The sting of a bee is an organ necessary to protect the insects of the hive, it is used only in case of danger. You can examine the structure of a bee sting in detail with a high magnification under a microscope. It is located at the tip of the abdomen.
What a bee sting looks like
The stinging organ has a complex structure. It is possible to examine the sting of a bee in detail only with a strong magnification under a microscope: it looks like a sharp long needle, thinning from base to tip. On the sides, notches are clearly visible, with sharp ends directed towards the base. Worker bees have only 10 of them, and the queen has 4. In fact, a sting is an ovipositor that has changed its purpose. The drones do not have it at all.
It consists of several elements:
- three chitinous parts with plates;
- the middle part is a sled, widened in front and narrowed in the back;
- stylet - consists of two lancets-needles, located in the hollow of the sled from below: when bitten, the stylet breaks and releases the needles.
Each part of the organ has its own purpose. The insect pierces the skin with stylets. Inside the sled, in the thickened part, there is a poisonous gland, which, in turn, consists of a filamentous lobe and a reservoir. Poisonous liquid accumulates in the bubble. Nearby are the glands that produce lubricant for the stylet.
In the photo under a microscope, you can see the sting of a bee and a foreign body removed from the body of a bitten person - a lancet:
Where is the sting of a bee
The body of the insect is divided by a petiol - the waist - into the breast and abdomen. The upper and lower parts into a single organism are connected by the metasome - a thin stalk through which nerve endings pass. It is at the tip of the abdomen that the bee has a sting. Its tip is clearly visible even without strong magnification. When the bee is calm, the organ is visually invisible.
Does a bee leave a sting when bitten
After a bite, the organ gets stuck in the wound of an animal or person. The skin is punctured, the stylet is immersed in the soft layer. Instinctively, the bee tries to pull the stilettos out of the wound, but the barbs get stuck in the tissues. The sting comes off from the abdomen with part of the internal organs. A wound forms on the insect's body, after which it dies. The bee survives the fight with wasps and beetles. In chitinous integuments, notches of stylets do not get stuck.
How a bee stings
In a calm state, when nothing threatens the insect, the organ is hidden in a special apparatus (bag) at the end of the abdomen. During the bite, the sting is pushed out of the sheath. The musculature drives the plates, causing the stylets to slide over the sled.
In preparation for the attack, the bee lowers the sting down. The abdomen is strongly bent forward, and the case rises. At this moment, the stinging organ is already partially exposed. During the impact, the stilettos move sharply forward, then the muscles of the abdomen take them back.
The bee sting pierces the surface of the animal's skin. After a puncture, poison is injected into the wound. The poisonous substance begins to flow down the sled.
The main component of bee venom is apitoxin: it is he who causes the burning sensation. The substance that has entered the body becomes the cause of painful sensations. It can also trigger allergic reactions. Stung insects and small animals (mice) die from one or more poisonous injections. A single bee sting is good for most people. A person who is repeatedly stung receives too much poison. Death can occur after the accumulation of 0.2 g of apitoxin in the body. Bites in the neck, eyes, lips are especially dangerous.
The poisonous liquid has a yellowish tint. Once in the blood, the poison quickly spreads throughout the body. The reaction to a bee sting is individual for all people. In the most severe cases, a poisonous substance becomes the cause of a stung person:
- shortness of breath;
- loss of consciousness;
- sharp jumps in blood pressure;
- swelling of the respiratory organs;
- redness of part of the tissues surrounding the puncture site of the skin;
- painful sensations;
What does a bee sting look like after a sting
After the bite, the severed organ begins to act autonomously. The sting continues to contract, while squeezing new doses of poison into the wound. Pulsating, it penetrates even deeper under the skin. The sting of the bee sinks into the tissues with its entire length, and the entire supply of poison, which is in the sacs at its base, during contractions flows down the stylets into the formed canal, then enters the bloodstream. The bite area turns red very quickly. After a while, only a black dot remains visible on the surface.
The photo shows the sting of a bee, torn out along with part of the insect's body, in human skin. Only the upper part of the organ is visible on the surface: its remains must be removed as quickly as possible. The bitten area looks swollen, swelling quickly forms around the wound. A black dot is clearly visible in the middle.
How to remove a sting after a bite
The danger is that the damaged area quickly swells and turns red, and an allergic reaction may begin in the bitten person. The sting that the bee leaves in the skin continues to supply poison to the wound. It must be removed, but this cannot be done with nails, a needle, scissors, and in sterile conditions, pull it out with tweezers, swinging from side to side. When removing, you need to make sure that a yellow bag with poison comes out at the end of the needle. If a piece of an organ breaks off and remains under the skin, you will have to seek help from a surgeon.
After removing the bee sting, the bite site must be treated with an antiseptic: alcohol, brilliant green, hydrogen peroxide and ice. Experienced beekeepers, in the absence of allergies, advise a honey solution to relieve pain: dilute a teaspoon in a glass of water and drink. An antihistamine should be taken to neutralize the allergen.
The sting of a bee is necessary for an insect, first of all, for protection. Therefore, when colliding with a bee, it is important not to provoke it with vigorous actions (especially, not to wave your hands), but to try to calmly move to a safe place. The bite is unpleasant, but in the absence of allergies, it is not dangerous: it is important to completely remove the sting from under the skin.
Svetlana, 23 years old, Moscow
I had a chance to get acquainted with the danger posed by the sting of bees at the beginning of summer. It so happened that I got a bite right in the upper eyelid. The sting was quickly pulled out: apart from a slight swelling on the eyelid, nothing bothered me. But the next day made me worry: in the morning I found that my lower eyelid was completely swollen, my eye almost closed. We immediately called an ambulance - it turned out it was Quincke's edema. I learned from the doctors that I was very lucky and I got off easily, but I could suffocate. Therefore, when a bee bites you, immediately run to the doctor, even if the symptoms are subtle.
Oleg, 43 years old, Perm
I have been engaged in beekeeping for the eighth year. Some believe that if a person is bitten by a bee and the tumor does not go away for several days, it means that the body is cleansed. Do not believe this: for now, the body simply does not have the habit of poisoning. And if a person has an allergy in a dangerous form, serious complications can arise. Therefore, in the event of a bite, you should not neglect to call a doctor, it can save your life.