Did you realise it was National Don’t Step on a Bee Day earlier this month?! A great occasion to celebrate and protect our country’s wonderful bee population, and a timely reminder to watch your step at this time of year (before you inadvertently find something furry beneath your foot).
But what if you do?
Luckily, most bee stings, insect stings and bites are not serious and usually get better within a few hours or days.
How to treat a bee sting
- If the sting is visible, carefully scrape it off the skin. The edge of a bank card works well. Be extremely careful if using tweezers that you don’t break the sting.
- Wash the affected area with soap and water.
- To reduce any swelling, elevate the injured limb and carefully apply an ice pack (wrapped in a tea towel or triangular bandage) for 10 minutes.
- If you’ve been stung in the mouth (ouch), try sucking on an ice cube or take sips of cold water to soothe the pain.
- Monitor carefully for an allergic reaction.
If you are particularly worried or have any of the following signs or symptoms, please contact your GP or ring NHS 111 for advice:
- The bite has caused an infection or swelling
- The symptoms are not improving or the pain is increasing
- The site is in your mouth or near your eyes
Occasionally, a bee sting can cause a dangerous allergic reaction, also known as anaphylaxis. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include widespread swelling, a rash and shock and can spread rapidly. If you suspect anaphylaxis, please dial 999 for immediate medical assistance.
For more useful first aid tips that anyone can apply, subscribe to our blog. BX Medical runs a range of training courses that teach you how to respond to the majority of first aid scenarios, including anaphylaxis. To find out more, please get in touch.
In the meantime, enjoy our lavender-loving bees this summer and buy some delicious local honey. Just watch where you step!