First Bee Sting of the Season.

Well, today I managed to get a bee sting, and I wasn’t even poking through the hives.  I had just gone down to the YMCA to work out (I ran and did some leg exercises on the machines).  Marg and I walked back home, she went inside, and I went down to our hives to see what they were up to.  I was there about two minutes when a bee started digging through my hair, buzzing around my head and face while headbutting me.  When bees do this I like to slowly move away from the hives and keep my head down, and I resist the urge to swat at the accosting bee.  She followed me away from the hive, I got about half-way to the house, and Margaret was coming out the front door.  I said to Marg, “I think I’m gonna get stung here!”

I felt the bee land on my forearm, where she clamped down with her mandibles and arched her stinger into my skin.  “Yep she’s stinging me.”

“Damn that hurts.”

As the bee struggled to extract herself from my forearm, I paused to watch her twist clockwise, and counter-clockwise, and then scraped the pointer fingernail of my right hand down towards her abdomen.  This dislodged her, and she began buzzing around my head again; while the stinger (oddly enough) landed on my cuticle and stuck there, but there was still a piece of it left in my forearm.

The Whorl right after the sting.
The Whorl is gone after about an hour.
The sting itself.

I iced the sting site, and tried to remove the small piece of stinger with a pair of tweezers to no avail.  Marg got me some hydrocortizone cream, and some benadryl.

I took a picture of the sting about ten minutes after it was placed, and one an hour afterward.  After an hour the white whorl had disappeard and turned into a red hot swollen area about two inches in diameter.  The benadryl and endogenous antihistamines are making me a little groggy as I write this post, so I took a short nap in the middle of writing it.

Here’s a video of a wasp and honey bee sting (I, personally, don’t find the experience to be as auspicious or, perhaps, psychedelic as the music in this video suggests).  But it’s got great macro shots of the honey bee venom sack pumping it’s toxins into human skin (if you are interested).