The art of removing a stinger

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by efmesch, May 18, 2012.

  1. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    All too many people who get stung react automatically and remove the stinger by "pinching" and pulling it out. While this may be the fasted method, it is also the worst.
    When a bee stings and leaves its' stinger stuck inside the victim, it has disconnected from its body togther with the venom sack and the set of muscles that operate the stinger and the venom pump. If you're up to it,:| you can even watch the stinger digging itself deeper into the flesh while the self-contained independent muscles keep operating the stinger and pumping venom.
    Because of this, it's vitally important to remove the stinger as soon as possible to minimize the amount of venom injected into the body.
    BUT, HOW you remove the stinger is as important as HOW FAST you remove it.
    If you grab the stinger to pull it out by pinching it with your fingers, in effect, you are squeezing the venom sack and injecting more venom into your body.
    To avoid this, the stinger should be "scratched" out by using the back of a finger nail or a hive tool, going in the direction opposite the angle of insertion of the stinger. This way, you avoid touching the venom sack and quickly remove the stinger.
    It may seem awkward at first and against you instinctive behavior, but once you get the hang of it, it goes quickly and minimizes the burning, itching and swelling results of having been stung.
     
  2. Hog Wild

    Hog Wild New Member

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    Great Advice that truly lessens the blow.
     

  3. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    good post ef,
    quickly and i use my hive tool, and this can also be done if you are stung through a glove, scrape it off the glove, otherwise you will feel the effects when you mash that stinger in a finger or back of the hand :lol:
    (and yes, the girls will sting through a glove)
     
  4. bee stung

    bee stung New Member

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    never wear any thing when we work the hives ,, infact I take off my shirt ,,( the girls crawl under it and sting so I take it off )) I get stung about 6 times a year .. that's them stinging me ,, other wise I make them sting me ,, helps control my art .. so I don't rush taking it out
     
  5. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    Removing stinger;
    I generally when stung thru the years, have a full hive box in my hands, or brood frames, frames, lit smoker, or what ever else, plus generally a hive tool mixed in there also !

    Don't think I was ever fast enough to have made things right, and then get a stinger out real quick.

    Now my hive tool edge is usually covered with a combination of honey, wax, propolis, and also some dirt from were I've dropped on the ground a few times.

    Scrape a stinger out with my hive tool,, I dought it, it's is sticky enough though I might be able in time to pull it !

    Murrell
     
  6. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Your thesis is self-contradictory. The stinger mechanism is autonomous, digs deeper and pumps venom with time. Therefore the best course is to remove as quickly as possible before it digs deeper below surface tissue and simultaneously pumps venom. Because it has a pump, not a syringe, as you state how little more is actually injected by pressure on the venom sac?
    A medical student actually ran a bee sting study for their thesis. They determined that the alacrity of removal was more important than the method. Also, ice was the only physiologically effective treatment. The home remedies and commercial treatments were as effective as the placebos, except in the users' minds. Sting site and victims' feelings were both recorded.
    Most amazing, though not unexpected, was that college students would participate in the study just to make a couple bucks.
     
  7. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    america's beekeeper, not a thesis, not sure what you meant about 'self contradictory', was just sharing my own experience when i have worn gloves and the girls have stung them and didn't get the stingers and venom sacks out right away, and as i said, 'mashed them' into my skin within a short period of time, and received a reaction. as others mentioned, usually doing something else to get them out of right away.

    yes removal is the best method and solution as ef pointed out in the beginning of this thread. in my experience, it only reduces the reaction, there will still be some 'burning, swelling and itching' to a certain degree, beyond that, ice helps, benadryl helps, but we all react differently to stings, and we all 'suffer' in varying degrees of being stung, some more than others. not science or studies or 'feelings' from me over the years, just personal experience.