Bee sting - how do I treat it properly?


It happens a lot, especially in summer: a bee or wasp stings and it hurts. How to properly treat a bee or wasp sting depends on a number of factors. If symptoms such as pain and swelling are limited to the area around the puncture, usually not much needs to be done - the symptoms will disappear after a while, even without treatment. On the other hand, some people are very sensitive to an allergy and show symptoms that go beyond the puncture site. They can have respiratory and circulatory problems (anaphylactic shock) shortly after a bee sting, some of which can be fatal without treatment.

Read more about this at:

  • Insect bite - first aid and emergency measures
  • Allergy to bee venom
  • Anaphylactic shock

Treatment / therapy

In the event of a bee sting, the first thing to do is to check whether the stinger is stuck in the wound. This is the rule with bees, wasps usually get away with their sting.

The poison bag, which contains poison, hangs from the sting. If it is crushed, the poison it contains can get into the wound. Therefore, the sting should be carefully "scratched out" with the nail or removed with tweezers without exerting pressure on the poison pouch. Once the stinger has been removed, an attempt can be made to suck the poison out of the wound with the mouth. As a preventive measure, the wound can be disinfected and, for people who have not been vaccinated, the tetanus vaccination can be carried out.

After that, in most cases nothing more needs to be done in principle - the symptoms disappear within a short time even without therapy. For the less die-hard, there are a number of different ways to relieve the pain and itchiness. At the beginning, it is advisable to hold ice wrapped in fabric or a cold pack on the affected area for about 5 -10 minutes. If the pain is more severe, pain relievers such as ibuprofen or diclofenac in low doses can be helpful. Diclofenac can also be applied as a cream around the wound. Creams containing cortisone or creams with an antihistamine can provide relief from severe itching.

In addition, home remedies such as onion puree or raw potatoes are often used in Germany. If you have an allergic reaction to a bee sting, the emergency kit should be used and a doctor should be called.

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  • tetanus
  • Allergy emergency kit

When to the doctor

A doctor's visit is with mild symptoms basically unnecessary. If there is uncertainty about removing the stinger and a family doctor is nearby, they can show the person the correct technique.

A A doctor should be consulted immediately when the Symptoms very strong are or a Known allergy to bee or wasp venom is. in the emergency can also do a Emergency doctor be notified. If a Infection of the wound with redness, swelling or even Pus formation shows, a doctor should also be consulted because of the necessary antibiotic treatment.

Emergency kit

People who suffer from an insect venom allergy must always carry the so-called "emergency kit" with them in summer. This is prescribed by a doctor after general symptoms such as vomiting, shortness of breath, itching in various parts of the body or circulatory failure after an insect bite have occurred.

The aim of the emergency kit is to prevent or alleviate life-threatening symptoms by taking medication at an early stage. According to current guidelines, the emergency kit should contain an antihistamine with a rapid onset of action, a cortisone preparation, adrenaline for inhalation or injection and a so-called "beta sympathomimetic". Rescue medication should be used immediately if symptoms appear. The adrenaline and beta-sympathomimetic must only be used when breathing difficulties set in. In addition to using the medication in the emergency kit, allergy sufferers should always contact a doctor after a bee sting.

Read more on this topic at: Allergy emergency kit

Homeopathy / globules for a bee sting

To the Pain, the swelling and the itching after a bee or wasp sting to treat, various homeopathic medicines can be used.

The most popular medicines include globules with Apis mellifica (honey bee), Ledum (swamp porst), Staphisagria (delphinium) and Urtica urens (nettle). It is important to understand that the active ingredients in the globules are only in minimal quantities exist. Your effect is not established. For allergy sufferers, people with extensive homeopathic knowledge recommend this primarily Avoiding the allergen and often also performing the Desensitization.

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What can you do about the pain?

After the stinger has been properly removed from the wound, there are several ways to deal with the pain. This is an inexpensive and demonstrably effective variant Cooling the wound. For example, a Cool pack or ice wrapped in cloth be held on the affected area for 5-10 minutes. This can be repeated several times until there is no longer any improvement. In addition to ice, there are pain relieving ointments and creams that can be applied around the wound. Medicines containing diclofenac are often used. In severe pain you can low-dose pain relievers how Ibuprofen, diclofenac or Aspirin® be taken. They have an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect.

An old Home remedies against pain and other local symptoms after a bee sting is the onion. It can either be cut in half and rubbed on the wound or applied as a puree with the help of an envelope. The onion should Reduce pain and disinfectant Act. In order to destroy the bee venom and thereby reduce the pain, this should also Applying heat or that Application of baking soda help. Heat can be applied to the puncture site using a spoon briefly heated in hot water; Baking soda should be dissolved in a little water before application. Studies have not proven whether these home remedies work.

