8 home remedies and natural treatments for bee stings

Eight home remedies for bee stings

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A bee sting can result in a swollen, painful bump. In most cases, people can easily treat bee stings at home.

The pain and swelling around the site of a sting will usually go away in a few days without treatment. In the meantime, home remedies can reduce discomfort and speed the healing process.

However, if a person has an allergic reaction to a bee sting, they will need immediate medical attention. If the swelling spreads outward from the area of the sting, or if it occurs in other parts of the body, this indicates an allergic reaction.

In this article, we describe home remedies that can soothe bee stings. We also cover when to see a doctor.

Before using any remedies, inspect the sting site.

If the bee’s stinger is still in the skin, remove it by wiping the area with gauze or scraping it with a fingernail. Do not squeeze the stinger by hand or with tweezers.

Honey bees can only sting once, because they leave their stingers behind them. Removing the stinger and its venom sac from the skin will prevent further irritation.

Below, we describe home remedies that relieve swelling and pain caused by bee stings and explore related research:

1. Ice

Share on Pinterest Ice can reduce pain and swelling.

Immediately after a bee sting, wash the area thoroughly to remove any remaining bee venom.

Then, apply ice to reduce pain and swelling:

  1. wrap an ice pack, or a bag of ice or frozen vegetables in a cloth
  2. place the bundle against the site of the sting
  3. hold the bundle in place for several minutes
  4. repeat as needed

Always use a cloth to protect the skin from the ice. Ice can damage the skin if it touches it directly.

2. Essential oils

A number of essential oils have antiseptic, antibacterial, or antifungal properties.

Though essential oils have long been used in home remedies, there is little high-quality evidence to suggest that any can relieve the pain or swelling of a bee sting.

The following oils are often used in home remedies:

  • tea tree oil
  • witch hazel
  • lavender oil
  • thyme oil
  • rosemary oil

Before applying essential oil to the skin, mix it with a neutral carrier oil, such as olive oil. Typically, the mixture is about one drop of essential oil for every four or five drops of the carrier oil.

It is important to note that essential oils can cause allergic reactions.

3. Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera is a plant-based gel that naturally soothes and moisturizes the skin. According to a 2015 study, aloe vera extract has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Spreading a little gel onto the bee sting can reduce swelling and help prevent the site from becoming infected.

Aloe vera gel is available to buy in many drug stores and online.

4. Calamine lotion

People often use calamine lotion to relieve itchy skin, and it may also help reduce pain and itching caused by a sting from a bee or wasp.

If the site of the sting becomes itchy, try rubbing on a little calamine lotion. It is available for purchase in health stores or online.

5. Honey

Share on Pinterest Honey can combat inflammation and reduce swelling.

Honey has many medicinal properties. It contains compounds that combat inflammation, so it may help reduce swelling.

The natural antibacterial agents in honey may also help prevent infection and speed healing. For these reasons, some medical professionals use honey extracts in wound dressings.

Try spreading a small amount of honey onto the sting. Do this indoors, so the smell of the honey does not attract more bees.

6. Baking soda

Some people believe that baking soda neutralizes bee venom. However, no high-quality research suggests that baking soda can help relieve discomfort from a bee sting.

Baking soda can also damage the skin because it is very alkaline, so medical professionals tend not to recommend this remedy.

7. Apple cider vinegar

Some people claim that apple cider vinegar can help reduce the swelling of a bee sting.

However, clinical research has yet to show that apple cider vinegar has many of its purported health benefits.

Also, as an acidic substance, it can harm the skin if used incorrectly.

8. Toothpaste

One unconventional home remedy involves spreading alkaline toothpaste on the site of the sting to neutralize the venom.

There is no clinical research to support this use of toothpaste.

To try it, spread a small amount of toothpaste onto the sting site, but proceed with caution. The skin may react to the toothpaste, especially if it is left on for longer periods.

At any sign of a reaction, rinse off the toothpaste right away.


How to Treat a Bee Sting Swelling – 10 Home Remedies for Bee Bite That Actually Work

How to Treat a Bee Sting Swelling

There are over 20,000 different species of bees around the world, each with their separate breeding and nesting habits. And while some of them like the carpenter bees or ground bees are not harmful, others like Africanised honey bees or bumble bees are a force to be reckoned with. When stung by a bee, the wound must be immediately treated so as to avoid the poison to further spread inside the body. We have discussed a few simple home remedies and tips on how to treat a bee sting that will be of help when dealing with such a case.

