The mystery may be taken out of the honeybee stinger, but that doesn’t make getting stung pain-free! As a beekeeper, stings are an unfortunate inevitability. So what to do when you do get stung?
First and foremost, try not to panic. If you’re prepared for the possibility of a sting at any time while beekeeping, you’ll be better able to handle the pain. Dropping a frame of bees, brood and maybe even a queen is never something you want to do.
Once stung, act quickly, but move slowly. Put down whatever is in your hands, and quickly scratch the stinger off the affected skin with the hive tool or your fingernail. Every second wasted means more venom in your skin. Never try to pull it, rub it or pinch it out; those actions will only lead to the stinger lodging deeper and depositing more venom faster.
Just remember: A cool smoke, a calm demeanor and slow movements will go far in preventing stings in the bee yard.