Webbed insects have a kind of "weapon" for defense - a sting with a toxic substance. In bees, it has a pointed shape and is part of the body, located at the end of the abdomen. More information about the bee sting, its structure and functions can be found further.
What is this organ and what are its sizes?
The sting of a bee is an organ with a size of 2 to 4.5 mm, which it introduces into the body of its offender, injecting poison, which has a painful effect and a burning sensation. Interestingly, the stinging poison continues to be released even after a bite.
The sting has two parts:
- Motionless . It consists of:
- processes of the sled;
- oblong plates;
- Movable . It consists of:
- triangular plate;
- square plates;
- poisonous gland (small and large);
- poisonous gland reservoir.
The sting of a bee is necessary for defense, but it can sting only once, after which it dies. The fact is that upon impact, the sting remains under the skin of the offender, and without it the bee cannot exist, since it is part of her body.
After a bite, a bee flies away from the offender with an open wound and dies.
The sting is located behind the abdomen of the insect and is considered a modified ovipositor. The bee’s abdomen can easily bend, so it’s easy for her to stick a sting in sacrifice. In addition, it has a point on which there are notches that can only be seen through a microscope. They greatly complicate the removal of the sting from the body of the offender.
Functions of a sting and features of a poison
Initially, the bees did not have a sting, but as a result of the evolution of the ovipositor in 11-12 segments of the abdomen, it turned into this organ and became a tool for protecting honey. Only females have it, so drones do not sting. Thus, the function of the sting is the introduction of poison into the body of enemies in order to stop them and protect the hive. It may be attacked by:
- alien bee families;
- the Bears.
Thanks to the sting, working bees can attack in case of danger and protect themselves. The poison released from it has a pleasant aroma and is a liquid that has no color. This is a secret produced in 2 poisonous glands - large and small. In the bee's body, it is contained in a special bag.
When studying the chemical composition of the poison, 13 amino acids and various compounds were identified, but its basis is melitin, a protein substance or bee venom peptide. It has properties that can remove bacteria.
The functioning of the gland producing the poison depends on the age of the bee. If she just got out of the cell, then the bag contains a minimal amount of poison. After a week of age, the tank is almost completely filled with a poisonous substance. The maximum amount of poison is collected in the bag for 15 days. When the bee becomes a "guard", about the 19th day, the pouch is completely filled with poison.
In bees that emerged from the cell in the fall, the activity of the gland-producing gland begins much later (only on day 14) and ends on day 20.
It is worth noting that the queen bee uses the sting not only for its own protection, but also for laying eggs. This is one of the main functions of the uterus, because it should continue the genus. To strengthen the oviposition, she puts the sting in a perpendicular position. In the queen bee, it is longer than in the ordinary bee.
How does a bee sting?
A bee has to sting to protect its hive. It aims not to kill, but to scare away the offender. Especially well protected by the hive "older" bees that have reached 19 days of age. The bee performs its actions in stages:
- Stage I First, the insect sits on its enemy, that is, in contact with its skin surface. Then it decides to sting him. The entire device for a bite is in a special bag-shaped camera case. When the bee is calm, the tip of the sting is hidden in it. In the seventh abdominal part there is a narrow gap. At the time of the bite, muscles begin to act on the camera and lift it up. The abdomen begins to lower and bend, movements are made down and a little back. Thus, the abdomen bends, moving the stitching part towards the opening of the chamber. The sharp part begins to peek out through the formed gap, although the case will be slightly raised due to the muscles.
- Stage I I. On the stilettos of the tip tip there are notches, of which there are 10 pieces. They have the shape of triangles and angles, as if directed backward like a fishing hook. They enter well, but interfere with the exit of the sting. The queen bee has only 4 notches, so when stinging it is not difficult for her to take it back, since she faces a more important task - the extension of the genus, and not the protection of the hive. When stinging, 2 stylets are pulled out of the abdomen due to the presence of a slide. They are covered with several plates, but when stinging they open, so the slide moves slightly out of the abdomen, and the stilettos of the tip glide over them with ease. After the bee sticks a sting, the next stage begins.
- Stage I II . If a bee stuck a sting about one third of its length, it can no longer do anything. The sting comes off from her body when she tries to take off, and the jagged ones on the sting prevent her from doing so. The bee has to pull it out, so along with it, the insides, as well as the last ganglion of the nervous chain, crawl out.
- Stage I V. Although the bee has flown away, the sting is already in the victim’s body, releasing toxic substances. It lasts for 20-30 minutes. It vibrates, releasing more and more poison, which enters the blood stream. In this case, the sting penetrates deeper into the skin, so it is very important to remove it sooner. In addition, pheromones begin to be released into the air in a radius of 15-30 m. They attract other relatives who can quickly fly in and attack.
A bee cannot sting when its goiter is clogged with honey during a honey collection. It’s not for nothing that the beekeepers smoke right in the hive, because the smoke is a signal for the bee to fill the goiter with honey.
Differences from Wasp Sting
The sting of a bee is different from the aspen:
- During a wasp sting, a sting is inserted into the soft body of their enemy, which is possible due to the presence of notches. The sting has a stylet of solid chitin in the form of a saw, inside of which there are 2 lancets. The sting has a tip, making it easier to enter into the body, and glands filled with poison.