Bee sting on the sole of the foot

If a bee stings under the foot, the pain is due to the Sensitivity of the sole of the foot often large. It is also important to ensure that a stuck sting downright away becomes. Often another person has to be asked for help.

It is also important that the foot is for a short time not burdened - an increased pressure on the wound can increase the discomfort and delay healing. In order to reduce the risk of infection of the wound in the following days, a thorough disinfection carried out and the wound covered with a plaster.


Bee stings usually occur in the Summer months on. However, they are possible from March to October, as bees and wasps are active during these months. The insects sting more likely to, when they feel disturbed - For example, through hectic movements, noise, certain smells or if they get caught in clothing or hair. Smooth movements and covering clothing will help reduce bee stings.

Kick after every stitch Pain, itching, a swelling and Redness at the puncture site. The symptoms arise because of the Poison, which is brought under the skin from the poison bag via the sting. The poison is used in nature for defense and contains various proteins that can kill cells and damage nerves. In technical terminology, the substances relevant to the poisonous effects of bee venom are called "Peptides" and "Phospholipases" designated. In some people, components of bee venom, in particular “phospholipase A2”, trigger an allergic reaction. The reason for this is one Hypersensitivity of the immune system. The predisposition to develop such an allergy can be inherited; the allergy itself only develops after contact with the allergen.


In practice, the diagnosis of a bee or wasp sting is usually made through a consultation with a doctor. Most of those affected have seen the insect and know that it was a bee or wasp. In the case of stronger symptoms, it can be relevant to differentiate bees from wasps, because more venom is injected into the wound when the bee stings and the stinger including the poison bag gets stuck in the skin. In the case of people with severe symptoms at the puncture site or general symptoms such as shortness of breath, an allergy test should also be carried out after a bee sting in order to be able to react properly to a new sting.

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Concomitant symptoms

In most cases, a bee sting only causes local symptoms at the sting site. These include redness and swelling, itching, skin rashes and possibly light bleeding at the injection site. The affected area is usually less than 10 cm in diameter.

Usually the symptoms decrease significantly within minutes or a few hours and go away without consequences. Children, even if they are not allergic to bee venom, occasionally develop malaise, chills, and fever. These general symptoms usually disappear within a short time.

Is the bee orWasp sting on the neck or even inside the mouth, the swelling can lead to life-threatening shortness of breath. In this case, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible. If a large number of bee stings follow one another within a short period of time, an inflammatory reaction can occur throughout the body, which can lead to organ damage. About a dozen stitches are enough for children, significantly more stitches are necessary for adults.

People with an allergy to the bee venom can develop gastrointestinal complaints such as vomiting and diarrhea, shortness of breath up to respiratory arrest, palpitations and low blood pressure up to shock, depending on the amount of the venom and the severity of the allergy.

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itching at the Stitch point is a normal symptom in bee stings. In children and rarely also in adults, a General reaction with itching occur all over the body. In people with bee venom allergy, itching after a bee sting occurs all over the body. Relieves symptoms that are limited to the sting area only cooling the itching - cool packs or creams can be used for this. Also Anoint With antiallergic agents like one Antihistamine alleviate the discomfort. They are available from the pharmacy without a prescription and can be used if the symptoms persist applied several times a day become.


The duration of symptoms after a bee sting varies from person to person. As a rule, the pain is only severe for a few minutes. They decrease significantly within minutes or hours. The itching and skin swelling usually only appear a few minutes after the bite. In the majority of those affected, the symptoms are only very weak after 4-5 hours, after a day only the wound is usually visible. Symptoms can persist much longer, especially in people with allergies.

Find out more about the topic here: Duration of swelling from a bee sting.

Allergy to bee venom

People with an allergy to bee venom are at high risk of developing general symptoms after a bee sting. In addition to rashes and itching in various places, this also includes vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, unconsciousness and circulatory failure. Without treatment, depending on the severity of the allergy, even a single bee sting can lead to death. This is why it is important to act immediately and treat the bee sting properly.

Read more about this at: Allergy to bee venom

If symptoms occur in an allergy sufferer who already has an allergy emergency kit, the medication in the kit should be taken immediately. These include an antihistamine and a cortisone supplement. The adrenaline pen should also be used in the event of shortness of breath or other life-threatening symptoms. In addition, an emergency doctor must be called - the medication does not have a strong enough effect on everyone. If those affected lose consciousness, sweat profusely or are pale before the paramedics or emergency doctor arrives, the shock positioning should be used. To do this, the patient lies down flat and places their legs in an elevated position, for example on a chair.

In the long term, desensitization should be carried out, especially in young allergy sufferers, as it shows very high success rates and drastically lowers the risk of life-threatening symptoms.

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  • Therapy of shock
  • Therapy for an allergy