Where is the bee sting
Bees, like some other hymenopteran insects, are equipped with a special body for self-defense - a sting that injects toxic toxins under the skin of the enemy. What are the features of the structure of a bee sting, and what to do with a bee sting to a person - further in the article.
Bee sting: appearance, location
The bee sting is a special organ, in fact, being a modified ovipositor. That is why it is completely absent from drones. It is possible to consider the structural features of an organ exclusively through a microscope. It has a complex structure, resembling a sharp long needle with a very thin base. Small nicks are clearly visible on both sides, with sharp tips pointing towards the base. It should be noted that in worker bees the number of such notches is 10 units, in the uterus - only 4.
Did you know? After a fight with wasps or beetles, the bees remain alive, as the notches of the stylet do not get stuck in the chitin-type integument.
A bee sting includes several basic elements:
- three chitinous parts with plates;
- middle part: represented by a sled widened in front and narrowed at the back;
- stylet: it consists of two lancets-needles, which are located in the bottom of the slide. During the bite, the stylet breaks and releases the needle.
Moreover, each of the elements has its own unique purpose. The stylet allows you to pierce the skin. In the middle of the slide is a poisonous gland consisting of a bladder and a filamentous type of lobe. A toxic substance is formed in the bladder reservoir, which is injected under the skin. A bee sting is located on the tip of the abdomen of the insect.
Functions of a sting and features of a bee venom
The main function of the bee sting is to protect the swarm and its dwelling by introducing toxic substances into the body of the alleged enemy. From the very beginning of evolution, bees did not have such an organ, but over time, the ovipositor in 11-12 segments of the abdomen was transformed into a sting and turned into a self-defense organ.
Find out what the benefits of an organism from a bee sting.
Potential danger to insects can be:
- alien bee families;
- animals - bears, hedgehogs, rodents (in particular, rats and mice);
Scientists who studied the composition of bee venom found in it a huge range of valuable components, in particular:
- melitin - the basis of the poison, which is a protein substance or peptide that has the ability to destroy bacteria;
- 13 amino acids and various compounds.
The work of the gland responsible for producing the poison will depend on the age of the insect. In a young bee, the amount of toxic substance is minimal. But a week after the insect was born, the tank with poison is completely filled. The maximum amount of substance is accumulated on the 15th day. Especially good with the function of protecting the hive are the “older” insects that have reached the age of 19 days.
Did you know? The mass of the average bee swarm can be about 8 kg.
Bee sting process
The defeat of the enemy with a sting occurs in several stages:
- Contact with skin . At the first stage, the insect seeks contact with the skin of the enemy and sits on it. The device responsible for the bite is located in the camera case, which is not visible while the bee is in a calm state. In preparation for stinging, the abdominal muscles begin to act on the camera, which lift it up. In this case, the abdomen moves and, thus, directs the needle towards the outlet. The tip begins to peek out of the gap.
- Stinging . As noted, the sting has several notches that are directed back, like a fishing hook. They penetrate perfectly into the skin, but interfere with the return of the needle. That is why when an insect drives a weapon a third of its length, it can no longer pull it out. When a bee tries to take off, the needle breaks off from the body. In the process of pulling the sting, the notches tightly dig into the integument and the insect has to pull out the tip, thereby losing part of the internal organs and the last ganglion of the nerve chain.
- The action of toxic substances . Although the insect leaves its prey and flies away, the thrusting sting continues to act actively and secrete poisons. In this process, the release of toxins lasts from 20 to 30 minutes, during which the needle penetrates deeper and deeper into the skin.
Important! The longer the sting is located in the body, the stronger the action of the toxic substance. Therefore, it is very important to pull it out as soon as possible.
Do all bees sting
In fact, not all bees sting. As already noted, due to their physiological structure, male drones cannot sting. Their main function is to fertilize the uterus, so they do not need to protect the swarm. In addition, stingy, frightened by smoke and swarming insects are not capable of stinging. In the wild, there is an unusual variety of bees in which the stinging organ is not developed - melipons. Such insects bite the victim with their jaws.
Wild bee sting
Wild bees practically do not differ from domestic ones, however, they have a more aggressive character, which was formed due to the presence of insects in the wild, where they often have to defend themselves. Quite often wild individuals attack without warning and for no apparent reason, therefore they are considered more dangerous than domestic ones.
By their liking, domestic bees are less aggressive and attack only in the event of a real threat. A single bite does not pose a great danger to a person and, when carrying out special therapeutic measures, quickly passes without consequences. Health risks may occur when several individuals sting at the same time.
Did you know? Beekeepers, who are often subjected to bee stings, practically do not respond to stinging, as they develop temporary immunity to a toxic substance. If the sting process occurs systematically, then a person can safely transfer up to 15 bites at a time.
It should be noted that a bee is not able to sting if its goiter is clogged with honey during honey collection. For this reason, when approaching the hive, beekeepers smoke it. Such events serve as a signal for pets to collect sweet treats.
First aid for bee sting
Typically, a bee sting does not pose a serious danger to human life, since the amount of toxic substance entering the body is small and amounts to only 0.1-0.3 mg. However, when stung by several dozens of individuals, the level of poison can reach 0.25 mg, which is fatal. In addition, on the human body there are several zones in which the bite is especially dangerous: the area of the mouth, eyes, neck.
In this case, death occurs not so much from a bite, but from asphyxiation caused by swelling of the neck or tongue. Experts advise removing the sting from the wound as quickly as possible, otherwise the person will experience severe burning and pain discomfort, and severe swelling may form at the sting site.
No signs of allergies
If the person whom the bee stung is not characterized by an increased tendency to allergic reactions, then most likely even after contact with the insect allergies will not follow. In the absence of allergy, only a small edema will appear at the site of the bite, not severe itching and redness.