- Unlike a bee, after a wasp stings, it does not die and can even sting several more times. The wasp sting has much less jagging, therefore, when they are withdrawn from the body, they do not particularly cling. In addition, there is no knot at its tip, so the wasp easily takes out the sting.
- Individuals sting differently. Wasp refers to aggressive insects, so it can sting or just bite with jaws. She does not need a reason - just a wave of her hand or a fragrance that is unpleasant to an insect. Her bite is very painful, often causing swelling and inflammation, especially if it made a large insect. The bee stings only when it needs to protect the hive.
- After a wasp sting, there will be no sting in the wound, and bees - it will remain sticking out like a splinter. A bee sting is less painful compared to a wasp.
Life expectancy of a bee after a bite
After the bee stings, it can live only a few hours. When a person bites her, she dies due to the fact that it is impossible to pull the sting out of the elastic skin. When a bee stings an insect that has a solid chitinous layer, it can pull the sting back, so it remains alive.
If a bee stings another insect, then it immediately dies.
What to do if a bee stings?
The bite of one bee is not dangerous to human life, since the amount of poison introduced is only 0.1-0.3 mg. But if a swarm attacks, then its level can rise to 0.25 g, and this dose is considered fatal. In addition, a lot depends on the place of stinging. It is especially difficult to tolerate on the face, in the lips, eyes, neck. People die not so much from insect venom as from choking when the neck or tongue swells.
In any case, the sting needs to be removed more quickly from the resulting wound, since the poison through it will be released even after a bite. In this case, a person will experience burning pain. If the correct measures are not taken, edema and hyperemia will occur at the site of the bite. In severe cases, the wound can become inflamed.
Many beekeepers, who are often stung, almost do not respond to a bite, as they develop temporary immunity. A person can transfer 10 to 15 bee stings if this happens regularly.
Help from a bite without signs of an allergy
If there is no allergy, then symptoms will appear in the form of a small swelling and itching. This suggests that the bite is not life threatening. To provide first aid, use:
- ice or cold water;
- baking soda;
- anesthetic drug.
Follow the following sequence of actions:
- Remove the sting as soon as possible. If it sticks out on the surface of the skin, then use a nail, grab with your fingers. Do not use tweezers, since even more poison can get when pulled. You can’t squeeze it out either!
- The resulting wound is washed under a stream of cold water, using liquid soap to sanitize this place.
- Take antihistamines. For instance:
- The wound is treated with anti-allergic cream. You can apply a wet towel moistened with baking soda in the solution to this area. The solution is prepared at the rate of 1 tsp. for 1 glass of water. If there is no soda, then you can replace it with hydrogen peroxide, a weak solution of potassium permanganate, salt water, 0.25% ammonia, 6% vinegar. Do not comb the bite site!
- Cold is applied to the wound to relieve pain symptoms and the rapid spread of poison. Cold prevents swelling. It can be ice or a towel soaked in cold water.
- With severe pain, painkillers are taken:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
Help from a bite for allergies
A bee sting cannot be fatal for a person, however, if he has an allergy to bee venom, then everything is significantly complicated. Unfortunately, many people learn about allergies only after a bee sting.
Insect venom is a mixture of protein compounds. Individual people react to them with the occurrence of allergies, leading to severe consequences in the form of Quincke's edema and anaphylactic shock.
Symptoms of an allergy after a bite are as follows:
- severe swelling;
- pressing feeling in the chest area;
- difficulty breathing
- the presence of red itchy spots throughout the body, urticaria;
- nausea and vomiting;
- pain in the lumbar region and joints;
- loss of consciousness.
With such symptoms, an ambulance should be called urgently.
The actions carried out for first aid are as follows:
- Use an epinephrine pen if the victim has one. Allergy sufferers usually have it with them.
- Unfasten the collar and loosen the tie so that it is easier for the victim to breathe, and the clothes do not squeeze.
- Lay the victim down, and then cover him and cover with warmers with warm water.
- Give 25 drops of Cordiamine to maintain the heart.
- If there is bleeding from the nose and vomiting, turn the victim on his side.
- Place the bite below the level of the heart so that the poison does not move quickly through the blood.
- Urgently call emergency medical attention.
After assisting, edema can persist for 1-5 days, and on the face for about a week.
Increased caution should be exercised by people allergic to bee venom. It is not superfluous to observe the following precautions:
- Wear a protective suit or long-sleeve covered clothing. Although insects can sting through tissue, in some cases, it can still protect.
- Do not stifle perfumes and do not wear bright clothes both when working in the apiary, and when traveling to nature. It attracts insects.
- Do not come close to the nests of wasps and wild bees, an apiary without a protective suit.
- During walks, you should pay attention to the presence of a large accumulation of stinging insects. It is better to leave such places on time.
- If in the country there are such nests, it is better to call specialists and get rid of them.
Bees are peaceful insects that sting only in exceptional cases. It is better to bypass their large congestion, be careful and not provoke them. In case of a bite, first aid must be given and a doctor called.