Sensitivity to Bee and Wasp Stings

Wasps and bees sting as a defence mechanism and do so to warn you off if you have disturbed them. Unless you have an allergic reaction, a sting is not harmful, just painful and itchy.

If you are allergic to wasp sting, you are unlikely to be allergic to bee sting as well.

When you are stung by an insect such as a wasp, the area around the sting will swell and go red and a raised mark (weal) will form. It will be quite painful and itchy and will last for approximately 48 hours.

If you have a localised allergic reaction to the sting, a larger area around the sting will swell up and the swelling will last longer but should go down in a few days. Symptoms will be more severe if you are stung many times by one or more insects. This is because of the amount of venom they have injected into your skin.

If you experience swelling or itching anywhere else on the body immediately after being stung, wheezing, headache, feeling sick, fast heart rate, feeling faint, difficulty swallowing, or a swollen face or mouth, you may need emergency treatment. Call 999 for an ambulance immediately as you may be having a generalised allergic reaction and this can be fatal.

Immunotherapy can be undertaken on patients with severe sensitivity to bee and wasp stings.

Allergy to bee and wasp stings