Bee Sting Treatment: Some Home Remedies You Should Try

Bee sting treatment
Russell McCarty
Written by Russell McCarty

How many times did your wilderness trip get ruined by such a small insect like a bee? Even though it might not be a big deal, it can certainly make you a little uncomfortable. This article will teach you an advanced and traditional bee sting treatment that will make your stay in nature carefree.

Bee stings are an unpleasant experience in most cases, and home remedies are all it takes to make the pain easier to bear. However, if you are allergic to bee stings or you are unaware whether you are, you might have some serious reactions to the venom and emergency treatment might be required.

Although bee stings  are not dangerous to a healthy person, someone with a bee allergy should be extra careful when spending time in nature. The good news is that a bee can only sting once. It might be painful for people, but it’s deadly for honey bees. For tips on how to prevent bee stings, see our article on this topic.

When a honey bee stings you, it can’t help but leave behind its stinger; it gets stuck inside. Then, when the bee tries to free itself from the body, it leaves behind the stinger and part of its abdomen. After that, the honey bee is not able to survive and dies after the sting.

So, every time you get stung by a bee, keep in mind that the bee got the worst of it. This might make it easier for you to endure the pain.


Recognize the symptoms before choosing the adequate bee sting treatment

Bee’s venom consists of proteins that affect the skin cells and immunity system, which causes pain and swelling to the affected area. Bee stings can create various reactions, starting from temporary pain all the way to a severe allergic reactions.

See also: Best First Aid Kit: Don’t Leave Home Without These Medical Supplies

It is particularly interesting to note that not every time your body will have the same reaction to a bee sting. There are a range of potential reactions, from mild reaction to allergic.

Some of the symptoms are:

  • Mild reaction: strong, sharp pain on the affected area; redness on the affected area; mild swelling that in most cases disappears in several hours; slightly noticeable white mark on the affected area.
  • Normal reaction: extreme redness on the affected area, a swelling that enlarges in the next several days
  • Severe allergic reaction: demands emergency treatment and professional diagnosis as it might cause anaphylactic shock that is recognized by the following symptoms: skin reactions such as rash and severe itching, pale skin, tongue and throat swelling, general weakness signs, increased pulse, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or losing consciousness.

However, a bee sting is not so horrible as long as it is only one bee. In case of multiple stings, the accumulation of venom might cause toxic reactions accompanied by cramps or high body temperatures.

This is considerably more probable in healthy individuals and more likely with the elderly and people who suffer from heart and respiratory conditions.

For a normal case of a bee sting, alternative treatments are more than enough. Each of these home remedies has an extremely beneficial effect on a bee sting.

Home Remedies for Bee Stings

Spending time in nature, especially in spring, is a great idea. During this time, the weather is ideal for outdoor activities, but it is also ideal for insects like bees. They are most active in spring. In other words, you have a greater chance of a close encounter with a bee that could shorten your outdoor adventure.

Yellow Insect Bee Honey Bee Flower Collect Honey

Next time you are planning a trip in nature, consider preparing yourself for a bee sting as well. Home remedies can make the sting hurt less. Some of these treatments can even reduce redness and reduce the swallowing.

You will be very grateful you read this if something like this happens, which I hope it never will.

White vinegar and baking soda

You will find this compound very useful since bee stings make the affected area acidic and this alkaline mixture will neutralize it. If you choose this method, you should first check if the stinger is still inside.

If it isn’t inside, you can proceed applying this mixture as described. Otherwise, your primary care should be removing the stinger. You can get it done with your fingernails, by squeezing the affected area (this is a debatable subject, some people have a theory that it would only push the venom deeper inside) or with a credit card.

Baking soda

In an ideal world, you would use tweezers and disinfect them with alcohol. But if you don’t have them on hand, you can manage the situation by using some other similar object.

After removing the stinger, apply baking soda. Next, pour some vinegar over the baking soda. A reaction will form that is completely harmless but can seem explosive if you are not alerted. So be aware that this mixture will create a fizzing sound that will make you feel better in no time.

If you don’t have vinegar around, you can use clean water instead. It will create the same visible reaction with one difference.

Nevertheless, there have been some cases that suggest that this compound would reduce the swelling and the redness. As for the pain to go away; with this remedy, it would take some more time.

