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How to Remove a Bee Stinger

Don't waste time panicking if you're stung by one of your bees. Read this and know what to do right away.

By Kristina Mercedes Urquhart

honeybee on white


Make sure you know what to do in case you get stung by one of your honeybees.

The mystery may be taken out of the honeybee stinger, but that doesn't make getting stung pain-free! As a beekeeper, stings are an unfortunate inevitability. So what to do when you do get stung?

First and foremost, try not to panic. If you're prepared for the possibility of a sting at any time while beekeeping, you'll be better able to handle the pain. Dropping a frame of bees, brood and maybe even a queen is never something you want to do.

Once stung, act quickly, but move slowly. Put down whatever is in your hands, and quickly scratch the stinger off the affected skin with the hive tool or your fingernail. Every second wasted means more venom in your skin. Never try to pull it, rub it or pinch it out; those actions will only lead to the stinger lodging deeper and depositing more venom faster.

Just remember: A cool smoke, a calm demeanor and slow movements will go far in preventing stings in the bee yard.

About the Author: Kristina Mercedes Urquhart writes from the mountains of Candler, N.C. Follow her Facebook community page The Humble Honeybee to keep up with the latest pollinator news. 


Give us your opinion on How to Remove a Bee Stinger.
Submit Comment »
I'm confuse between scratching the stinger off the infected skin and not pulling the stinger! As one runs their nails across the skin, like scraping it, wouldn't that "rake" off the stinger? In a sense, dislodging it? Isn't that the purpose of pulling it out? To get it off?

Hope it doesn't happen to me anytime soon, but I'd like to try the plantain treatment. Been constantly pulling them out of my yard.
Dante, Hyde Park, MA
Posted: 6/9/2013 10:04:45 AM
Good to know
Annie, Houston, TX
Posted: 2/28/2013 6:52:18 AM
To stop the sting and swelling, look in your yard for the plant plantain, pick a small hand full, crush it in your fingers or chew on it a second to break the surface and offer wetness, and put the crushed leaves on the sting for 15 minutes.
Mary Kathryn, Gloucester, VA
Posted: 2/12/2013 12:58:17 PM
Good Post. I like to use toothpaste to help with the ease of the after pain associated with a bee sting.
Amnada, Hutchinson, KS
Posted: 9/29/2012 2:37:08 PM

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