With the warmer weather invading the northern hemisphere comes a different invasion: insects that sting. It is true. Bees and wasps have been spotted flying around the house. Usually, if one follows the old rule of ignore the creature and it will ignore you, humans and stinging insects can get along. However, things happen and every now and then people get stung.
For most of us, a sting is painful but eventually will heal on its own. Anyone who has a reaction or cannot breathe following a sting should seek immediate medical assistance.
The first thing to do following a sting is to remain calm. Too much movement will excite other insects in the area.
The second is to remove the stinger and the venom sack if it is intact. If the sting is on a limb, leave the limb lower than the heart to keep the venom from spreading.
Next, put an ice pack on the site for 15-20 minutes, rest for the same and repeat for a few hours.
At this point, to help relieve the pain, swelling, itching, etc., any number of topical anti-histamines, cortisone creams, calamine lotions, aloe, witch hazel, and even one suggestion of lavender oil, will be beneficial.
Be sure to keep the area clean and keep an eye out for any sort of reaction that needs medical attention.
Of course, the best way to avoid stings is to avoid the insects that sting themselves. During spring and summer, it is advisable to not walk barefoot in the grass where flowering clover, ground ivy, dandelions, and other weeds attract bees for pollination. Also, be careful of patches of bare ground where larger than ant hill sized holes are present. Some varieties of wasps make their hives underground. Naturally, if a hive is seen above ground, take all precautions around it.
For honey bee hives, if one needs to be removed, most states will be willing to send conservation teams to collect it and the bees. Bees are making a recovery, but are not out of the woods yet.