Best Sweat Bee Sting Treatment

In this article we will discuss about the best sweat bee sting treatment, but first let’s find out more about these small but very important bees.

The sweat bees are small bees in the family Halictidae, common across the world with a big population in North America and form a very diverse group of metallic and non-metallic bees. Their social behavior can be solitary, communal, semi-social or eusocial.

Most sweat bees nest underground in bare soil in a sunny location and are often attracted to the salt in human perspiration. They are very important pollinators for a large number of wildflowers, crops and sunflower, which means farmers should limit the use of insecticides so as not to decrease the number of sweat bees.

sweat bee on flower

         The sweat bee sting

According to Justin Q. Schmidt’s Pain Scale for Stinging insects, the sweat bee sting is poetically described by the entomologist ’’Light and ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.’’, so we can safely assume that the sting is minor, also this species of bees rarely cause allergic reactions in humans.

Only the female sweat bee can sting, and will only do so if disturbed. Just like normal bees once the stinger pierces the skin it will continue to pump venom into your body until you remove it.

         Here is the best sweat bee sting treatment:

  • First remove the stinger as fast as possible and do so by scraping out the stinger. It is important to avoid pressing on the stinger, this can be done by gently scraping the skin with a knife or with a credit card.
  • After removing the stinger wash the affected area with soap and water and apply ice for 20 minutes once every hour by wrapping the ice in a cloth or a towel and then pressing on the area. This will help relieve the pain, swelling and itching.
  • The affected area can also be wiped with antiseptic solution or with alcohol. Another home remedy for sweat bee sting is to apply baking soda on the area.
  • If you have hydrocortisone cream you can place it on the sting to relive itching, swelling and redness.
  • Apple vinegar also works well for sweat bee stings, by applying it directly on the affected area. If you have multiple stings you can do local bathing with a mixture of apple vinegar diluted in water.
  • Honey has antibacterial activity and can prevent area infections. Apply a small quantity of honey over the redness caused by the sting.
  • Lavender oil is another solution, just apply a few drops on the sting and wait for about 15 minutes for the oil to take its effect.
  • Papaya is a fruit that contains enzymes which neutralizes the bee venom. It is simple, if you have this fruit at home, you just need to put a slice of papaya over the sting for an hour.
  • If however you experience dizziness, chest tightness and a feeling of tightness in the throat, trouble breathing after the sting, swelling on the body on other body places than the sting site, you must call 911 right away.

How to identify the area of the sting?

The sting of a sweat bee is small in size (from 4mm to 8 mm), and it produces different reactions, ranging from temporary pain to the rare allergic reaction.

Most of the time the sting symptoms are minor and for most people go away in a couple of hours:

  • A sharp burning pain at the sting area
  • Redness and itching around the sting area
  • Swelling around the sting area

How can we identify a sweat bee?

Sweat bees have a slender body, they have four wings and are found mostly in temperate regions. Most sweat bee species are dull to metallic black, while the remaining species are metallic green, purple or blue. In North America almost half of the sweat bee species are metallic green or blue.


All sweat bees feed on nectar and pollen, which makes them very important for the environment and some of the most important pollinators.

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