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Author Topic: First Bee Sting  (Read 2211 times)
wettsun21
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« on: October 24, 2013, 03:25:53 PM »

Aloha fellow bee buffs,

I got my first sting the other day due to my own stupidity (but we won;t go there). Anyway, I got stung on my inner left ankle, and it is slightly swollen, red and very itchy. Plus the area has hardened up. I'm not too concerned, but I have noticed that it shows no signs of letting up, and the affected area seems to be getting bigger. I feel fine other than that and I have been stung before by wasps and hornets so I know I am not allergic. Just curious what experience ya'll have had.

Thanks!
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danno
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 03:51:07 PM »

Its all part of the fun.     It gets even more fun when one get in your veil and tags you between the eyes.   I get at least 100 a year and they will always hurt but reactions to them have become next to nothing
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rwlaw
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 04:15:05 PM »

I hate it when I get tagged in the nose, you can actually smell the venom. grin
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RHBee
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 05:32:40 PM »

Congrats on #1. Hurts good. Wait till you have one go up your pants.
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Later,
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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 05:42:23 PM »

i find those close to bone are worst for me.  to late for benadryl to help, but keep it in mind for next time in case you end up swelling a lot.

 now, ice for the swelling and something topical for the inevitable itching.  my preference is extra strength Vagisil because it's strong enough and relatively inexpensive.  be sure to get the xtra strength.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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danno
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2013, 05:53:48 PM »

Get yourself a bottle of  Benadryl spray and give yourself alittle spray  as soon as possible.   
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mdax
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Re:
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2013, 06:17:53 PM »

I keep a tube of stop the sting in my pocket and apply right after getting the stinger out.
For me it makes a big difference in swelling/recovery.
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capt44
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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2013, 10:27:19 PM »

When you get stung you can put a dab of household ammonia on it.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
OldMech
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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2013, 10:45:52 PM »


   I "used" to wear shorts...  checked hives often in shorts... it only took ONE incident to convince me it wasnt a good idea... Bent over to pick a cover off the ground and WEEEEHAAAAA!!!!!!!!   Naturally.. the wife was watching..(she claims I screamed like a girl and that she could see my knees over the top of the hive I was behind I jumped so high....) I think its my lot in life to amuse her.
   I am glad I dont have much of a reaction to stings...  a VERY small bit of swelling thats gone by the next day... I have found the hard way, that it takes in excess of 40 stings to make me sick.. fortunately that doesnt happen often.  The one time it did...   I felt fine until about 3 AM.. woke sweating, felt nauseous...   went in bathroom.... threw up.. felt better, went back to bed.. and felt fine when I woke up. Hopefully I never have to experience that again...   Wisdom gained from making mistakes that get you stung tends to stick with you.   Kinda like peeing on an electric fence...   GUARANTEED not to happen twice!!!
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
T Beek
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« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2013, 06:38:11 AM »

IMHO;  I think stings are probably good for us, unless severely allergic.  They teach us to become better BEEKS. 

First stings are the worst, but it should get better with each one experienced.   Something to look forward to  cool

That said, I am rarely stung anymore these days.  Only ONE last year (my personal best sting year), maybe 3-4 this year....all on my sandaled feet during the early clover flow on the same day...same foot......ouch. 

I 'usually' wear just a veil when visiting my bee yard........shorts, sandals, T-shirt, no gloves unless digging to bottom.  My bees are special cool
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"Trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it."
SerenityApiaries
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« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2013, 01:20:35 AM »

The sting in the nose is definitely a unique experience, especially the smell. Up the pants is most unpleasant shocked
As said above there are several different remedies to the sting. Sadly everyone's body reacts differently to the sting and sometimes several factors are in play; location of the sting on the body, amount of venom pumped in or number of stings, etc. Additionally people can become more sensitive as time passes. I have heard of beeks that have been stung a number of times with no problem until one day they swell like a balloon and their health care provider prescribes them an epi pen and says no more beekeeping. Then there are others who can run naked through a hive with little to show from their stings but little irritations. There are several natural remedies to reduce swelling and other effects , you just have to find the one that works best for you.
Happy beekeeping.