Some Interesting Facts About Bees Bites

Bees are naturally docile creatures, preferring to stay away from humans. However, that doesn’t mean they are incapable of attacking when provoked. In fact, most bees have venomous stingers that can cause rashes, inflammation, intense pain and discomfort. Here are some interesting facts about bees and their stingers that would give you a glimpse into their mysterious life:

  • Only the female bee stings, the stingers are evolved from the ovipositors that are used to lay eggs. It also carries venom that is injected into the prey paralyzing
  • Only 75% of the bee species have stingers, others usually bite their prey
  • The honey bee has a unique barbed stinger that gets stuck in the body of the victim
  • The honey bee dies after stinging its prey because a major chunk of her internal organs are ripped from its abdomen as it tries to fly away after stinging. Ouch!
  • The stinger of the queen bee is not barbed; she can sting more than once without harming herself.
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Signs and symptoms of a bee sting

Now, bee stings can produce numerous reactions on the human body ranging from temporary discomfort to severe allergies. Also, your body always won’t react the same way to every bee sting. Some common signs and side-effects of a bee sting are mentioned below:

  • The mild reaction to bee sting would be a sharp burning sensation, red bumps and slight swelling around the area
  • Some people have a stronger reaction, i.e. extreme redness and inflammation that usually enlarges over the next day or two
  • The severe sting reaction or anaphylaxis can be potentially fatal
  • The allergic reactions include rashes, breathing problems, swelling of the throat, weak pulse, nausea, diarrhoea, and dizziness.

What exactly happens when a bee stings?

If a worker bee senses a threat to the hive, it will sting and use the pheromones to call in the entire cavalry for the attack. Most female worker bees (even the queen) have stingers attached to their bodies. These stingers are connected to venom sack that injects the bee poison into the prey when stung. A bee sting itches for two to three days normally.

Now, bee venom is about 88% water and this is why the insects sting their prey on the moist tissues for better chances of spreading the venom. Bee venom is odorless and slightly acidic in nature, the allergen (called melittin) is what causes the acute pain and burning sensation after the sting. This is because the melittin causes the RBCs at the sting site to burst and collapse causing a drop in the overall blood pressure in the body. The tiny blotches and rashes are caused by histamine (there’s about 9% of it in bee venom). The histamine causes the capillaries to leak and contributes to the pain.

The Reactions And Allergies Caused By Bee Stings

There are two distinct ways in which the bees can actually kill you, either by an allergic reaction or by attacking you in massive numbers.

Only 3.3% of the population is severely allergic to bees, most just show some minor symptoms that stay for a few days.

Itchiness, rashes, swelling, acute pain are some of the common reactions of the bee sting. The trouble begins when these reactions persist over a week and are aggravated. The severity of the reaction would depend on person to person. For instance, some people might feel dizzy or nauseous, others would have a high fever. Here are some of the well-known allergies caused by stingers that you should be aware of

  • Extensive rashes around the sting area
  • Pimple-like red spots
  • Mild to moderate inflammation
  • Breathing problems
  • Red, itchy hives that spread over the body
  • Swelling of the throat, jaws, tongue and mouth tissue
  • Wheezing, restlessness, and anxiety
  • Rapid pulse
  • The immediate drop in blood pressure.

The preliminary first-aid solutions

You are not completely powerless in curing a bee sting case if it is minor. If someone shows signs of severe allergies, take them to a doctor ASAP. However, if they show no such symptoms you can take care of the problem yourself. Here are some immediate first-aid solutions for quick bee sting relief

  • If the stinger is still embedded into the skin, take it out gently. Avoid using tweezers, scrape the skin with a flat-edged object instead
  • Then wash the area with soap and water
  • Place a cold compress on the bee sting swelling to reduce the pain and redness
  • Apply calamine lotion or baking soda paste to relieve the itchiness
  • Take an acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin) for quick relief

How to remove a bee stinger?

