Additional services

Return to Blog

What to know about bee sting allergies — Home GP for sting allergies in Sotogrande

Home GP for sting allergies in Sotogrande

Now that Spring is here, those who are allergic to bee stings may be scared of getting stung. While never-been-stung individuals may worry that they might be allergic. In this article, we discuss the causes and symptoms of bee sting allergies and when to call our home GP for sting allergies in Sotogrande.

How common are reactions to stings from bees?


During their lifetimes, approximately 5-7.5% of people will have a severe allergic reaction to the stings of insects. This risk increases to 32% in beekeepers.


Many people who react to insect stings will experience a mild to moderate irritant reaction in the form of localised redness and swelling, while a small percentage of people may experience an allergic reaction that is much more severe and necessitates immediate medical attention. 


The most severe allergic reactions are frequently brought on by the venom of honeybees, paper wasps, and yellow jackets, which spread all over the body, including to the skin and respiratory system.


What causes an allergic reaction?

After a bee stings, the needle-like barbs of its stinger remain imbedded in the victim's skin. Venom can continue to be expelled from this stinger for up to one minute after the bee has been stung.

Even if a person is not allergic to the venom, it is still possible for them to experience pain and swelling at the site of the sting because bee venom contains proteins that have an effect on skin cells and the immune system.

Venom causes a more severe immune system reaction in people who are allergic to bee stings. These people might not react allergic to bee stings the first time they are stung, but they might after receiving a second sting.

When a bee stings an allergic person, the immune system releases immunoglobulin E (IgE), a type of antibody. IgE typically guards the body against harmful elements like viruses and parasites. 

However, the body produces IgE in response to a sting, which can then cause inappropriate immune responses the next time a person is stung. These inappropriate immune responses include hives, swelling, and respiratory problems.


When to call our home GP for sting allergies in Sotogrande

Bee venom can cause reactions that range from relatively mild to life-threatening. When it is not as severe, the reaction centres around the site where the sting occurred. When the allergic reaction is severe enough, it spreads to other parts of the body and causes additional symptoms.

A person's response to a sting from a bee can also change depending on the circumstances of the situation. Some individuals may discover that every time they are stung, they experience the same localised reaction.

It is helpful to know the symptoms associated with different degrees of reactions so that you know if you should call our Home GP for sting allergies in Sotogrande.

Bee sting symptoms depend on allergy. Bee stings can cause mild, moderate, or severe reactions. Most bee sting symptoms are mild and don't need medical attention. They occur only at the sting site:

  • sharp, burning pain
  • a red, raised area
  • slight swelling

However, the body of a person who has a moderate reaction to a bee sting has a stronger response to bee venom. This response is referred to as a large local reaction (LLR) and symptoms can take over a week to heal completely. Redness and swelling around the sting may increase to 10 centimetres (cm) or more over 24–48 hours.

Bee stings can cause life-threatening anaphylaxis in some people. Rapid anaphylaxis symptoms include:

  • red, itchy hives on the skin
  • flushed or pale skin
  • a swollen tongue or throat
  • having trouble breathing
  • abdomen ache
  • vomit and nausea
  • dizziness
  • a sluggish, rapid pulse
  • loss of consciousness