Do bumble bees sting? An Interesting Factoid

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Do bumble bees sting? An Interesting Factoid? – Bumble bees are the type of bees that nest on the ground. They have smaller hives than honey bees. They do gather pollen but they don’t produce honey. Most people thing that all kinds of bees sting. However, this is merely just a common misconception.

Some type of bees can sting and some don’t. Now, you’ve probably think about where bumble bees stand on this. So, do bumble bees sting? As a matter of fact, bumble bees do capable of stinging, but only when provoked. However, there is so much more to it. For starters, only female bees of both solitary and social species can sting when feeling threatened. Male bees, on the other hand, lack stingers.

Do bumble bees sting? An Interesting Factoid

Do bumble bees sting
Do bumble bees sting image via npr.org

 

When Will They Sting?

The queen bees and worker bees in a bumble bees colony are the ones that can sting. Their colony are organised around a queen bee, worker bees and drones or male bees. All worker bees are sterile females and they can sting due to the ovipositor that has evolved into a stinger. Generally speaking, queen bees only use their stingers to be defensive around other rival queens. Unlike honey bees, bumble bees are not really defensive.

They will only attack when they feel provoked and it typically happens near the hive because they try to defend the hive and the stored pollen. Should you stumble upon a bumble bee that buzzes near you, it is most likely a worker bee or a male carpenter bee that is merely attracted to sugary substance. You can simply prevent them to sting you by simply covering the sugary substance or moving away from it.

One should also be wary of the bumblebee nests since they are located on the ground. Fortunately, there are several signs that are observable. When there are bees buzzing above the ground in a certain area, then the nest is probably there. Moreover, bumble bees sometimes build their nests in piles of loose grass clippings or areas abandoned by mice and other tiny animals. Bottom line, the chance of getting stung can be reduced by not making them aggressive or provoking them.

You need to be calm when bumble bees are around. Don’t try to wave your arms, touch or even hold it. Aggressive behaviours in bumble bees can be triggered by powerful smells like perfumes, alcohol, scented soaps, perspiration and aftershave. Additionally, bracelets, rings and even watches can provoke aggressive behaviour in bumble bees as well.

This stems from the fact there is the scent of oxidised material between the jewellery and the skin. Another interesting thing to point out is that this type of bees are attracted to the colour blue, especially light blue clothing.

 

Getting Stung by a Bumble Bee and the Treatment

Bumble bees’ stingers do not have barbs, unlike honey bees. Since it is basically a smooth weapon, then it can be used several times. In other words, bumble bees have the potential to be more harmful because it can sting continuously. Even though, the stingers can break off but the bees will still be alive. Moreover, despite the fact that bumble bee sting is less painful than that of a honey bee or a wasp but it can be really dangerous if it happens on your neck or head, not to mention if you happen to be allergic to the venom.

Getting Stung by a Bumble Bee and the Treatment
Getting Stung by a Bumble Bee and the Treatment image via wagwalking

 

When a bee does sting, they inject some venom into your body. It can generate a short severe pain in humans that eventually fades away. Sometimes (occurrence is pretty rare) the injected venom will develop allergic reactions. The sting of a bumble bee usually causes swelling, redness, and itchiness at the stung spot that last for several hours. Medical treatment is usually not necessary. One only needs to take some measures to reduce the local reaction especially if you are stung in a sensitive location like the eye area.

One should take an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen or aspiring immediately after they got stung. Cold compress to the site can really help as well. You can also rely on some anti-itch ointments to lessen the pain and get rid of it. Choose ones that contain diethyl-m-toluamide.

If you happen to get stung in the pharynx or mouth, then it is highly recommended that you go to the hospital right away for this can lead to blocked airways. You will be given corticosteroids like prednisone at the hospital and you will be kept for examination.

 

Conclusion of  Do bumble bees sting

In conclusion, do bumble bees sting? Yes, but only the female kinds and only if they feel threatened. Furthermore, allergic reaction because of a bumble bee sting is pretty rare (in about 1% of the human population)

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