The first step in treating a bee sting is to remove the stinger. According to the University of California’s Integrated Pest Management program, the venom continues to enter the bloodstream of the prey 45-60 seconds after the sting. It is best that you remove the stinger 15 seconds after the attack to reduce swelling and itch. Now, most people would reach for the tweezers, that’s not the way to go about it. Squeezing the sting using tweezers only spreads the venom. Listed below are some effective methods to stop the sting from hurting

  • Use a flat-edged object like a credit card or nail filer. Scrape the skin with it and gently pull out the stinger
  • Use a sterilized needle or pin to scrape the surface of the stinger
  • Use an onion
  • You can also use a penny, a blunt butter knife, or your fingernail
  • Apply some ice on the surface of the skin before you scape the stinger out
  • Put on some tape on the skin and gently pull the stinger forward
  • Hair removal wax also effectively pulls out the stinger from the skin in no time

How to treat a bee sting at home?

Some of the best bee sting treatment remedies are discussed in detail below:

Essential oils and Herbs

Have a backyard garden full of aromatic herbs and fancy plants? Well, these herbs are more than just aesthetically appealing plants. Most of the plants actually help relieve the swelling and pain caused by a bee sting. Aloe Vera, lavender oil, tea tree oil, witch hazel and calendula cream are a few herbs that have healing properties. They are naturally anti-sceptic and anti-inflammatory. Put on some diluted essential oils onto the skin to stop the pain.


Limewater is also an important ingredient for curing a bee sting. A mixture of limestone and water is highly alkaline, effectively neutralizing the acidic effect of the venom. Other than that, applying limewater on the sting area also prevents the venom from spreading to other body parts.

Garlic and Coconut Oil

Garlic known for its anti-bacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties is a popular bee sting anaphylaxis treatment. Heat the coconut oil on a low flame, then crush 1-2 garlic cloves and put them in the oil. Let the mixture rest for a while before gently applying it to the affected area. Leave it on your skin for a couple of hours before wiping it off with a towel.

Fennel Seeds and Rock Salt

Another effective bee sting treatment is using fennel seeds and rock salt to ease the inflammation. Fennel seeds are a well-known Ayurveda remedy that is rich in magnesium and selenium. It effectively reduces the itchiness and swelling of the affected area. Fennel seeds also contain volatile oil and Anatole that along with rock salt helps with the pain

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Put some toothpaste on the affected area, let it dry out for a while and then wash it thoroughly with cold water. The glycerol content present in the toothpaste dries out the venom. Also, the paste balances out the acid with its alkaline content thereby reducing the swelling and itchiness. Avoid using whitening, get-based or colored toothpaste though as it might cause some untoward chemical reaction on the sting.


Tobacco, though injurious to health when smoked or chewed, is an effective cure for stings by bees. Tobacco has high alkaline levels that neutralize the acidic content of the venom. Other than that tobacco also takes care of the swelling, pain, and redness of the bee sting. All you have to do is apply a paste of tobacco and water and bandage the area with a cotton cloth.

Baking Soda

A paste of baking soda and water is among the best tried and trusted remedies for reducing the ill-effects of a bee sting. For starters, the paste balances out the acidic content of the venom. And secondly, baking soda is known for relieving swelling and itchiness of the sting area. You can even add some vinegar to the mixture for better effect.


There might be times when the bees catch you unaware and you’re not prepared for the required medical assistance or natural remedies for that matter. In such a case a handful of mud can work wonders to ease the pain. Mud creates a difference in the osmotic pressure due to the salt present in the body fluid. You can easily remove the venom from your system by applying a thick mud paste over the sting area.

Epsom Salt

The white crystals of Epson salt contain sulfate and magnesium, both minerals known for reducing rashes and swelling caused by sting on the face, finger,and foot. Applying Epsom salt on the affected area helps pull out the stinger smoothly without much pain. Form a thick paste of water and Epsom salt and apply it gently on the skin. You can also soak your feet in salt water to relieve the swelling and pain.

When to seek medical help?

Bee stings are a common outdoor nuisance, nothing that basic first-aid and simple home remedies can take care of. But, if you are allergic to bee stings or have been stung a number of times then you may have a serious injury that requires immediate medical attention. Call 911 or other emergency services in case you notice some severe allergic reactions that suggest anaphylaxis. For immediate help use the epinephrine autoinjector (EpiPen, Auvi-Q, others) right away as prescribed by a medical professional.

