Do Sweat Bees sting? That is the question.
Or does it just land on you to partake of some human sweat?
When a Sweat Bee Lands on You, Does it Sting or Just Drink Sweat?
A Sweat Bee is just one of the many species of ground bee. It means that most Sweat Bees nest underground. Other species of these solitary bees thrive on rotting wood or weathered wooden structures.
Most Sweat Bees tend to prefer living alone and are solitary insects without the need to live in a colony.
Named after the fact that they have a fancy for human sweat, the Sweat Bees love landing on humans and drinking the sweat out of their skins.
Like any other bees, female Sweat Bees have stingers and can sting you. On the other hand, male Sweat Bees do not have stingers and are harmless.
Female Sweat Bees
As stated above, female Sweat Bees have stingers. These bee species can be completely harmless if left alone. However, if their nests are disturbed or if they feel threatened, these bees will not hesitate to sting you.
When they think that danger is imminent, female Sweat Bees can go into defensive mode. Sudden movements can trigger them into defensive behaviors.
Male Sweat Bees
Sweat bees are not aggressive, and more so are the male bee species. Male species do not have stingers. Hence, they cannot sting.
Male species of this bee family roam around gathering pollen and nectar for food to bring back to their nest. They may land on you to gather some salts from sweat and drink some liquid in the process.
What Happens when You Get Stung by a Sweat Bee?
Once a Sweat Bee stings you, the bee’s stinger pierces the skin. It emits venom that causes pain.
Initially, this bee’s painful sting can cause a burning sensation that could last for an hour or two. Skin discoloration can also be an effect when this bee stings you.
Does a Sweat Bee Sting Hurt?
Like other bee stings, a Sweat Bee sting can hurt. However, there are claims that this bee’s sting is not as painful as compared to the sting of honey bees.
According to the Schmidt sting pain index, the sting of a Sweat Bee is rated as Pain Level 1. It was described as “light, ephemeral, almost fruity.”
However, just because it is rated in the lowest pain level does not mean that is not painful at all.
This sting can cause a burning sensation, skin discoloration, swelling, and pain. The burning sensation would be an initial effect.
Skin discoloration could be a reddish or pinkish welt that could last for up to 3-5 days.
On the sting site, some swelling may occur that could last for up to a week.
How to Treat a Sweat Bee Sting
The moment a Sweat Bee stings you, stay calm and do not panic. Here are some immediate first-aid remedies that you can do at home:
1.) Check the sting site
Check the sting site if a stinger has pierced the skin or if there is more than one bite.
2.) Get Rid of the Stinger
Immediately remove the stinger as it will continue to pump venom until it is removed.
3.) Clean the Area
Clean the affected area thoroughly with soap and water.
4.) Cool It Up
Apply ice or an ice pack over the area to keep pain and swelling at a minimum.
5.) Pain Relief
If the stinging and burning sensation persists, pain relievers may help to reduce pain and alleviate it.
6.) Seek Medical Attention
In cases where one is stung multiple times or when one suffers from an allergic reaction or has difficulty breathing, it is best to seek medical attention.