stingbee sting allergy

Severe allergic reaction: If you have severe allergic reaction bee stings, then this needs to have emergency treatment because this is a potentially life – threatening condition. This kind of condition is known as anaphylaxis. The signs and symptoms of this allergic reaction can be some of the mentioned:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • A weak, rapid pulse
  • Swelling of the throat and tongue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin reactions, including hives and itching and flushed or pale skin

People who have this kind of condition are having from 30% – 60% chances of getting anaphylaxis in the next time when they get a bee sting. If you have this kind of condition, then this means that you need to talk with your doctor about the prevention. This can help you to avoid this or similar reactions in the future again. [3,4]

Multiple bee stings: Wasps and bees are not aggressive insects and in the most cases they can sting you when they are defending themselves. In many cases people will disrupt a swarm or hive of bees which means that they can get multiple stings. There are some types of bees which are known as Africanized honeybees are the bees which have increased chances to swarm and also these bees are stinging in groups. In many cases when you get a bee sting more than one time, then this can make you a toxic reaction that can make you to feel sick. Here are the signs and symptoms of the multiple bee stings:

  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Fever
  • Convulsions
  • A feeling of spinning (vertigo)
  • Headache
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

People who have breathing problems, who have heart problem, older adults and children can get multiple stings which in these people are a medical emergency problem. In the most cases you do not have to visit your doctor about this problem but if you have severe case of bee stings, then you need to visit your doctor as soon as possible.

Causes: When you get a bee sting, then you have swelling and pain around the sting area because bee venom are having protein which are affecting our immune system and skin cells. If you suffer from bee sting allergy, then the bee venom will make you serious problems in the reactions of your immune system. [5]


[1] Park JH, Yim BK, Lee JH,et al. Risk associated with bee venom therapy: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2015;10(5):e0126971.

[2] Ewan PW. Venom allergy. BMJ. 1998;316(7141):1365–8. doi:10.1136/bmj.316.7141.1365

[3] Truskinovsky AM, Dick JD, Hutchins GM. Fatal infection after a bee sting. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2001;32(2):e36-8.

[4] Douglas L, Zanganeh S. Anaphylactic death due to bee sting – a comparison case study. Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology. 2014;10(Suppl1):A21.

[5] Stanford Medicine. Bee sting allergy could be a defense response gone haywire, scientists say. 2013. Retrieved from

Dr. Emil Sarsath (aka) Vijila, a licensed naturopathic doctor (BSMS) who always ensures his patients receive compassionate, and individualized care. He has extensive experience in primary care, digestive health, mental health, nervous system disorder and more.Area of Expertise – Naturopathic Medicine, Whole Foods-based Nutrition, Siddha, Panchakarma.She is always available through [email protected]


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