Some precautionary measures to avoid being stung

Here are some tips to protect you from bee stingers

  • Avoid keeping sweet beverages and fruits outside in the backyard
  • Tightly cover the trash cans, keep the garden clean and clutter free
  • Wear close-toedshoes when walking outside
  • Avoid wearing bright colors and floral prints when going out to the garden
  • Be careful while mowing the lawn or tending to plants
  • If confronted by a swarm of bees do not run, be calm and slowly walk away from the area
  • If a bee stings you, immediately cover your mouth and nose and try escaping the place as quietly as possible

Bees buzzing about the garden, moving from flower to flower, just going about their day are a pretty common sight in most homes. Also, contrary to popular belief, most bees are not aggressive and are perfectly capable of coexisting with their human neighbors. The trouble begins when they are disturbed or sense a threat to their homes, which is when they attack. Don’t worry though, we got you covered. Quick action can help you quickly recover from a bee sting. Now you know what to do in case someone you know gets stung by a bee.

If you are a homeowner who’s suffering from a bee problem and wants to know all about the natural bee control methods and interesting facts, your search ends here.

  • 14 Ways to Safely Control and Get Rid of Wasps and Signs of Wasp Nests Naturally
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  • 15 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Bumble Bees
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  • 18 Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees (Wood Bees) Without Killing Them
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How to Treat a Bee Sting at Home (and When to Head to the Hospital)

There’s a Better Way to Treat a Bee Sting

Most of us have probably been stung by a bee or a wasp, and while it can be pretty painful, bee stings are generally harmless.

That said, it is estimated that nearly two million Americans are allergic to bee stings. What exactly happens in our bodies when we are stung that causes a reaction? According to the Mayo Clinic, when a bee jabs their barbed stinger into the skin, it injects venom that contains proteins that affect skin cells and the immune system, causing pain and swelling around the sting area. People who are allergic to bees are actually having an immune response to this venom.

If a run in with a bee has left you with a painful sting, you’ll want to know how to reduce the pain, and treat the wound. To get the bottom of it, we teamed up with the special effects team at SyFy Channel’s Face Off and Dr. John Torres, NBC News Medical Correspondent, to create realistic bee stings, both minor and more severe, to show you how to treat a them at home — and when you should head to the hospital.


10 Ways to Treat Insect Stings at Home

So, what should you do for a wasp sting? And what could you put on a bee sting to stop the pain? Luckily, there are some everyday household items, which could help.

Almost everyone has become victim to the wrath of a bee or wasp sting in their lifetime. You’ll know then how painful this can be along with the irritating itch which always follows.

Fortunately for those lucky enough to not suffer from a severe allergic reaction from insect stings there are some home remedies for bee stings and remedies for wasp stings to help reduce swelling, ease the pain, and help with the mind numbingly irritating itch.

If, however, you are allergic to wasp stings and/or bee stings the best course of action is to contact a hospital straight away.

8 Home Remedies for Wasp Sting

Unlike bee stings, hornet and wasp stings are actually alkaline. Using home remedies which include products which are quite acidic is the best way to treat wasp stings as it will help neutralise the wasp and hornet venom. hat home remedies can you use for wasp, hornet and bee stings? Find out below:

