ENDAU ROMPIN NATIONAL PARK, JOHORE - SURVIVAL MALAYSIA

JUNGLE SURVIVAL TRAINING COURSE, team building, adventure package in Malaysia

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 Useful Articles -  Sting - Bees, Wasps and Hornets
bees_small.jpg

NST
Travel Tips
10 OCtober 2006 byF.K. KOK

 

WITH over 150,000 species of insects found in the country, it is not unusual to encounter some that sting. Nearly everyone has been stung byan insect at one time or another. It is an unpleasant experience though oftentimes, the injury is only temporary pain or an itch.
 
An encounter with insects like the bee, wasp or hornet, can be terrifying. Automatically, our reflex action is to dart, swat or shoo it away.

Everyone knows that bees sting but in reality, only a very small percentage of the human population (one or two people out of 1,000) is allergic to or hypersensitive to bee or wasp stings.

So why do bees, wasps and hornets sting? They sting to defend themselves or their colony. The best way to avoid bee stings is to not antagonise them. Don’t disturb their nests. Don’t swat at them when they are flying around you or the flowers in the garden. Insects hardly ever look for a fight, but if they are threatened, they would most likely retaliate and inflict pain.

Here are some sensible precautions you can take while enjoying the outdoors:

 
  • Bees and wasps may be attracted to or react to odours in the environment. So don’t use perfume or fragrance if you are going into an area with bee or wasp activity.
  • Apply insect repellent on exposed skin or clothing to deter them.
  • Avoid going barefoot in vegetation especially blooming ground covers.
  • Avoid wearing brightly-coloured or floral-patterned clothing that look like a patch of flowers!
  • Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirt.
  • Put on a hat with a collapsible veil as stinging insects often fly around the tops of their targets.


What should you do if a bee or wasp lands on your skin? This happens when it wants to inspect a smell or to get water from your sweat. It will eventually leave, so stay calm and hold still – pretend to be a statue. Abrupt and rapid movement may startle the insect and cause it to sting. If you can’t wait for it to leave, blow softly at it or gently and slowly brush it away with a piece of paper or stick.

If, despite such precautions, you still get stung, then follow these steps. When the sting is caused bya honey bee (Apis genus), the stinger usually remains in the skin. Remove it as quickly as possible because the venom continues to enter the skin for up to 60 seconds. If removed within 15 seconds, the severity of the sting is reduced.

Unlike honey bees that have barbed stingers, wasps and hornets lack barbs on their stingers and can infect venom many times.

Wash the wound and apply antihistamine cream with skin coolant to alleviate the itch and pain. Put ice on wound to reduce pain and swelling. Besides allergic reactions like fainting, abnormal breathing, vomiting and tightness of throat, there may be swelling on the neck or mouth. Seek medical attention immediately as swelling in these areas can cause suffocation.

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