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June 20, 2018  |  Login
Bee Stings
by James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.

When a bumblebee or a honeybee attacks, it leaves its stinger and attached venom sac in the skin. In most cases, the sting creates only slight pain, swelling, and irritation. It is more of a nuisance than a concern. However, look for signs of an allergic reaction, such as swollen eyelids or hands, difficulty breathing or wheezing, dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, and the appearance of a hive-like rash. For these symptoms, go immediately to the emergency room or your doctor's office. The bee sting can be fatal in people who are allergic to its venom.

Other insects, including fire ants, paper wasps, hornets and yellow jackets, are capable of stinging, but they do not leave stingers in their victims.

Next: Tips for Avoiding a Bee Sting

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