Bee sting treatments?

Adam Taggart
By Adam Taggart on Mon, Jul 1, 2013 - 10:06pm

Have any good hom remedies for bee stings?

I just received several at once. The stand supporting one of my hives collapsed and I had to rush outside without full protection to puts things right.

Usually, whatever appendage I get stung on swells up for 3-4 days. Seeing as the bees just stung me on both legs and one arm, I'm going to be looking quite puffy at the 4th of July picnic...


Carl's picture
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Bee Stings


I was really hoping some one would have some remedies to share. I do not mind the stings, but I find the itching in the days after to be maddening.

In my case ice applied directly to the swelling helps, and an anti-histamine tablet before bed helps me sleep, but that is all I have found so far (my first year).



robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
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chewed plantain

then rubbed  into site post sting removal. I bet there is an enzyme inthe plant and in your saliva than denatures the proteins reducing ther Ig response. sorry a poor typist.

anecdotally, it just gets better over time. I just did a shake down(showing off in front of my wife) without veil or gloves and got stung 3X in face and once on hand-n-thigh about 24hrs of itching.



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Adam Taggart
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I'll try plantains next time

Thanks for the suggestion, Robie.

Interestingly, I swelled considerably less this time, despite the multiple stings. So your comment "it gets better over time" appears to be accurate.

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I have used apple cider vinegar (which has thousands of uses) on stings to kill/dull the initial zap.  I don't recall it doing anything for swelling or itching though.  But it works great at the moment of the sting especially if a child gets stung and they are very scared and in pain.  We have a pool (though not near the hives) and a few bees do like to go for a swim. is a great website to check out folk remedies from readers all over so I'll look for something there that might be of use.


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Bee sting therapy

I purposefully get stung 4 or 5 times every week to relieve my arthritis and stiffness. (Apitherapy)

My grand parents always used kiwi fruit or papaya fruit and put the juices on the sting to relieve the stinging. Later in my life we used meat tenderizer and made a paste out of a little of it then applied that to the sting for relief.  I assume that the enzymes break down the proteins. 

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Adam Taggart
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Apple cider vinegar works!

Patricia: Just got stung again and poured some apple vinegar cider on the sting site - it seemed to work. Thanks for the tip! 

I didn't have any plantains or kiwi in the house, or I'd have tried those, too. Will stock up the next time I'm at the store and report back again.

Gylangirl's picture
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Sting frequency

I have received only 2 stings in 4 years of hive maintenance due to an abundance of caution.

But unfortunately this is not an ideal pattern because studies show that bee keepers who experience infrequent stings are more likely to develop anaphylactic shock response than bee keepers who are stung very frequently.

So I carry an epipen with me just in case I develop the allergy, and it expires every 2 years. I also carry a cortisone stick topical ointment to treat any stings.

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I no longer really react much...

except with a bit of colorful language and some hand-flapping.  But by 5 or 10 minutes after getting stung, I usually can't remember which hand it was on.  Sometimes easier to tell if it was through my pant leg, but even then, not much swelling or pain shortly afterwards. 

I, too, am a firm believer that stings lessen the pain of an arthritic joint and increase motion somewhat for a day or two.  It's happened too often for me not to believe that it helps. 

Here in MA, two natural sting remedies that are often mentioned are crushed plantain leaves or jewel weed.  Plenty of both reasonably near my hives.

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