As the first medical aid used:
- soda solution;
- ice packs;
- allergy remedies;
- drugs for pain relief.
The action algorithm after stinging is reduced to the following steps:
- Remove the sting. To do this, use your own nail, which gently grab the gun and seize. Do not use tweezers or squeeze a sting, as even more toxic substance can get into the wound.
- Washed the wound . After removing the needle, the bite site is washed with plenty of ordinary cool water using laundry soap.
- Take antihistamines . Even if allergic reactions from the human body are not observed, antihistamines are used, for example, Citrine, Fenistil, Suprastin, Erius.
- They make decongestant compresses . A napkin dipped in a soda solution (250 ml of water 1 tsp soda) is applied to the wound, which helps to reduce redness, relieve swelling and relieve itching.
- They take painkillers . With severe pain and discomfort, special medications are used that reduce pain: "Ibuprofen", "Aspirin".
By itself, a bee sting is not fatal to humans, however, if the latter has serious allergic reactions, then everything can end very badly.
Important! In some cases, stinging a bee can cause serious negative consequences in the form of Quincke's edema and anaphylactic shock, which, without prompt qualified assistance, can be fatal.
Recognizing an allergy after a bite is easy by the following symptoms:
- severe swelling;
- labored breathing;
- a feeling of heaviness in the chest area;
- general weakness and loss of strength;
- increase in body temperature
- the appearance of itchy urticaria throughout the body;
- joint pain or lower back zone;
- loss of consciousness.
If you have at least one of the above symptoms, you should immediately call an ambulance.
Prior to the arrival of doctors it is necessary:
- release the victim from tight clothing in the neck, chest: unfasten the collar or shirt, remove the tie;
- to lay a person and cover him with a warm blanket, heating pads, etc .;
- give a few drops of any drug for the heart - "Corvaluation", "Cordiamin";
- if nosebleeds or vomiting occurs, put the person on his side;
- if possible, lower the sting site below the level of the heart so that the toxic substance travels through the blood at a slow pace.
After the provision of qualified medical care, swelling on the face can persist for seven days, on the body - up to five days.
Did you know? The average bee family in one day is able to collect about 10 kg of nectar.
Bee sting prevention
The best treatment for bee stings is their prevention. It is especially important to ensure maximum safety for people prone to allergies.
The following professional measures will help protect against insect attack:
- if necessary, contact with bees - use a special suit or clothes with sleeves;
- when working in an apiary or outings, do not use perfumes or perfumes, since they attract insects;
- Do not get close to the hives or nests of wasps, wild bees without a special suit;
- in the presence of nests located near residential buildings, call a special service that will eliminate the danger.
Life expectancy of a bee after a bite
Unfortunately, stinging a human bee has fatal consequences for it. Due to the elasticity of the human skin, it is impossible to pull out the sting. If a bee stings an insect that has a chitinous cover, it does not die, as it has the ability to freely pull out its weapons.
Also read about how much a bee lives.
Who has a sting besides a bee
Other insects and animals, in particular, wasps, ants, scorpions, snakes, also have a stinging organ. The table shows the distinctive characteristics of the stings of various living organisms.
|Insect or animal||Features of the structure of the sting, its action|
|Bee||1. The sting has a sawtooth shape with small notches, which are visualized only under a microscope.|
2. When bitten, a bee tool gets stuck in the skin, and when it is pulled out, the insect loses part of its internal organs, due to which it dies after several hours.
|Ants||1. The stinging organ has a smooth surface, without nicks, so it does not get stuck in the skin of the victim.|
2. Ants can use the sting repeatedly.
|Scorpio||1. The sting organ, which contains the poisonous gland, is located at the end of the tail.|
2. When bitten by a scorpion animal, it dies. A person develops severe inflammation, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and death, if proper care is not given.
|Snakes||1. Poisonous teeth act as a stinging organ in reptiles, with which they pierce the skin of the victim.|
|Intestinal (jellyfish, coral)||1. These individuals sting through stinging cells on the surface of the body.|
Comparing the bee sting with similar organs of other living individuals, one can note its unique structure - the presence of pointed hollow hairs located on the burning glands, which has an effect after a bite, as after contact with stinging nettles.
Comparison of the sting process in bees and wasps
Bites of bees and wasps are characterized by high soreness, discomfort, itching, possible development of swelling, and can cause serious troubles to a person.
Meanwhile, the bites of the described insects have big differences, which are associated with the chemical composition of the toxic substance:
- wasp venom is distinguished by the presence of alkalis, to neutralize which it is enough to wipe the lesion with vinegar;
- bee venom has a high content of acids, the effect of which can be leveled by means of a soap solution or alcohol.
Did you know? A working bee with a load is capable of speeds up to 65 km / h.
At the same time, the external signs of a wasp and bee sting are almost identical:
- a swelling is formed, the size of which will depend on the individual reaction of the human body;
- the area in which the toxin spreads appears red.
It should also be noted structural features of stinging organs. The wasp sting has a smooth structure, without nicks, so it can be used by insects repeatedly; while the wasp remains alive. Individuals bite in different ways: the wasp is more aggressive and can attack for no reason, just wave its hands near it. Bees sting only if necessary to protect their hive. A bee sting is a unique organ that serves as an insect protective tool in case of danger.
Read more about what to do with a bee sting.
Bees are quite peaceful insects that, unlike wasps, bite only in exceptional cases. To avoid stinging, experts recommend avoiding the hives, being careful and not provoking insects once again. When a bite occurs, the necessary measures should be taken immediately and be sure to use qualified medical help.