Bee-ing Safe

by Sam Samalin, PA-C

Brush control and tree maintenance is starting to bring in patients to our clinic with bee stings. Bees create hives in areas that allow them access to water and to be safe from the elements. That means that you can accidently knock a bee hive off a tree branch when you are trimming and cause the angry bees to swarm. If that happens, protect your eyes and keep your mouth closed so that the bees can’t get in.

If you disturb a hive, there is a good chance that you will be stung. Treat all stings immediately by removing the stinger(s) as quickly as possible and cleaning the wound. Immediately or as soon as possible, apply ice or some kind of frozen package (like peas or corn) to the area. That will numb the pain and slow blood flow to the site which will reduce swelling.

You can also apply a crushed garlic paste to the wound and cover with a moist rag for 20-30 minutes.

A simple home remedy is a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Put this on the wound for about 30 minutes. The baking soda mixture will neutralize the acid found in a common bee sting and it too will reduce the swelling.

Another method is to put common toothpaste on the sting. This will also reduce the pain and the swelling of the area. Put it on for about 20 minutes or until the pain subsides.

After or during the time you have applied any of these remedies, please come in to our clinic so that we can better evaluate your condition. We will give you an over-thecounter medication to stop any infection.

If you know you are allergic to bee stings, use an epinephrine shot (Auvi-Q or Epi-Pen). Always carry one with you when doing brush or tree clearance. Better yet, always have two on hand. Use the epinephrine auto-injector if you have any symptoms of anaphylaxis. Even if it turns out to be something else, using the medicine as a precaution won’t harm you. Then call 911 or come to the clinic immediately.

But the best advice is: next time call Aper’s Tree & Brush Clearance at (818) 232-1177!

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