Take the Sting Off of Bee Stings with These Remedies

Updated on November 20th, 2019
How To Treat Bee Stings

Bee stings are notoriously painful and can result in painful swelling. Bee bites are painful because bees release the stinger into the skin and die in the process. However, this applies only in the case of honeybees. As wasps and similar species do not lose their stinger, they don’t die. The stinger releases venomous toxins in the body that causes pain and other symptoms.

For most individuals, this is no cause for concern. It is simply a site of swelling, redness, pain, itching, and warmth. However, for those who are allergic to bees or individuals who have been stung by multiple bees, bee stings can be problematic. In fact, it can even turn fatal!

If you are looking for tips on how to treat bee stings, then read on to know more!

Naturopathic Remedies for Bee Stings

What Is Bee Venom?

The toxic compound that the bee releases through its stinger is called ‘Bee Venom. ’ It is a colorless and acidic liquid compound composed of enzymes, minerals, amino acids, and sugars. It possesses anti-inflammatory and inflammatory agents.

About 50% of the dry weight of bee’s venom is composed of Melittin(1), a complex chemical containing 26 amino acids. It possesses antiviral, anticancer, and antibacterial properties. It is responsible for causing the painful sensation when the bee stings.

In addition to Melittin, bee’s venom also contains phospholipase A2, which is an enzyme that triggers major allergic reactions. It is capable of causing inflammation and cell damage.

Did You Know!

Phospholipase A2 also possesses anti-inflammatory and immunoprotective qualities!

Effects of Bee Stings

The body’s bee sting reaction is usually mild, and quite often, the body deals with toxins(2). A bee sting could display the following symptoms:

  • Swelling.
  • Redness and tenderness.
  • Pain around the site.
  • Heat in and around the site of the sting.
  • Itchiness.
  • Tingling sensation.
  • Numbness.

A strong reaction to allergens is called anaphylactic shock, and it can be life-threatening. Those severely allergic to bee stings could display the following symptoms:

  • Paleness.
  • Hives.
  • Severe itching.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Swelling of the tongue and throat.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Rapid pulse.
  • Dizziness.

If you display signs of an oncoming anaphylactic shock as cited above, then see a medical professional immediately.

Anaphylaxis occurs in about 5% of Americans, and about 40 people die due to insect sting reactions every year!

How To Treat Bee Stings

If you have been stung by a bee, the immediate first aid is to remove the stinger. Removal of the stinger curbs the amount of bee venom released into the body. Make use of the edge of a credit card or your fingernails to remove the stinger immediately.

Male bees cannot sting! However, female bees only sting when they are threatened or provoked.

Next, wash the area with soap and water. Ice the affected area to reduce swelling and to prevent the absorption of toxins by the skin. Follow this with natural remedies for bee sting relief.

CURE 1: Essential oils for bee stings

Essential oils provide a host of benefits and have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antibacterial properties. You can topically apply these essential oils for bee stings.

1. Tea Tree Oil

tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a well-known natural remedy for a variety of health issues and skin conditions.

Why Does it Work?

Tea tree oil possesses medicinal and anti-inflammatory(3) properties, which can alleviate the pain and bring down the swelling. It is also a potent antiseptic, which will cleanse the site.

Materials Required
  • Two drops of tea tree oil.
  • A teaspoon of coconut oil (or any other carrier oil).
  1. Mix the carrier oil with the essential oil to make an oil blend.
  2. Apply the blend to the site of the sting.


Apply the oil at least twice a day.

Tea tree oil also has insect repelling properties.

2. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil offers a host of benefits to the skin and hair. It is one of the most popular fragrances used in aromatherapy.

Why Does it Work?

Lavender oil contains anti-inflammatory compounds, which help reduce the swelling.

Materials Required
  • Two to three drops of lavender oil.
  • A teaspoon of coconut oil.
  1. Mix the carrier and essential oils together.
  2. Apply it to the site and leave it on.


Do this 2-3 times a day.

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CURE 2: Home remedies for bee stings

Here are a few items that you can apply topically to the affected area in order to relieve the swelling and the pain.

1. Baking soda paste for bee stings

Baking soda is one of the oldest and most reliable home remedies for treating insect bites and stings. Thus, baking soda paste for bee stings should be your go-to natural remedy.

Why Does it Work?

The alkaline nature of sodium bicarbonate(4) (Baking Soda) counters the acidity of the venom and relieves the itchiness and inflammation present in the affected area.

Materials Required
  • A teaspoon of baking soda.
  • Three teaspoons of water.
  • Cotton balls.
  1. Mix the baking soda and water to make a paste.
  2. Dip the cotton ball in the paste and dab it over the affected portion.
  3. Allow it to dry completely and leave it on the site.


