Spring is in the air! Wildflowers are blooming all across the country and the bees are taking notice. Remember, bees are our littlest and biggest links in our food chain and Spring is the busiest time of the year for our friends to pollinate. As you and your family go out to enjoy the great weather, always be aware of your surroundings. Bees are pretty good at warning people away. However, Worker bees will sting if they feel threatened by loud noises, curious hands, or sniffing dog snouts.
When a bee stings, it releases a painful venom known as apitoxin. This causes redness, swelling, and localized pain in most people. Follow these steps to stay safe this spring:
1. Avoid: Avoid wearing color clothing or strong perfume or lotions. If you plan on sitting down, make sure your landing pad is free of fuzzy friends.
2. Assess: Swelling of the tongue or throat, increase in heart rate, or full-body hives are indicative of an allergic reaction. If these symptoms are present, get to a hospital fast!
3. Remove the stinger: Use a clean credit card of finger nail (not your fingers!) to remove the stinger. Stingers can continue to pump venom up to 10 minutes after the initial sting.
4. Pain relief: Lather baking soda and water over the affected area. Take ibuprofen or tylenol to help with pain and swelling. Relax and try not to hold it against the bees