We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction to a Bee Sting?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An allergic reaction to a bee sting can cause localized swelling and redness in mild cases, or a more serious condition called anaphylaxis, where patients have difficulty breathing and experience significant complications. Patients who notice signs of an allergy after being stung can discuss it with a doctor to determine if treatments are available or recommended. In the case of anaphylaxis, the patient may need immediate medical treatment to survive, and could be at risk of future incidents as well.

Bee stings can be unpleasant for everyone, but for approximately 10% of the population, they can cause what is known as a large local allergic reaction. The area around the sting can become extremely puffy and tender, with localized redness. This type of allergic reaction to a bee sting can cause discomfort, but is not life threatening. Patients who are not sure about whether a bee sting reaction is normal or evidence of a large local reaction can ask for a medical evaluation.

In an even smaller percentage of the population, a systemic reaction can occur after a bee sting. These patients can develop hives and other skin problems across their bodies, along with severe swelling of the mouth and throat. The airways can close, causing difficulty breathing, and the pulse may become fast and shallow. Some patients lose consciousness, while others may experience nausea and dizziness.

This allergic reaction to a bee sting is very serious. If the airways close entirely, the patient can die as a result of oxygen deprivation. To prevent future episodes of anaphylaxis, a doctor may recommend immunotherapy to decrease the intensity of reactions in the future. In addition, the patient may need to carry epinephrine for injection. Patients can quickly take the medication after a sting to keep the airways open long enough for medical support to arrive.

Not everyone who experiences anaphylaxis will develop it again with a second sting. It can be hard to predict whether an allergic reaction to a bee sting will recur. For this reason, a doctor may err on the side of caution when it comes to handling such patients. Treating them as though they are at risk of serious medical complications can cover all eventualities. People who know they may develop anaphylaxis may want to make friends, coworkers, and teachers aware so they know how to give first aid and get help in the event of a sting.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.