You’re probably freaking out over a bumblebee stinging you.

Don’t worry! Your symptoms will likely go away in a few hours.

But just in case, here’s what to expect from a bumblebee sting:

Do Bumblebees Sting?

picture of a bumble bee on a leaf in Florida

Yes, a bumblebee can sting you! But they don’t cause the most damage.

A bumblebee’s sting is going to be moderately less painful than a wasp because their stingers are much shorter. Meanwhile, honey bees have a barbed stinger, which can make removing the stinger difficult and painful

Hornets, on the other hand, have unbarbed but extremely large and thick stingers. Ouch!

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Here are their main differences:

  • Wasp Stinger:
    • Smooth and unbarbed.
    • Can sting multiple times without detachment.
    • Typically longer and more slender.
  • Honey Bee Stinger:
    • Barbed, with a serrated appearance.
    • Detaches upon stinging, causing more discomfort during removal.
    • Shorter and more robust compared to a wasp stinger.
  • Bumblebee Stinger:
    • Smooth and unbarbed.
    • Does not detach upon stinging, allowing for multiple stings.
    • Shorter and broader than honey bee stingers.
  • Hornet Stinger:
    • Smooth and unbarbed.
    • Can sting multiple times without detachment.
    • Larger and more potent than both wasp and honey bee stingers.

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Honey bee vs Bumblebee sting

picture of a honey bee stinging an adult arm

While both honeybees and bumblebees can deliver painful stings, the severity of their venom and the reaction it induces can vary. 

Honeybees typically have barbed stingers that may become embedded in the skin, causing more discomfort during removal.

Bumblebee Sting vs Wasp

picture of a wasp nest

Bumblebee stings are generally less aggressive than wasps. Wasps, known for their repeated and aggressive stinging, are the ones you definitely want to stay away from.

Hornets vs Bumblebees

Hornets tend to have larger and more potent venom sacs, resulting in more intense pain and potential health risks. Both, however, warrant caution.

What Does a Bumblebee Sting Look Like?

close up picture of a bumble bee stinger

A bumblebee’s stinger is short with a small hook on the end. So while their stingers don’t go in deep, they latch on more aggressively.

The venom is what makes bumblebee stinging somewhat uncomfortable.

How To Treat Bumblebee Stinging At Home

First, you want to remove the stinger if it’s still in your skin. You can easily do this with tweezers or a credit card.

Yes— a credit card! Here’s how:


#greenscreen If you see someone get stung by a bee try using a credit card to remove the singer. Try to avoid using tweezers, as pulling with a tweezer may release more venom into the skin. #partytrick #creditcard #beesting

♬ original sound – AskDrJessica

Easy-Peasy Symptoms

  • Sharp pain and burning of the skin
  • Red dot and swelling
  • Mild discomfort

How To Treat These Symptoms: Apply ice and wait for the swelling to go down in a few hours.

Moderate Symptoms

  • Large welt
  • Redness around the sting area
  • Itching and discomfort that lasts for more than a day

How To Treat These Symptoms: Apple ice for 10-15 minutes and use over the counter topicals such as hydrocortisone to relieve itching and discomfort. 

Maybe-Go-To-The-Hospital Symptoms

These signs may be an indicator that you’re allergic to bees and may need medical treatment:

How To Treat These Symptoms: Go to your doctor, call an ambulance, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.


What To Do If You Have a Bee Hive Near Your Home

bee hive near Florida home

The first step is to stay calm and stay away!

While bees aren’t aggressive, they will bee (pun intended) if they feel threatened by an intruder near their home.

Instead, take these steps:

  1. Keep pets and children away from the bee hive in case of allergies;
  2. Do NOT try to get rid of it yourself or try to swat at the bees;
  3. Contact your local pest control experts (it doesn’t have to be that cool Bee Lady, but if you decide to go that route, we wouldn’t blame you.)

Bumblebee Stinging Fun (and not-so-fun) Facts

bumble bee stinging pictures

Do bumble bee stings hurt as much as wasps?

Bumblebee stinging is, fortunately, less painful than a wasps!

According to a not-so-fun experiment by entomologist, Justin Schmidt’s, bumblebee stings are a 2/4 on his Sting Pain Index scale.

On the other hand, he cited certain wasps species as being a 4/4 in terms of pain!

Most of your friends who have been stung by both would probably agree (we know we do!).

How many times can a bumblebee sting me?

Bumblebees and wasps can sting you multiple times.

Do bumblebees sting or bite?

Bumblebees sting!

Which bumble bees sting?

Female bumblebees  (the queen and the worker bees) can sting, while males cannot.

What to put on bumblebee sting

To alleviate bumblebee stings, clean the area and apply a cold compress.

Do bumble bees die when they sting?

No, you’re thinking of a honeybee!

How many times can a bumblebee sting me?

Unlike honeybees, bumblebees usually don’t die after stinging, allowing them to deploy their stinger as a defense mechanism multiple times.

Do bumblebees sting or bite?

Bumblebees sting!

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