Check out West Coast Beekeepers on FB
https://www.facebook.com/groups/530750380306969/
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Check out West Coast Beekeepers on FB. A great place for Beekeepers along the west coast of America. All are welcome.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/westcoastbeekeepers
nella
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« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2013, 07:39:35 AM »

 Kinda like peeing on an electric fence...   GUARANTEED not to happen twice!!!

Boy, OldMech, I am with you on that one, it shuts the spigot off real fast! I have that memory for about the last 67 yrs., They say corporal punishment doesn't work, well I never did that again.
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Oblio13
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« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2013, 08:00:10 AM »

I can't really say I've just gotten used to honeybee stings, but I can say that every time I get one, I relearn that it's really not a big deal. A momentary burn like when a matchhead sticks to your finger, then a couple days of itching.

Now wasps, on the other hand, make me behave like a little Japanese girl being chased by Godzilla.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2013, 12:10:14 PM »

I hate it when I get tagged in the nose, you can actually smell the venom. grin

That is not the venom you smell, it is the pheromones. When you smell it, bananas, you know it is time to get away from your bees or you will really be smelling it. grin
Jim
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chux
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« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2013, 08:45:31 AM »

I know the banana smell is pheromone. Smelled it several times. But you can "smell" the venom too. Earlier in the season I had a little lady land on my nose, right at the tip, and try to sting. I knocked her away quickly, but felt the prick of a needle on my nose, and the normal burn. It was like a spray up my nose. Gave me a headache. No banana smell. I felt the burn deep in my sinuses. Same smell the other day when a girl stung my ear, just not as strong. No banana smell.
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GSF
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« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2013, 08:00:05 PM »

I used to be able to smell snake venom when I was younger. We used to mess with the cotton mouths and get them to strike at us and hit our sticks. I know this comment has something to do with honey bees, but I haven't thought of it yet.
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IcemanTX
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« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2013, 12:45:04 AM »

I have never been stung by a bee but I did step on a red wasp last week while picking some weeds bare footed.  I went inside and rubbed some hydrocortisone (sp?) cream on it and went back outside and continued picking weeds.  The next day it was just a tiny red dot in the middle of the bottom of my foot.  No itching, no swelling, nothing.  So either he didn't get me good, I'm not that allergic, or the cream worked very well.  Your mileage may vary.
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Inquorate
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2013, 04:50:59 PM »

I once disturbed a beehive in some crates when moving the crates with a forklift; got about 40 stings that day. Recently I was stung on the elbow by one of my little ladies. I was only putting a pollen cake in the back of the TBH so figured, why bother with the smoker. As always it was a returning field bee that took exception. I removed the sting almost as soon as it went in, and only felt a little bruised for a few days.
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SamboRoberts
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« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2013, 06:37:35 AM »

Just curious what experience ya'll have had.

Thanks!
Oh, my lordy wordy!

My first bee keeping experience was only last month; I was moving a couple of hives that had been abandoned on my old man's property for at least 5 years. The boxes were rotten and falling apart, the ground was rocky and I only had a veil. No gloves, no jacket.

I copped about half a dozen sting on each hand and both hands were swollen. A week later, it was my intent to re-hive and split the two hives. I say that it was my intent because I only ended up getting one done. I still didn't have a proper bee suit, but I had a long sleeved (dark!) jacket, long gloves and my veil.

The bees found a gap between the cuffs of the jacket and the gloves, so I copped about another dozen stings to each arm. This time my left hand swelled up so that I couldn't form a tight fist.

After all of that, I went ahead and ordered two packages of bees. I'm either insane or persistent.  grin
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MsCarol
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« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2013, 09:27:07 AM »

SamboRoberts, You are even a newer newbee then I am.  grin Can you become "un-lost" and share a general location? It makes responding to posts easier if one has a general idea of climate.

I don't have all the best protective gear yet either. A veil and gloves were the most important. I KNEW light colored clothing was a must. I found some pale blue long sleeved Oxford style shirts at the Goodwill. They have worked thus far, but the bees I have seem to be gentle. Also have a white sweatshirt that works OK during cooler days. I have discovered that lighter greens or blues don't seem to elicit much notice from the bees, but dark blue does bring out close inspections.

