Wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets have stingers without barbs that are usually retracted upon stinging, and these insects can sting people multiple times. The honey bee has a barbed stinger that remains in the victim's skin with its venom sack attached.

The bee stinger will continue to pump venom for 2-3 minutes while it is attached to you. It is important to remove it as soon as posible by any method.

Many doctors recommend using a hard object like a credit card or blunt knife to swipe over the area and remove the stinger. Tweezers may squeeze any leftover venom in the stinger into your body.
See How to remove a bee stinger at bee-stings.net and eHow
Watch for signs of Anaphylaxis. See Anaphylaxis here.
Applying ice or a cold pack and/or a paste of baking soda and water as soon as possible will help. A salt paste may also help.

Vinegar works better than baking soda for wasp stings.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Soak a small cotton pad with apple cider vinegar and hold on wound until pain disappears (the acid content neutralizes the venom).
Lemmon Juice will also work.

Use an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), ibuprofen or acetaminophen for minor pain relief.

A paste of vinegar/baking soda/meat tenderizer or toothpaste was recommended at Yahoo Answers.
Aloe Vera gel or lotion is also helpful.

Reduce the chance of getting stung (and save a bee!):

  1. Wear light-colored clothing.
  2. Don't use perfume or soaps, shampoos and deodorants with fragrance.
  3. Avoid bananas and banana-scented products.
  4. Wear clean clothing and be clean-our sweat makes bees angry.
  5. Stay clear of flowering plants.
  6. Keep your outside areas clean. Bees and wasps thrive in places with food trash: Picnic tables, grills and other outdoor eating areas.
Understand stinging behavior:
  1. If a single bee is pestering you, remain still and cover your face, or lie face down on the ground. (The face is the most likely place for a bee or wasp to sting.)
  2. Most bees will not attack if left alone, but swatting at a bee may cause it to sting.
  3. If you are attacked by several bees at once your best bet is to run, or jump in water. Bees release a chemical when they sting which alerts other bees to come to their defense. The more bees that have stung you, the stronger the “alarm” will be.
By Melissa Breyer
More at www.care2.com

Links:
Bee Sting Treatment at MedicineNet.com
Wasp Stings: Treatments & Home Remedies : TipNut.com
Bee-stings.net
How to relieve a bee sting? at Yahoo Answers

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last updated 5 Aug 2011