Bee stings are a nuisance for the most part. Getting stung by a bee is both uncomfortable and painful, and is most common during summer when these insects are most active. Another factor that makes bee stings very common during warm months is that this is the period when most people spend time in the outdoors. To understand why bee stings are painful, it is important to know that these stingers use the technique as a mode of self-defense. The stings contain venom that is responsible for the varied reactions that one experiences after the incident.

bee on flower

The symptoms associated with bee stings range from transient pain and discomfort to adverse allergic reactions. This is largely dependent on how sensitive one’s skin is. Mild symptoms include sharp pain at the site of the sting, swelling and the formation of a red raised bump that often has a white spot at the center. These symptoms typically disappear on their own after about 5 days.

In some people however, bee stings trigger an intense immune response that is accompanied by wheezing, skin reactions that include formation of hives and pale skin as well as dizziness and fainting. In many cases, people whose bodies mount such an immune response may also have a swollen throat and tongue as well as a weak rapid pulse. For this reason, such a reaction requires emergency medical attention to prevent anaphylaxis. Consequently, the home remedies recommended below for the natural treatment of bee stings are intended for mild reactions. Any severe reactions must be attended to by a medical practitioner.

 


1. Get Rid of the Stinger:

Time Required: Varies, but typically 20 Min.
What You Need: A pair of tweezers, warm soapy water and antiseptic ointment.
Difficulty: Easy

 

One of the most important things to do after getting stung by a bee is to get rid of the stinger. This critical step is done to reduce the amount of venom injected in the body. By removing the stinger, you are able to reduce the intensity of the mild reactions and aid in the process of recovery. Note that this remedy, while appearing simple, may also be a challenge if you pinch the stinger in. Use a pair of tweezers to do this and prevent the injection of more venom into the affected skin.

Directions:

  1. Wipe the pair of tweezers with alcohol to clean it up before use.
  2. Scrap the affected site using the clean tweezers in order to remove the stinger. Be careful not to press the stinger in.
  3. Clean the affected skin using warm soapy water and rinse.
  4. Pat the skin dry, taking care not to do this aggressively to prevent further injury.
  5. Once dried, apply some of the antiseptic ointment to ease the itching and keep the swelling down.
  6. You may also apply calamine lotion after cleaning up the affected skin.

 


2. Ice Cubes:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A handful of ice cubes and a clean washcloth. A bag of frozen vegetables (optional).
Difficulty: Easy

 

Having removed the stinger, the next remedy to use is a handful of ice cubes. The benefits of this remedy revolve around the cold temperatures which not only help keep the inflammation down, but also help numb the pain associated with the stinger. Ice cubes are also an excellent remedy for reducing the swelling at the affected site.
The most important thing to remember when using this remedy is that the ice cubes should not be applied on the skin directly to prevent skin reactions resulting from the frostbite. The other alternative you can use in the absence of ice cubes is a bag of frozen vegetables or ice cold water in a bottle.

Directions:

  1. Spread the washcloth and place the ice cubes on it.
  2. Tie the wash cloth so that you have a pack that is both effective and easy to use.
  3. Hold the pack on the affected skin for about 15 minutes and then run cold water on it.
  4. Use this remedy as often as you need to until the symptoms associated with the bee stinger subside.
  5. Use the bottle of ice cold water or frozen vegetables bag in the same way.

 


3. Witch Hazel:

Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1/4 Cup of witch hazel, 3 ice cubes and cotton wool.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Witch hazel is an ideal home remedy for the management of bee stings. This is attributed to its excellent anti-inflammatory properties that help keep inflammation down while providing relief from the varied symptoms. The remedy is also rich in astringent properties that help prevent the rapid spread of the venom and ease the pain. It is preferable to chill the remedy in order to ease the itching and keep the swelling down. You will need ice cubes and cotton wool for the use of this remedy.

Directions:

  1. Chill the witch hazel for about half an hour, or add ice cubes to the remedy.
  2. Soak the cotton wool in the chilled witch hazel for a minute or so and then squeeze the excess remedy.
  3. Dab the wet cotton wool on the affected skin and allow it to air-dry.
  4. Use this remedy as often as needed.

 


4. Baking Soda Paste:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of baking soda and warm water.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Baking soda paste is alkaline in nature and this is what makes it ideal for the management of bee stings. These alkaline properties help counter the effects of the poison which is acidic in nature. The topical application of the paste not only relieves the skin of pain and itching, but its soothing nature also helps keep the swelling down. You will need some warm water to rinse off the paste after application as described in the simple steps below.

