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Up to nine people die every year from bee or wasp stings.

Honey bees will sting, but usually only in defence.

Remove bee stings with a scrape of the fingernail. Don't pick up the venom sac with your thumb and forefinger as this will squeeze in more venom. Apply an ice pack or calamine lotion to soothe the affected part.

You have a higher chance of being allergic to bee or wasp stings if you are also allergic to foods and pollen.

Take precautions. Avoid shiny or bright, floral-printed clothing, flowery perfumes and scented suntan lotions. Use an insect repellent.

Move away slowly from bees and wasps. Do not try to swat them.

Wasps, bumblebees and hornets can sting repeatedly and do not leave their sting behind, but honey bees die after stinging once.

Honey bees are attracted to hair and dark colours.

A person would need to be stung about 10 times per pound of body weight before it became fatal. But those with an allergy could be killed by just one sting.

The exact composition of bee venom is not known.

The record for sustained stings is 2,243! The victim made a full recovery.
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 10, 2004
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