Since May I have only been stung 3X. Every case has been where I squashed/pinched the bee. The latest was yesterday. Got nailed on the tuckus.(Closer to upper thigh) I sat on her!!! She was either on the back of my jeans or on my truck seat and I didn't see her. I was out in field checking cattle. It was a cool and breezy day, so I suspect she landed a moment to rest. I slipped into the truck and felt a slight jab. I looked and saw a honey bee. I pulled the jeans away from my skin and I think saved her life as she hadn't buried the stinger into my flesh. She pulled loose of the jean material and flew off intact.
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SamboRoberts
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« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2013, 06:26:39 AM »

SamboRoberts, You are even a newer newbee then I am.  grin Can you become "un-lost" and share a general location? It makes responding to posts easier if one has a general idea of climate.
I'm un-lost now, but I don't like to narrow my location down too much. Suffice it to say that I'm about 15 miles from the coast in South Eastern Australia in a temperate climate. Temps here rarely get below -3 degrees centigrade (26F).


I don't have all the best protective gear yet either. A veil and gloves were the most important. I KNEW light colored clothing was a must. I found some pale blue long sleeved Oxford style shirts at the Goodwill. They have worked thus far, but the bees I have seem to be gentle. Also have a white sweatshirt that works OK during cooler days. I have discovered that lighter greens or blues don't seem to elicit much notice from the bees, but dark blue does bring out close inspections.
Dark blue was my downfall when working with Dad's hives, but now I've got a white lab coat that I tuck into light coloured track pants (sweat pants). I just put a rubber band around the cuffs of the jacket to keep the bees out of my sleeves. I bought a new veil and smoker and then about a week later I found a retired beek who sold me a 2 frame galvanised extractor and two smokers for $110. Score!
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JPinMO
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« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2013, 03:37:15 PM »

wettsun21, welcome to the club.  Wink   My first couple of stings hardly reacted, the next few seemed to get worse, the next couple after that seem to have less reaction.

I seriously wonder if their venom isn't affected by their breed, or maybe even their diet. No telling, I suppose.

I did take two on the hand and wrist that didn't swell much, but itched like crazy. I would wake myself up at night scratching. I tried all the usual remedies -- baking soda paste, meat tenderizer paste, hydrocortisone, Benadryl, taping pennies over them. (I haven't tried Kathy's Vagisil remedy, though.)  I finally soaked my hand in epsom salt water, which really seemed to help.

I have found that I can take Claritin, but the Zyrtec makes me drowsy after a few hours. For some people, antihistamines make them hyper. Everyone reacts to things differently. Just keep trying all the remedies until you find what works for you.
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JPinMO
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Re:
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2013, 03:40:20 PM »

I keep a tube of stop the sting in my pocket and apply right after getting the stinger out.

Mdax, where do you find that? Is there a brand name?
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JPinMO
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« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2013, 03:48:09 PM »

Quote
Dark blue was my downfall when working with Dad's hives

Sam, any dark color will make them defensive, including red! If anyone tries to talk you into wearing those brown jersey work gloves (if you have them down there), that person is NOT your friend.

Quote
I bought a new veil and smoker and then about a week later I found a retired beek who sold me a 2 frame galvanised extractor and two smokers for $110. Score!

Definite score! YAY!
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sawdstmakr
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Re:
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2013, 07:25:16 PM »

I keep a tube of stop the sting in my pocket and apply right after getting the stinger out.

Mdax, where do you find that? Is there a brand name?
JP,
Stop The Sting is the name brand. Go to stopthesting.com to order it. Some bee supplies are now carrying it.
Jim
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Royall
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« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2013, 08:15:19 PM »

Amazon has it for $17.95 for 3 tubes. Free shipping with Prime. It is 5 bucks a tube plus shipping from stopthesting.com
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JPinMO
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« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2013, 11:01:17 PM »

Thanks, guys; I misunderstood mdax's post, didn't realize that was the name brand. I think I saw that at my Walmart, or something with a similar name. I'll have to look next time I'm over there.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2013, 05:56:31 AM »

Thanks, guys; I misunderstood mdax's post, didn't realize that was the name brand. I think I saw that at my Walmart, or something with a similar name. I'll have to look next time I'm over there.
It is probably the same stuff, my wife bought some at a local store about 6 months ago. I do not know which one it was.
Jim
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T Beek
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« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2013, 07:20:29 AM »

Simply rubbing a little honey on sting areas works for many.......but TBH I no longer bother.  Comparatively what's a little pain, after all?  I've come to expect and embrace the process.  IMHO and experience, that mindset alone can/does/will reduce the number of stings received. 

