If you can see the stinger, flick it off with a credit card or
table knife. Do not pinch or remove with tweezers. (Diagram 13)
Put an ice pack on the sting to help with pain and stop the spread of the venom.
For red and itchy areas, use ½% or 1% hydrocortisone cream or
If the area becomes very swollen, try to keep the area raised above
the heart. If swelling and itching continue, take an
over-the-counter antihistamine medication, like diphenhydramine
For pain, take ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®, etc.) or acetaminophen (Tylenol®, etc.).
Serious Bee Sting Reactions, Anaphylaxis, and EpiPen® Use
If you continue to have itching, swelling, or pain from the sting,
call your doctor.
For difficulty or noisy breathing, swelling around the mouth,
throat, and neck, or full body hives (welts), or shock
(anaphylaxis), call 911.
Take off any tight clothing and jewelry and tilt the head backward
to help with breathing. If available, give an epinephrine shot
(EpiPen®) and prepare to do CPR, if necessary. (See CPR.)
To give a shot of epinephrine use an EpiPen® for a person weighing
more than 66 pounds or EpiPen Jr® for a person weighing 33 to 66
pounds, take off the cap and push the pen tip firmly against the
outer thigh. (Diagram 14)
Hold the tip in place for a few seconds.
To save time, the pen can be pressed against clothing (for example, jeans).