Have you noticed a lot more aggressive bee’s buzzing around these days? And stinging more?  It’s not your imagination, it’s for real.

aggressive-bees-afc-urgent-care-new-britainLate summer into early fall is the height of “angry bee” season. Emerging from hibernation in early summer, bees and wasps usually max out their living space as fall is just beginning, and sometimes as early as summer’s end.

During this time, some species of stinging bees and wasps become more aggressive because they are preparing their queen for the winter, and are more protective near the hive. This aggravated behavior worsens as local food resources are depleted, and they grow hungry. And mean. A few happy bees are nice to have around as they pollinate flowers and plants, and kill some insects that harm the vegetables in your garden. BUT,  as their population reaches maximum capacity and food sources grow scarce, they will become more of a nuisance, sting more, and even try to enter your home. Ouch! 

Here at AFC Urgent Care New Britain we see many kids- and parents- coming in with painful and sore welts from stings, just as they are getting ready for the start of school.

For those who are allergic to bees however, we have a more serious situation- dangerous or even life threatening, so here is how to avoid getting stung, as best we can:

Preventing bee stings

  • Avoid brightly colored and flower print clothing to help keep bees away.
  • Avoid fragrances or cosmetics with floral scents.
  • Don’t walk barefoot in the grass, a field or a playground.
  • When at the park or playground, be careful with food and sweet drinks such as soda or juice. Bees and wasps will often fly into the can and sting the drinker when he or she takes a sip.what-to-do-if-your-child-is-stung-by-a-bee
  • Keep garbage in sealed cans. When out at a public park or playground, steer clear of open or full garbage bins
  • If there are bees around or on you, don’t run and don’t swat at them. Standing still will keep the bees calm and, most likely, they will fly away without causing harm.
  • Call a pest professional if you notice a hive or next on your property.

How do I know if my child is allergic to bee stings?

Allergies are often hereditary, so an allergic parent needs to be more cautious with her child, although children will often outgrow their allergy. If  your child is stung by a bee and a severe reaction occurs, an allergist should be seen as soon as possible. Future stings could result in reactions that are up to 60 percent worse than the first allergic reaction. Also, often a child can get stung 2 or 3 times before having an allergic reaction, so it’s important to be vigilant if there is family history of bee allergies.

If you suspect your child is allergic you may want to consider having them tested, but  not unless they have had a serious reaction as there are some drawbacks:

A) It is often a lengthy, uncomfortable process

B) with both types of allergy tests used, the results are iffy. The RAST test is a blood test, -the simplest, but which only  has about a 20 percent false-negative, false-positive result ratio.

The other, more sensitive, test is a scratch test on the skin that is performed with purified, freeze-dried venom. It can alert the patient and doctor to the severity of the allergy, while a blood test will only point to the fact that an allergy exists. Luckily, only about 20 percent of patients with positive skin test results will later experience severe allergic reactions.

What does an allergic reaction to a bee sting look like?

If your child reacts with the following symptoms they are probably suffering an allergic reaction to bees. A severe allergic reaction can cause the following,  anaphylactic  reactions:

  • throat starts to close up
  • severe hives and or itching
  • high fever
  • headache
  • difficulty breathing
  • racing heart
  • face or mouth swelling
  • feeling faint

What steps do I take if my allergic child gets stung by a bee?

  • Your child, (and you), should always carry a bee sting kit that includes a bronchodilator epinephrine shot (Epipen) or inhaler, which will dilate the airways and allow your child to breathe.
  • call 911 and bring them in to be treated as soon as possible. We can treat them right here or at any of our AFC urgent care centers.

Have you or a loved one been stung by a bee or have more questions? We’re here for you. Come in, no appointment needed, 7 days a week, or call us at (860)357-6899