Why do bees sting?

By: Nathan Gupton

About bees and their stingers.

Bees have features called stingers. Different bees have different things they can do with their stingers. Only female Bees have stingers and that includes the Queen bee. The male bees, a.k.a. drones, don't have stingers. Honey bees can't sting again after they sting once because they die. The reason why this is that way is because the abdomen is left behind. Their abdomen has muscles and nerves in it, and the bees need that to live. Also the stinger shoots out venom and it can do it for up to 10 minutes! The reason for this is when the honey bees sting they leave behind a venom sack that pumps venom into the stinger and spits into the skin. There is a different story with the stingers of the bumble bees because they have a smooth stinger so they can sting multiple times, and the honey bee stingers are jagged so they stay in the skin. One last things about the bees, when you see a bee collecting nectar don't get scared because they care more about doing their job which is collecting nectar and pollen more than they care about you. Most of the time they won't notice you.

What they do when threatened.

When bees sting people it's for a reason. They will only attack you if they feel threatened by either an animal or a human. Also if you're attacking the hive they will sting you and release a pheromone to attract other bees to the attack, and if your not by the hive they will defend themselves with their stinger. If you ever do think of harassing a bee hive bumble bees don't have as bad of a temper as honey bees.

Symptoms from bee stings or things to do when around bees.

Bees can sting so you need to know how to fix yourself up when you get stung. One way to prevent a bee sting is not to step on the bees, or mishandle them, so don't do something stupid like picking them up. Another way to prevent a bee sting is to stay calm when your around a beehive. If you do get stung take a painkiller, that can help. Just plain out ice can help too.


When you get a bee sting you can have different reactions. Mild bee stings can have symptoms such as:


  • redness
  • a white spot where the bees sting happened
  • swelling


This can last for up to 2 hours. Moderate bee stings can last for about 5 - 10 days and also have symptoms.


  • a lot of redness
  • continued swelling for 2 days

A severe allergic reaction can include:


  • skin reactions
  • breathing difficulties
  • swelling in throat or tongue
  • a weak but rapid pulse
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • chance of fainting or being unconscious


If you do have a severe allergic reaction you 30 - 60% chance of being anaphylaxis after the next bee sting. If you get stung more than a dozen times you could also have some symptoms and they are:


  • nausea
  • headache
  • vertigo
  • being faint or fainting
  • convulsions
  • fever

Vocab

Convulsions: A sudden, violent, irregular movement of a limb or body.

Vertigo: A sensation of whirling and loss of balance.

Anaphylaxis: An acute allergic reaction to an antigen to which the body has become hypersensitive.

Symptom: A physical or mental feature that is regarded as indicating a condition of disease.

Pheromone: A chemical substance produced and released into the environment by an animal.

venom: A poisonous substance secreted by animals.