How to treat a sting:
1. Scrape the stinger out as quickly as possibleódo not pull or squeeze the stinger out as that may release more venom.
2. Clean with soap and water to prevent infection.
To reduce pain, itch and swelling:
Over the counter sting remedies vary in efficacy and may contain toxic ingredients as harmful as the bee venom! Instead try:
Ice: Ice lessens swelling by constricting vessels and reducing the flow of venom in the blood. And the numbing effect soothes pain and itching.
Baking soda: Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the sting site. The alkaline nature of the baking soda helps to neutralize the acidity in the venom. You can also mix in some meat tenderizer which contains a naturally occurring enzyme (papain, from papaya) that helps to break down the protein in the venom.
Vinegar: When stung by a wasp, vinegar is the soother of choice. Use this trick to remember: Baking soda for bees (both at the beginning of the alphabet), vinegar for wasps (both at the end of the alphabet).
Toothpaste: Believe it or not, this is a great remedy which works on the same alkaline/acidity premise as baking soda. The presence of small amounts of glycerin in toothpaste may also add to its soothing properties. Also, a small tube of toothpaste is handy to pack in a travel first aid kit or picnic basket.