Stings still remind me that I'm alive, in the moment and connected to the universe, and they make me forget about anything else going on in the world for at least a little while, kind of a Zen thing perhaps  cool  Bee stings for nirvana anyone  grin

That said I probably deserve many more stings than I get these days Undecided  (i think my bees might be buddhists)   
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bbbthingmaker
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« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2013, 07:54:36 AM »

My first bee sting was almost a relief. It wasn't nearly as bad as I had expected.  Now I have learned that some stings are worse than others. But all are tolerable, so far.
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Alan
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« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2013, 01:38:56 PM »

i started beekeeping this year - from packages -- and i used to go in straight from work, no smoker, nothing.  shorts, flip-flops.  all was good.  then they grew in numbers.  got stuck on the nose - that hurt. 
worst experience was when i was putting the top box back on, went to brush them off the edge and BAM the whole bunch i was trying to brush attacked me.  got about 6-8 stings that day.  had to run away, fire up the smoker, and go back.
now i wear my veil, gloves in my back pocket. i find empty hands are better at handling the sticky frames. if i'm taking more than just a peek i fire up the smoker. 
some days they're sweeties, and other days they're mean as can be. 
i try to not bother them on cloudy days, or if there's a forecast of storms/rain.  i think that helps.  and staying very, very calm.

i've noticed they come sometimes and tap you.  if you hold still 99.9% of the time you don't get stung.  swat or make a sudden move and 99.9% of the time you WILL get stung. 

currently i use bee stings to help with joint/back pain.  about 6 is the most i've done at once - and other than localized swelling and itching, i'm ok.  it does help a lot with the pain.  i have degenerative disc disease and i find bee stings helps ease that.

benadryl helps the symptoms of a bee sting but i prefer to let my body get used to it.  hopefully i won't be one of those cases where you magically develop an allergy to bee stings.  that would put a damper on my fun.
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sterling
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« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2013, 07:12:17 PM »

I read these post about bee stings and I don't usually say anything because the stings don't bother me other then the initial ouch. I don't swell or itch. And I think the main reason I don't get a reaction is because I eat a lot of honey and a little pollen from my own hives.
And that may not have anything to do with it but it makes sense to me if honey helps with the immune system for other things it would help your body cope with venom from a sting from a bee that made the honey. But maybe not. cheesy

BTW: I always wear a veil but I will get stings on my hands and arms sometimes.
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Jeanette
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« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2013, 11:40:08 PM »

Does anyone remember the entomologist named Justin O. Schmidt? He rated the pain levels of various insect stings on his 'Schmidt pain index'. It is his descriptions that I like the most.

The honey bee sting falls between ratings 2 and 3:

Rating 2: 'Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door.'
Rating 3: 'Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.'

Delightful.  grin  http://scienceblogs.com/retrospectacle/2007/05/16/schmidt-pain-index-which-sting/
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Jeanette
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brooklynbees
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« Reply #33 on: November 23, 2013, 11:22:43 AM »

I get at least two stings a year and only because of my own stupidity in my opinion.
Last week while checking and winterizing, I forgot to put my pant legs into my socks. One of my girls probably fell on my shoe and then crawled up my leg inside my pants. Well, I moved the wrong way and she got stuck and stung me on the calf. The lower leg was swollen and painful to walk on for three days.
I've been stung a bit higher and gentlemen, its just as painful for us ladies. That time I realized she was there and I gave my neighbors quite a show by ripping my pants off in the yard trying to get her out, but I still ended up getting stung.
I find tucking and rubber banding at the ankles and wrists reduces the interior incidents, so to speak.
But its a matter of remembering and of course, the old "just a peek while I'm out here" without taking precautions is generally when I get nailed.
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Brother Dave
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« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2013, 12:10:46 PM »

Does anyone remember the entomologist named Justin O. Schmidt? He rated the pain levels of various insect stings on his 'Schmidt pain index'. It is his descriptions that I like the most.

The honey bee sting falls between ratings 2 and 3:

Rating 2: 'Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door.'
Rating 3: 'Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.'

Delightful.  grin  http://scienceblogs.com/retrospectacle/2007/05/16/schmidt-pain-index-which-sting/
Thanks I like the descriptions he gives for the pain. I am a registered nurse and just finished training on pain assessment. very fun article
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