Simply make a paste using Baking Soda and water and place it on the sting.
(According to Wikipedia, Yellow Jackets are actually wasps and not bees.)
Two summers ago while I was outside on my deck, I got stung by a wasp for the very first time after accidentally placing my hand on it. The pain was intense. I noticed right away that it was Yellow Jacket as it fell to the floor and crawled away (until I smashed it).
In pain, I ran into the house and quickly made my baking soda and water concoction and rubbed it on my wrist. I looked at my watch to see how long it would take for the pain to go away.
The pain was gone in ten seconds. I couldn’t believe how well and fast it worked.
They now sell at your local pharmacy or drug store After Bite sting relief. The main ingredient: Baking soda. I bought one since I don’t usually carry around a box of baking soda.
Some important facts:
- Yellow Jackets have straight stingers and can sting repeatedly whereas Honey bees have barbed stingers and can only sting their victim once.
- Before treating a Honey bee sting make sure to remove the embedded stinger. Do not pull out the stinger either with your fingers or tweezers as this will cause more venom to be squeezed from the stinger sac into the sting. Rather, knock out the stinger by scraping the surface of the skin at a 45 degree angle with a credit card.
- Honey bee venom is also acidic and can be treated by applying a baking soda paste as well.
-Update July 18, 2007-
For futher reading on treating bee/wasp stings check out this Wiki page: Bee Sting
The page discusses the various treatments for stings and mentions that these remedies have not been proven to be effective in scientific studies. This Wiki page cites this article published in the Journal of Toxicology.
-Update July 29, 2007-
If baking soda doesn’t work for treating the pain of the sting try either lemon juice or vinegar. This update is a result of one of the comments below from Robin.
July 29th, 2007 at 12:21 am
Actualy i just got stung by a yellow jacket. Vinegar worked- baking soda didn’t. So it seems yellow jackets conform to other wasps – alkaline venom.
My response was as follows:
I am absolutely sure the sting was from a yellow jacket. I first tried lemon juice but it had no effect. The baking soda worked.
Here is an interesting article I found that discusses the ingredients of both Bee and Wasp stings and respective treatments: Are wasp and bee stings alkali or acid?
It seems that they contain more stuff than just acid and alkali which might explain why we both had different results.
Upon further research, it seems that Yellow Jacket venom is indeed alkaline and not acidic. However, many websites recommend baking soda for treatment.
In fact, as I mentioned in the post, the product After Sting which is designed to treat both Bee and Wasp stings has Baking Soda as the main ingredient.
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