Despite the differences between bee and wasp venom, symptoms of their stings are similar and can be treated in a similar way. A bee will sting only once, a wasp often stings multiple times. A bee also leaves its sting behind, embedded in the skin of the patient.

Bee and wasp stings may result in anaphylaxis, which is a serious life-threatening condition that must be treated swiftly. Do not hesitate to act!

Bee and Wasp Stings

First Aid Techniques

Although bee and wasp stings do not normally cause serious symptoms, anaphylaxis can be a life-threatening condition that must be treated swiftly. If the patient has a history of anaphylaxis and carries an Epinephrine auto-injector then ask the patient to administer it on themselves.

  • Move the patient away from the area (hive or nest).
  • Determine if the patient is allergic to bee stings.
  • Scrape the bee sting off the skin using a sharp edged object such as a knife or bank card.
  • Contact security and inform them of the situation.
  • Administer Epinephrine (Epipen) immediately if appropriate.
  • Transport the patient to professional medical assistance.
  • Closely monitor for further signs of anaphylaxis.

For assistance with spider bites, contact the Poison Information Helpline on +27(0)21 931-6129


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