VIEW THE MOBILE VERSION of Informational Site Network Informational
   Home - Articles - Books

Remedies For The Sting Of A Bee

If only a few of the host of remedies, so zealously advocated, could be
made effectual, few persons would have much reason to dread being stung.
Most of them, however, are of no manner of use whatever. Like the
prescriptions of the quack, they are absolutely worse than doing nothing
at all.

The first thing to be done after being stung, is to pull the sting out
of the wound _as quickly as possible_. Even after it is torn from the
body of the bee, (see p. 60,) the muscles which control it, are in
active operation, and it penetrates deeper and deeper into the flesh,
injecting continually more and more of its poison into the wound. Every
Apiarian should have about his person, or close at hand, a small piece
of looking-glass, so that he may be able with the least possible delay
to find and remove a sting. In most cases if it is at once removed, it
will produce no serious consequences; whereas if suffered to empty all
its vials of wrath, it may cause great inflammation and severe
suffering. After the sting is removed, the utmost possible care should
be taken, not to irritate the wound by the very _slightest rubbing_.
However intense the smarting, and of course the disposition to apply
friction to the wound, it should never be done, as the poison will at
once be carried through the circulating system, and severe consequences
may ensue. As most of the popular remedies are rubbed in, they are of
course worse than nothing. Be careful not to _suck_ the wound as so many
persons do; this produces irritation in the same way with rubbing. Who
does not know that a musquito bite, even after the lapse of several
days, may be brought to life again, by violent rubbing or sucking? The
moment that the blood is put into a violent and unnatural circulation,
the poison is quickly diffused over a considerable part of the system.
If the mouth is applied to the wound, other unpleasant consequences may
ensue. While the poison of most snakes and many other noxious animals
affects only the circulating system, and may therefore be swallowed with
impunity, the poison of the bee acts powerfully, not only upon the
circulating system, but upon the organs of digestion. The most
distressing head-aches are often produced by it.

From my own experience, I recommend _cold water_ as the very best remedy
with which I am acquainted, for the sting of a bee. It is often applied
in the shape of a plaster of mud, but may be better used by wetting
cloths and holding them gently to the wound. Cold water seems to act in
two ways. The poison of the bee being very volatile, is quickly
dissolved in water; and the coldness of the water has also a powerful
tendency to check inflammation and to prevent the virus from being taken
up by the absorbents and carried through the system. The leaves of the
plantain, crushed and applied to the wound, will answer as a very good
substitute when water cannot at once be procured. The broad-leafed
plantain, or as some call it, "the toad plantain," is regarded by many
as possessing a very great efficacy. Bevan recommends the use of spirits
of hartshorn, applied to the wound, and says that in cases of severe
stinging its internal use is beneficial. Whatever remedy is applied,
should be used if possible, without a moment's delay. The immediate
extraction of the sting, will be found, even if nothing more is done,
much more efficacious than any remedy that can be applied, after it has
been allowed to remain and discharge all its venom into the wound.

It may be some comfort to those who are anxious to cultivate bees, to
know that after a while the poison will produce less and less effect
upon their system. When I first became interested in bees, a sting was
quite a formidable thing, the pain often being very intense, and the
wound swelling so as sometimes to obstruct my sight. At present, the
pain is usually slight, and if I can only succeed in quickly extracting
the sting, no unpleasant consequences ensue, even if no remedies are
used. Huish speaks of seeing the bald head of Bonner, a celebrated
practical Apiarian, lined with bee stings which seemed to produce upon
him no unpleasant effects. Like Mithridates, king of Pontus, he seemed
almost to thrive upon poison itself!

I have met with a highly amusing remedy very gravely propounded by an
old English Apiarian. I mention it more as a matter of curiosity, than
because I imagine that any of my readers will be likely to make trial of
it. He says, let the person who has been stung, catch as speedily as
possible, another bee, and make it sting on the same spot! It requires
some courage even in an enthusiastic disciple of Huber, to venture upon
such a singular homeopathic remedy; but as this old writer had
previously stated that the oftener a person was stung, the less he
suffered from the venom, and as I had proved, in my own experience, the
truth of this assertion, I determined to make trial of his remedy. I
allowed a bee to sting me upon the finger and suffered the sting to
remain until it had discharged all its venom. I then compelled another
bee to insert its sting as near as possible in the same spot. I used no
remedies of any kind, and had the satisfaction, in my zeal for new
discoveries, of suffering more from the pain and swelling, than I had
previously experienced for years.

An old writer recommends a powder of dried bees, for distressing cases
of stoppages; and some of the highest medical authorities have recently
recommended a tea made by pouring boiling water upon bees, for the same
complaint, while the homeopathic physicians employ the poison of the
bee, which they call _apis_, for a great variety of maladies. That it is
capable of producing intense head-aches any one who has been stung, or
who has tasted the poison, very well knows.

Next: Bee-dress

Previous: The Anger Of Bees Remedy For Their Sting Bee-dress Instincts Of Bees

Add to Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network