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The truth about carpenter bee stings

The Truth About Bee Stings

A lot of people freak out when they see a bee, and that’s understandable. It’s easy to connect the sight or sound of a buzzing bee to a traumatic incident from youth that caused a chronic fear of all bees. It only takes one sting to teach a person to fear bees, but it takes a lot more to get people to realize that bees don’t need to be feared. While bee stings are unpleasant, they are nowhere near as painful as many people expect. If you’re stung once as a child but manage to avoid being stung again until adulthood, your memory of the pain is going to be amplified far beyond what it truly was, which causes you to fear that extreme pain as an adult. Learning the truth about bees at http://www.beesnthings.com/ and how they operate can help shed a little light on our buzzing friends.

The Stingers

stinging beeFirst, it’s important to remember than only female bees of any variety are able to sting. The stinger is actually a modified ovipositor, which the females use to lay eggs. Queen bees can actually use their stingers for both purposes, but female workers are sterile and therefore only use them as stingers. Technically, all-female bees are capable of stinging, but that doesn’t mean you are at risk of stinging from them all. Bees generally only sting when provoked, but they try to avoid confrontation if possible. The workers for honeybees, bumblebees, and Africanized killer bees are all able to sting, since all the workers are females. That means if you encounter one of these bees, they are able to sting. Killer bees and honeybees, which are actually different versions of the same species, can only sting once due to the barb on their stinger. The barb gets stuck and causes the stinger to rip from its body as it flies away, leaving the stinger in the skin. Failure to remove the stinger right away can cause the sting to be much more painful than it should be.

A Special Case

The only bees that don’t commonly sting are carpenter bees. The reason behind this is that carpenter bees are solitary in nature, creating individual homes and caring solely for their family. Female carpenter bees chew and spit out wood, building tunnels through the wood. Male carpenters bees watch out over the vicinity, and since they can not sting, they tend to aggravate intruders by buzzing around close to the source of danger in the hopes of scaring it away. In the case of people, it usually works, simply because humans, like many creatures, have learned to avoid anything that looks like a bee for fear of being stung. The carpenter bee capitalizes on this fear and uses it to protect his nest and his family.

It should be noted that female carpenter bees are able to sting and do so from time to time if the nest itself is threatened. The stingers of the carpenter bee are not barbed, either, which means they can sting multiple times.

Dealing With A Sting

bee stingsIf you are stung, check to see if the stinger is still lodged in your skin.If it is, remove it by scraping the skin with a flat edge over the stinger. Do not use tweezers or your fingers to remove it, since that can cause venom from the stinger to enter your skin. Look for signs of swelling and combat them as necessary with ice and elevation for limbs, and remove jewelry that may become stuck if swelling occurs. Assuming you aren’t allergic to bee stings, the injury will heal in a few days, and pain and itchiness can be treated with over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and antihistamine.

If you need a way to deal with bees that won’t hurt them, and also won’t hurt you, check out the BeesNTHings Carpenter Bee Traps. They are a safe alternative to kill traps, and they use a simple jar to capture living bees so you can release them away from your property. Live traps like these are perfect for protecting the bee population, which is vital for humanity.