What to do after a honeybee, bumblebee or wasp sting What to do after a honeybee, bumblebee or wasp sting

While these insects may look the same, their stings are different. Learn what to do to get relief from them.

It’s not easy to know the difference between a honeybee, wasp or bumblebee, but knowing how to treat their stings and recognizing the symptoms of an allergy are important to preventing complications.

According to the Pediatrics Association of Spain there are few tips that can help in identifying these insects and help you determine what measures to take to avoid complications.

House to tell them apart

  •       Honeybees are brown with yellow stripes and have hairs on their body.
  •       Bumblebees are similar, but have more hairs than honeybees.
  •       Wasps, on the other hand, are black, their yellow stripes are much brighter, and their bodies are longer.

What should you do after a sting?

  •       Wash the area with water and soap
  •       Disinfect it with an antiseptic
  •       Apply a cold compress or ice covered with a cloth
  •       If the pain or stinging does not go away, take a painkiller or anti-histamine

Symptoms of an allergy to a bee sting

To avoid serious complications, being able to identify the symptoms is key. According to the World Health Organization, between 15% and 25% of the world’s population is sensitive to bee or wasp venom, and between 5% and 15% have serious reactions.

Common symptoms:

  •       Inflammation in the eyes, mouth or any other area separate from the site of the sting
  •       Urticaria (hives on the body)
  •       Sneezing, itchiness and a runny nose
  •       Watery and itchy eyes
  •       Coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing in the chest
  •       Dizziness, feeling like vomiting, loss of consciousness

Related article:  Insect bites, know when they are serious (article in Spanish)