Directions:

  1. Add a few drops of the warm water to the baking soda powder and mix well enough until you have a paste.
  2. Apply a generous amount of this paste on the site of the stinger and gently massage it for a minute.
  3. Let the paste remain on the skin for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
  4. If there is still some discomfort after remedy application, reapply after every couple of hours to get relief from the pain.

 


5. Raw Organic Honey:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of raw organic honey and warm water. 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Raw organic honey is one of the easiest ways to soothe the pain and discomfort that results from bee stings. Honey specifically that which is raw and organic, is preferred because it helps dilute the effects of the venom. Honey is also a potent anti-bacterial that goes a long way in reducing the risk of infections. You may add turmeric powder to the remedy to improve its anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to the presence of curcumin in the herb. Follow the directions below when using honey to treat bee stings.

Directions:

  1. Apply a blob of honey on the affected skin and spread it as gently as you can.
  2. Let the honey dry on the skin for about 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse the remedy off with warm water.
  4. Repeat this remedy as often as you need to.
  5. Alternatively, mix equal amounts of the raw honey and turmeric to prepare a paste.
  6. Apply this paste on the affected skin and air dry it for 10 minutes.
  7. Use this remedy as often as required until the affected skin is totally healed.

 


6. Aspirin Tablets:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Regular aspirin tablet, pestle and mortar as well as warm water.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Aspirin is a quick and effective remedy recommended for the treatment of bee stings. This is because the aspirin tablets have a localized anti-inflammatory action on the affected site, and this comes in handy in reduction of inflammation. Once the aspirin paste is prepared and applied, it becomes easy to manage the swelling. Note that this remedy requires topical application and is not used as oral medication.

Directions:

  1. Crush the tablet using a pestle and mortar until you have a fine powder to prepare the paste with.
  2. Add a few drops of warm water to create the paste.
  3. Apply the paste on the affected skin and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
  4. Rinse the skin using warm water and apply an antiseptic ointment.
  5. Use this remedy until the skin is completely healed.

 


7. Aloe Vera Gel:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh aloe vera leaf, sharp knife, cotton wool and warm water.
Difficulty: Easy

 

One of the remedies recommended for the natural treatment of bee stings is aloe vera gel obtained from a freshly cut aloe vera leaf. The gel’s soothing properties are important in easing the pain and inflammation at the affected site. The gel is also key in managing swelling at the affected site. You will need cotton wool and warm water for this remedy.

Directions:

  1. Clean the aloe vera leaf and slice it lengthwise using a sharp knife. This will provide a seamless cut that allows the collection of the gel with ease.
  2. Soak the cotton wool in the gel and use it to apply on the affected skin.
  3. Allow the gel to air dry for a few minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
  4. Use the remedy severally during the day to get relief until the skin heals.

 


8. Peppermint Essential Oil:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 2 Drops of peppermint essential oil, a carrier oil (such as olive or coconut oil) and cotton wool.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Peppermint essential oil is a herbal remedy that works well for the management of bee stings. The oil’s cooling sensation and soothing properties are a great way to get relief from the mild symptoms of bee stings. Additional healing properties include analgesic and anti-inflammatory traits that work towards reducing the pain and inflammation. Use peppermint essential oil alongside a carrier oil if you have sensitive skin to help manage the side effects of the same.

NOTE: If you will be spending time in the outdoors, it helps to carry peppermint essential oil as a preventive measure as the oil has been shown to have insect-repellent properties.

Directions:

  1. Mix the peppermint essential oil with your preferred carrier oil to dilute it while maintaining its healing properties.
  2. Soak the cotton wool in the oil mixture and apply it on the affected skin.
  3. Remember to use peppermint oil as a preventive measure when spending time in the outdoors especially during warmer months.
  4. If the oil causes any irritation, discontinue its use immediately.

 


9. Mud:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Readily available mud, or some dirt and water to prepare the mud.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Sometimes all you need to ease the pain and discomfort of a bee sting is fresh mud. Mud not only numbs the initial pain that comes with the fresh sting, it also helps keep the resulting swelling down. If you are in the outdoors and can find ready mud, use that. If not, simply collect dirt and mix with water to get this simple natural remedy.

Directions:

  1. Apply the fresh mud on the affected skin.
  2. Alternatively, add water to the collected dirt and prepare a thick paste that does not run easily.
  3. Cover the stung skin with the mud and leave on for about 20 minutes.
  4. Rinse the mud off using warm water.

 


Other home remedies that you can use to treat bee sting include apple cider vinegar, meat tenderizer that eases the pain and itching as well as tea tree oil. Remember to avoid swatting at bees when in the outdoors as this increases the chances of getting stung. Do not scratch the affected skin to prevent the risk of infections. Lastly, if you live in an area with lots of bees, you may need to consult a professional to have them removed or transferred.