Essential oil as an alternative bee sting treatment

For this type of home remedy, you should be a little more prepared. Essential oils are part of alternative medicine and they are widely used for many health issues. Bee stings are one of them. Most commonly used essential oils for a bee sting are peppermint or lavender essential oils.

Essential oils

Lavender essential oil is famous for its calming properties on the skin. It acts as an antiseptic, nerve relaxing sedative and it has also anti-inflammatory properties. You can also use lavender as prevention against all insect bites and stings, since most insects hate the lavender smell.

Tea tree oil

If you are a fan of alternative medicine, you won’t go in nature without tee tree oil. Other than being the perfect remedy for sore throats and bacterial infections it is also useful in case of a bee sting.

Tea tree oil

If you are prone on avoiding pills, tea tree oil would do the trick for you. Tea tree oil represents a natural insecticide and as such, will reduce the itching and inflammation.

Aspirin pill

Some people are against taking pills, others don’t mind taking the easy way out. If you are a modern medicine believer one aspirin can do wonders for you in case of a bee sting.

Aspirin pill

Hopefully you won’t need it, but just in case, here’s how you use it. Take an aspirin pill, slightly moisten it and put it on the affected area. Hold it for a minute or two, and then remove it.

You will not be able to tell where the bee sting was, the itching will disappear completely and the swelling will not even come up, which in other cases might last several days.

Onion on a bee sting

When using natural remedies, it is preferable to use a paste from the product. So blend the onion if you have the resources, otherwise mash it with a rock if you are in nature. Afterward, apply it to the bee sting and keep it for 5 minutes.


Rest for 5 minutes, and then apply a fresh onion paste.  Onion is known as a home remedy for reducing swelling, it should make you better in no time.

Ice or cold water

There are different theories on whether to put cold or warm presses. Warm presses cause better circulation, this causes the venom to spread faster, but it also speeds up the immunity response.

Ice water

Ice or cold water is used in order to prevent the venom from spreading through the body. Meanwhile, other methods are used to extract the venom that is still on the surface of the affected area. The ice will instantly reduce the pain but keep in mind it shouldn’t be used for too long.

Clay paste or green clay

Green clay is used for detoxification and healing many diseases. It is used widely mainly because it has the ability to remove the chemical pollutants from the body. It has a similar effect on a bee sting as well. It is suggested that by applying green clay paste on the affected area, the pain and swelling are reduced.

Green clay

It traps the venom and destroys the chemical responsible for the swelling. If you decide on this method, you have to make a clay paste first. It is made by adding one part of clay and two parts of coconut oil.

Mix it for a few minutes with a wooden spoon, not a metal one. After that, apply it gently on the bee sting. The pain should ease in a few minutes, and the swelling should be gone within hours.

Charcoal and lemon juice

The best thing about this method of treatment is that you can make charcoal yourself if you don’t have activated charcoal with you. You can make it by burning dry branches found in nature, although it is better to use charcoal powder from the pharmacy.

Lemon juice

Take some charcoal powder and mix it with lemon juice. You must only add small amounts of lemon juice. Apply it on the bee sting and cover it with a bandage. This should achieve the desired result.


It is practically impossible to find pure tobacco, with no additives. But if you manage to do so, this would be a great natural remedy to try for adults. It is not recommended to be used on kids since tobacco contains nicotine.


Applying tobacco works perfect for bee stings as it eases the pain immediately. The reason for it is the nicotine. It spreads through the blood and acts therapeutically on the nerves, thus numbing the pain.


This is an ingredient of the papaya plant. Delicious papaya contains “papain” which is known for its neutralizing properties against bee stings and some snake bites. For better effect, a paste from raw papaya should be made.

Papain in papaya

The paste should then be applied to the bee sting. It must cover the sting until the paste is no longer moist. After that, applying a new layer of paste is recommended.

Repeat this a few times until the swelling is completely gone. The pain should be reduced after the first application.


Toothpastes contain the same alkaline ingredients as baking soda. There are some cases that reported that toothpaste is a better option since it helps soothe the stinging right after application.


So in case of a bee sting, reapply toothpaste more often in order to alkalize the affected skin area.


Sage can be easily found in nature, so this might be counted as a bee sting treatment used in the wilderness with no preparations required. In alternative medicine, it is usually used for treating swelling. It is also known to drain the pus from pimples.