  1. Ice: Ice is a great way to help reduce the swelling from a wasp sting as well as both bees and hornet stings. This is because the cold temperature helps slow down the blood flow to the insect sting. Simply take an ice cube, ice pack, or even a bag of frozen peas and place it on the wasp sting for around 20 minutes. This will help with the pain and reduce the swelling. If using an ice cube make sure to protect the infected area with a paper towel or cloth.
  2. Garlic: Garlic is a great pain relief for bee and wasp stings. For this home remedy simply crush a clove of garlic and lather it on the sting, making sure all the juices from the garlic are applied to the area. Place a plaster on top and let the garlic do its magic.
  3. Onion: Another cooking ingredient which is great for treating wasp and bee stings is onions. Cut an onion in half and place it, flesh side down, on the bee or wasp sting and press gently until the pain has disappeared.
  4. Cucumber: You may have used cucumber on your eyes to help with wrinkles; well they can also be used to treat wasp and bee stings. This is because cucumber is a natural astringent (a natural chemical that tends to shrink or constrict body tissue) and cooler. For this home remedy rub a slice of cucumber on the wasp sting until the pain has reduced.
  5. Apple Cider Vinegar: Soak a small bit of cotton wool in apple cider vinegar and place it on the wasp sting applying a small amount of pressure until the pain goes away. The acidity of the vinegar helps neutralise the wasp venom.
  6. Vinegar: Much like apple cider vinegar, the best treatment option for this wasp sting home remedy is to apply it to a cotton pad and hold on the sting area. Alternatively, you could use a cotton swab instead and rub the infected area or apply a few drops of vinegar to your skin.
  7. Lemon Juice: Slice a lemon in half and squeeze out as much juice as you can. Dab either a cotton swab or cloth in the lemon juice and apply it to the hornet or wasp sting. You could also use your favourite bottled lemon juice that you use on your pancakes, however, fresh lemon juice works more effectively.
  8. Lemon: If you don’t want to use lemon juice you can also use a fresh lemon instead. For this home remedy for wasp stings slice a fresh lemon in half and place one of the segments, flesh side down, to the sting.
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2 Home Remedies for Bee Sting

Would you know what to put on a bee sting? Find out how to treat bee stings with items found around your home:

Bee sting venom is naturally quite acidic. To help with the pain and swelling you can use home remedies which include using something with is quite alkaline as this will help neutralise the venom.

  1. Baking Soda: For this bee sting remedy create a thick paste out of baking soda and water and apply it to the stung area. This will help reduce the swelling from the bee sting as well as ease the pain.
  2. Salt: Just like our previous home remedy, make a thick paste by mixing the salt with water and apply it to the bee sting.

Hornet Stings

Although some of the home remedies on this list can help to treat hornet stings, they are not a definite cure. Compared to wasp and bee stings, hornet stings (especially one from a giant Asian hornet – should you add a photo?) can be much more painful, and deadly. This is because hornet venom is a lot more powerful than that of a bee and wasp as it contains a large amount of acetylcholine which is a powerful pain stimulant. This is what makes hornet stings so painful.

The strength of hornet venom does differ between each species. Some hornet stings are just like that from a bee or wasp, whilst others can be extremely painful. It is mainly the stings delivered from non – European hornets which contain the most venom thus being the most deadly.

The most infamous of all the hornet stings is that from a giant Asian hornet. This stinging insect is reportedly the cause of 30-50 human deaths in Japan every year, and 42 in China. The toxicity of a giant hornet’s venom is extremely nasty causing severe reactions such as melting skin and organ failure.

Do you have any pest problems? Contact us today or call 1890 666 444 for immediate assistance and expert advice on how to get rid of them quickly


How to Treat a Bee Sting Safely

Rod Brouhard is an emergency medical technician paramedic (EMT-P), journalist, educator, and advocate for emergency medical service providers and patients.

Michael Menna, DO, is a board-certified, active attending emergency medicine physician at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York.

Bee stings are always at least painful and they can be deadly if the patient is allergic to bee venom. If a bee sting patient has had any allergic reactions to bee stings in the past, they have a higher chance of showing signs of possible anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction.​

Take Out the Stinger

When it comes to being stung by a bee, you want to remove any stingers right away. The longer a bee’s stinger stays in, the more venom it can release, and the more painful for the patient.

It is OK to pull stingers out with your fingers, brush them off or get them out any way you can. The longer bee stingers are allowed to remain in the body, the more severe the reaction will be.

Conventional wisdom says to scrape bee stingers away from the skin because pinching the venom sack could push extra venom into the patient. The truth is that how fast you get the stinger out is much more important than how you do it. The idea of scraping off a bee stinger turns out to be one of the biggest myths of first aid.

Honey bees leave a stinger behind when they sting a patient. Wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets do not leave a stinger, which means if you do not see a stinger, maybe it was never there. These relatives of the honey bee can also cause an anaphylactic reaction.

Once you’ve been stung and removed the stinger, try to get away from the offending bee. Bees release a scent when in danger to attract other bees. Specifically, they release a scent when they die and when a bee stings you, it dies. If you are still around when the bee’s reinforcements get there, they will sting you, too


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