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Honey Bees are defensive toward anything approaching their hive. Alarmed honey bee workers release substances from glands in the sting apparatus and mouth parts signalling other bees to attack, and thus, mass stinging incidents can occur. The term "mass stinging" is not used here lightly: Some hives may contain as many as 20,000 to 60,000 workers.

First Aid for Bee Stings:
Remove the stinger from the wound by scraping a blunt object, such as a dull knife, across the wound. Do not remove stinger with fingers or tweezers because the venom sac will be crushed and inject venom into the wound.

Symptoms usually resolve within a few hours. If symptoms such as difficulty breathing or rapid, severe swelling occurs, call a doctor. Toxic signs are vomiting, dizziness, headaches, chest pain, and fainting.

Some experts suggest, as a bee sting remedy, to apply baking soda and meat tenderizer in a water paste to reduce venom spread and swelling, and to take antihistamine to lessen swelling and mild allergic responses.

Also see the General First Aid instructions on the Perilous Partners page for more information on treating bites/stings.

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