What If You Were Stung by 1000 Bees?


Summer is here and that can only mean sunshine,
blooming flowers and… bee stings. But what exactly happens when you get stung by a bee,
and what would happen if you were stung by 1,000 of them?! First though let’s learn a bit about the history
of the bee. The first bees were descendants of a carnivorous wasp-like insect and appeared
over 125 million years ago, evolving into pollen-eating and honey-producing herbivores,
and though they were here well before us, cave paintings dated to over 10,000 years
ago in Spain and France show that man and bees have a long history together thanks to
that honey. Apiculture- or beekeping- first began around
7,000 BC in the Middle East, with honey finding use as food, medicine and even preservative.
The practice soon spread around the world from Egypt, to Greece, and Africa. And though
famous for their stingers, most bees only sting in defense of the hive, and give up
an attack pretty quickly. Most bees that is, with the exception of the
legendary Africanized Honey Bee. Also known as Killer Bees, they will pursue a threat
for distances up to 3 miles! And if you think water can save you, think again- killer bee
swarms have been known to patiently hover in wait over water until their victim comes
up to breathe so they can continue attacking! But what actually happens when you get stung
by a bee? For that, we’ll need to take a much closer look…v A bee’s stinger evolved from its egg-laying
organ, the ovipositor, so only female bees can sting. Once a stinger penetrates flesh,
barbs along its shaft help it dig deeper into the victim even after the bee has tore free
the stinger. The stinger immediately begins to pump venom into the blood, because the
venom is about 88% water and we are ourselves mostly water, the venom disperses easily through
the body. So what exactly is in that other 12%, and
why does it hurt so much? Half of a bee’s venom is made up of a peptide called melittin.
Together with Phospholipase A2, this toxic brew works to destroy cells, bursting red
blood cells in the sting site. Apamin, which makes up about 3% of sa bee’s venom directly
attacks nerve tissue, causing further pain, while Hyaluronidase, which makes up about
2% of the venom, destroys cell membranes allowing the venom to spread easier. As if that wasn’t
enough, this toxic brew also makes blood vessels expand- which is why bee stings can be so
dangerous to people with low blood pressure. So what exactly would happen if you were stung
by 1,000 bees at once? Most healthy people can tolerate about 10
stings per pound of body weight. According to the CDC the average American weighs about
181 pounds, meaning most people could tolerate about 1800 stings before death. However, even
if 1000 stings is far below this fatal threshold, there is the potential for serious and life-threatening complications. The most dangerous part o
f a bee sting is when it produces swelling in locations other than the sting site- or
when the sting site is in a particularly vulnerable area such as the throat. This swelling can
compromise the airway and lead to asphyxiation. Because it also causes blood vessels to expand,
all that venom can also critically lower blood pressure, becoming potentially fatal for the
sick or elderly. But even if 1,000 stings don’t kill you outright,
they can still be lethal days after the attack! When a bee stings you it damages a great deal
of cellular tissue- and it’s the kidney’s job to eliminate this cell tissue and keep
it from ‘gunking up’ the body. However if there is too much damaged tissue the kidneys
can’t keep up and may be overwhelmed, leading to a shut-down. This is why people suffering
from extreme bee attacks are typically hospitalized and closely monitored for a few days after. For the average human, 1000 stings shouldn’t
be fatal, but approximately 2% of the population suffers from extreme allergic reactions that
can be triggered by just a single sting. Bees aren’t very prone to attacking people though
and with the exception of Africanized Honey Bees are actually quite tolerant of us- most
beekepers don’t even wear suits! So while they may seem quite scary, just remember:
bees will typically leave you alone as long as you leave them alone… typically.

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100 thoughts on “What If You Were Stung by 1000 Bees?

  1. I was bit by a bee twice u cried the first but the second one I barely felt and I saw the bees dead body on ne

  2. I once got stunned by normal bees at my village a long month ago and it hurtled so much! I was littraly crying out loud then

  3. But now that i have flowers right like outside there are some bees but i dont do something bad to them at all i only look at them i dont hit them or do something to hurt them

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