Om bi- og hvepsestik

Help! Not another season of bee stings! 
From early May until September worker wasps are busy helping out and don’t often go out of their way to bother us. Eventually, when the hive is complete, they no longer have any large projects to keep them occupied. With nothing else to do, they fly around looking for sweet things to eat. By late summer, they bother us immensely. 
Wasps and bees are everywhere, outside in the garden, on the beach, in the woods, and inside the house. Pastry shop windows are abuzz with hungry wasps. They quickly find their way into our food and drink. If you aren’t careful, you can easily be stung. Ouch – bee and wasp stings really smart! 

How many types of bees and wasps are there?Of the winged insects with venomous stingers, there are approximately 250 different types of bees in Denmark alone; 20 different types of bumblebees; and four to five thousand different types of wasps, of which six kinds of hornets as well as spider wasps and parasitic wasps have venomous stingers.

These winged insects bother and terrify children as well as adults. Approximately 500,000 people are stung by bees and wasps annually in Denmark. Roughly 10,000 of these individuals have an allergic reaction and need to seek medical help. On average, two people die each year from bee and wasp stings.



Bees and wasps are
simply defending themselves

Bees, wasps, and hornets use their stingers as part of their defense. When an insect stings, venom is pumped out of the stinger and through your skin. A bee or wasp sting is always unpleasant, and after a few minutes can lead to hours of swelling, redness, pain, and skin irritation. It can also cause itching for up to a week. Several stings, or a single sting for an allergy sufferer, can lead to dangerous conditions like anaphylactic shock with symptoms such as a swollen tongue, a decrease in blood pressure, respiratory problems, stomach pains, hives, vomiting, and diarrhea.  
Why do bee and wasp stings hurt? 
Bee venom contains a mixture of acidic fluids that contain histamine and melittin as well as enzymes that boost the effect of the venom. The venom increases blood circulation to the area of the sting and dissolves red blood cells, which causes pain and redness. Bees can attack in swarms that chase their victims, stinging them up to a half dozen times. Hornet venom, on the other hand, is alkaline and contains histamine, more than a bee’s sting, as well as serotonin, which is not found in bee venom. The venom is so strong that a hornet sting can be life-threatening for small children 4 or 5 years old.

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