Basil paste

Basil is a traditional home remedy that is widely used as an anti-inflammatory plant, especially against bee stings. It contains eugenoll that helps reduce swelling and therefore reduce the pain. Basil also has a calming effect on the skin.

Basil paste

It should be rinsed directly on the sting. Basil essential oil can also be used on a bee sting, only it must be mixed with a carrier oil like coconut oil. It should be applied several times a day and it can be mixed with other natural remedies as long as they are not also essential oils.

Aluminum sulphate

Aluminum sulphate is a remedy, although not so natural, but very effective. The research has shown that aluminum sulphate is effective not only against a bee sting, but also wasp stings, mosquito bites, jellyfish bites etc.

It acts in the way that it breaks down the bee sting toxins, thus making it easier on the metabolism to eliminate them.

Bee sting treatment or bee sting as a treatment!

What in larger doses is venom, in small doses might be a cure! Even though most bee products like honey and propolis are known to have healing properties, bee’s venom is not typically related to healing.

Nonetheless, bee’s venom – apitoxin is a powerful cure for many diseases and incomparable with some synthetic drugs. According to the research there are more that 30 positive effects that apitoxin has on the human body.

Bee’s venom has been used as a natural remedy for thousands of years. The first records of its uses are by Hippocrates, although it is believed that its therapeutic purposes have been used for 5000 years.

Apitoxin has been known to reduce the possibility for auto-immune diseases. It allows rapid and effective elimination of toxins from the body. Thus, increasing metabolism and filling the body with oxygen.

Apitoxin is a bitter liquid that is similar to snake venom. It is made of 18 biological ingredients, which are impossible to synthesize. This venom is most efficient when taken from live bees from late spring to early fall. In winter, bee’s venom is not that strong.

According to the research, it is a fascinating fact that bee keepers have statistically better health and better general health than the rest of population. So the good news is that if you get a bee sting, at least your immunity will increase.

The most effective bee sting remedy – avoiding bees, advices by a bee keeper!

Better Safe than Sorry!

  • Avoid strong colors, bees are attracted to some colors, they might confuse your yellow t-shirt with a flower.
  • Avoid strong perfumes – some smells are attracting bees, while others are repelling them. If you are not sure, the best thing is to avoid perfumes while staying in nature.
  • If a bee is near you, the first thing that comes to your mind is usually to force it away with your hand. This might not be such a good idea since bees and all insects in general are getting more aggressive by fast movements.
  • Avoid eating foods with strong smells (sweet fruit, meat products…) – especially if you are allergic to bees, these foods will attract them.
  • Be careful when drinking juices with intense smells or colors. It is not rare for a bee to get stuck inside a bottle or a glass.
  • Keep your garbage in closed bags.
  • Use insect repellents while in nature, especially if you are allergic. It will repel bees too.

A bee sting is actually painful only because of the chemical inside its venom called melitin. It is released through the bee’s stinger but not all at once. So, in case of a bee sting, one must hurry to take out the stinger since the longer it stays inside, the more venom it will release.

The melitin is spread through the blood and causes a burning sensation. Luckily, these natural remedies will ease your pain.

Bee sting symptoms

There are side effects of every pharmaceutical drug, so we advise you sticking to herbs and traditional medicine at least if your reaction to the venom is mild. Herbs serve as a raw material from which drugs are made of.

So they are a perfect substitution in case you have a bee sting situation in the wilderness with no other remedies on hand. If you look around, there would be at least one herb suitable for stings.

So, as long as you are not allergic to bee’s venom, you have nothing to worry about. The recommended natural remedies will do the trick for you and stop the itching and pain. Your immune system will take care of the rest and flush out the toxins from your blood.

Do read our important article on hiking safety to keep yourself protected.

Do you have a special trick or remedy for bee stings? Maybe you’ve had to deal with a bee sting before and had some success? Let us know in the comment section below!


Russell McCarty

Russell McCarty

Russell considers backpacking one of his great passions in life. He actually managed to transform his passion into a living becoming a professional adventurer. Russell loves long-distance backpacking and he enriched his portfolio with famous trails like the Alaska-Yukon Expedition or the Appalachian Trail. With thousands of miles under his feet, Russell is the expert to consult when it comes to how to prepare for a successful outdoor adventure.