Apply this paste 2-3 times daily.

The baking powder that we use today had been discovered by Alfred Bird in the year 1843!

2. Aloe Vera Gel

aloe vera gel for face

The frond of aloe vera leaf contains a viscous gel, which can greatly benefit the skin.

Why Does it Work?

Aloe vera gel possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which help in relieving the pain, inflammation, and swelling that accompany a bee sting.

Materials Required
  • A leaf of aloe vera plant.
  • Cotton swabs.
  1. Extract aloe vera gel by squeezing it out from the aloe vera leaf.
  2. Apply the freshly extracted aloe vera gel on the affected portion using the cotton swabs.
  3. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and then rinse it off.


Apply this gel 2-3 times a day.

3. Honey

It’s rather ironic that you would use the bee’s saliva to cure the bee’s sting. But well, that’s how nature works!

Why Does it Work?

Honey contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agents(5), which can help with the pain and itching. Further, the antioxidants present in honey boost the wound healing capacity of the body.

Materials Required
  • Raw, organic honey.
  1. Apply a small amount of honey to the affected area.
  2. Leave it on for about an hour.
  3. Rinse it off with cool water.


Apply honey 2-3 times in a day.

Honey is extremely potent in treating allergies!

4. Turmeric Paste

Applying turmeric paste to boost wound healing has been an age-old practice in Ayurveda.

Why Does it Work?

Turmeric contains active compounds called curcumin, which by virtue of its anti-inflammatory properties, can bring down the swelling and relieve the other symptoms caused by the bee’s sting.

Materials Required
  • A teaspoon of turmeric powder.
  • A few drops of water.
  1. Mix the turmeric powder and water to form a thick paste.
  2. Apply the paste over the affected area and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse it off.


Apply the turmeric paste at least twice a day.

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CURE 3: Natural Treatments

Following are some highly effective home remedies for bee stings

1. Calendula Cream

Calendula Cream

Calendula is an antiseptic cream that is used to treat minor cuts and wounds.

Why Does it Work?

As Calendula cream is antiseptic, it can prevent infection or invasion of pathogens. Further, it is highly effective in relieving the itchiness and helping the body heal.

Materials Required
  • Calendula cream
  • Clean bandages
  1. Apply the Calendula cream to the sting site
  2. Cover it with bandages and let it sit for a while


Apply the cream once a day to gain relief from the bee sting

2. Apple Cider Vinegar Compress

You can make use of apple cider vinegar for bee stings. Learn how!

Why Does it Work?

The anti-inflammatory property of apple cider vinegar soothes the swelling while the antimicrobial agents prevent any further infection of the site.

Materials Required
  • A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
  • A tablespoon of water.
  • Cotton ball.
  1. Combine the apple cider vinegar and water.
  2. Dip the cotton ball in the diluted mixture.
  3. Dab the cotton ball over the affected region and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Wash it off with cool water.


Clean the sting area with apple cider vinegar 2-3 times a day.

When Should You See a Doctor?

Normally, a bee sting can be easily treated at home. However, if you have been stung by a couple of bees or have a history of breathing or heart problems, then you may consider visiting a doctor. Further, if you show any of the following symptoms, you could possibly be going in anaphylaxis:

  • Vertigo (Spinning feeling).
  • Muscular cramps, spasms, or convulsions.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Dizziness or fainting.
  • Fever

If you exhibit any of these symptoms, you must see a doctor immediately.

Bee sting, accompanied by swelling, pain, redness, and a sharp burning sensation, can be easily treated at home. In fact, the pain and irritation will wear off in a couple of hours. However, some individuals may react strongly to a bee’s venom, and the symptoms may persist longer. Regardless, trying out the natural remedies given above will offer you significant relief and comfort.

Let’s conclude with a vital tip: move away from the area immediately after a bee stings you. This is crucial as bees release a chemical, which attracts other bees when it stings. And thus, moving to a safer space is important to prevent being stung further.


Below are some of the frequently asked questions in respect of bee stings.

1. What to do for bee stings?

When you have been stung by a bee, you need to remove the stinger and clean the area with soap and cold water. Apply an ice pack to control the swelling. Additionally, try out the home remedies listed above to recover immediately.

2. How to remove a bee stinger?

If the stinger is still logged into your skin, scrape over it with your fingernail. You could also make use of the flat edge of a credit card or a blunt knife to scrape off the stinger.

NOTE: It is strongly advised that you should NOT squeeze the stung area as it will release more venom inside your skin. Thus avoid items like tweezers to remove the stinger.

3. How long does a bee sting stay swollen?

Depending on the intensity of the swelling, a bee sting could leave behind swelling that lasts from a couple of hours to 5 to 10 day.

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