Join 3,439 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Nostril, Lip, Penis
April 4, 2014 3:41 AM   Subscribe

The worst places to get stung by a bee "It started when a honeybee flew up Michael Smith’s shorts and stung him in the testicles." Smith's painstaking study adds another dimension to the well-researched Schmidt Sting Pain Index.
posted by madamjujujive (79 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
When I was a kid, maybe 10 years old, at a cousins birthday party, I stepped on a mud dauber's nest and was stung about 30 times on the legs, and groin area, including all the worst areas down there, and to this day, the most traumatic memory of the experience wasn't the pain, which I don't remember, it was getting stripped down naked and crying in front of about two dozen family members while my mom was trying to get them off of me.
posted by empath at 3:50 AM on April 4 [5 favorites]


I was stung right in the armpit by a wasp I had inadvertently trapped there while sunbathing. The pain rating was "ARGH, fuck! You little fucker! FUCK!"
posted by Decani at 3:50 AM on April 4 [4 favorites]


I just thought anywhere was the worst place to get stung by a bee!
posted by Kitteh at 4:03 AM on April 4 [3 favorites]


Riding a motorcycle at 70 miles per hour when a bee hit my face and got trapped behind my wrap-around sunglasses, that is one pace that you do NOT want a bee! Want to know what the stopping distance is for a 600 pound Harley Sportster... pretty damn short!
posted by HuronBob at 4:09 AM on April 4 [10 favorites]


The comments on the first article are actually pretty good, although the first " will like to see a video of the author smashing a raw egg on his skull" is a bit more of a non sequitur than a helpful addition....
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:19 AM on April 4


Also, is it just me or did other MeFites follow "Nostril, Lip, Penis" with "Knees and Toes, Knees and Toes?"
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:21 AM on April 4 [23 favorites]


I got stung on the upper lip by a bumblebee - a bumblebee - when I was ten. It wasn't wildly painful, but that's how we learned that I have a strong localized allergy to stings when my lip and half my face swelled up twice normal size. Fun.

My mother also claims that a bee flying up her dress and stinging her on her 9-months-pregnant belly is what ultimately started labor when she delivered my brother.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:25 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


The only pain index I follow.
posted by jeribus at 4:31 AM on April 4 [19 favorites]



Riding a motorcycle at 70 miles per hour when a bee hit my face and got trapped behind my wrap-around sunglasses, that is one pace that you do NOT want a bee! Want to know what the stopping distance is for a 600 pound Harley Sportster... pretty damn short!

I in the middle of going around a curve when a bee hit the exposed part of my neck. I am guessing the stinger embedded immediately or the reflex was quick, because then the creature broke into two pieces. The head and thorax fell down my collar, and the abdomen was hanging from my neck by the stinger. There was no place I could safely stop for quite a distance, and not only was I in pain, I was intensely grossed out.


There also really is no graceful way to fish half an insect out of your cleavage by the side of a busy street.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:42 AM on April 4 [8 favorites]


I am somewhat skeptical as to the reliability of ratings. Anyone willing to subject themselves to a 7+ sensation more than once, is, uh ... well, dedicated, at least. (Or perhaps these are best interpreted as ratings relative to each other, and not on some hypothetical absolute scale.)
posted by spaceman_spiff at 4:45 AM on April 4


My first exposure to the pain of bees occurred at the tender age of like four, when my childhood friend and fellow nannee tricked me into smooshing an injured one which was lying prone on some concrete steps. She conned me into stomping on a pigeon once too. God she was evil.
posted by Quilford at 4:46 AM on April 4


In comments to the article someone mentions the possibility of pain in the midline of the body as being worse. I also wonder if muscle v. fleshy bits has anything to do with different intensities of pain at all? Which would make being stung on the breast pretty much worse for women than for men. Ouch.

Or what if being stung where there is cartilage makes it worse? Hate to suggest further experimentation but what happens if you get stung on the cartilage of your ear?
posted by glasseyes at 4:49 AM on April 4


My wife: sun bathing and sipping on a beer>beer to lips>bee to tongue>no more open beers in the sun.
posted by rmhsinc at 4:57 AM on April 4 [4 favorites]


Nostril, lip, penis - the two hominids squared off and de-regulated their breathing for several minutes, their outer covering rising in temperature....

wrong thread. Sorry.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:10 AM on April 4 [9 favorites]


That tops my between the toes sting. That's what end my walking in the grass barefoot days.
posted by thelonius at 5:16 AM on April 4


The worst place to be stung is: all over your body, all at once, repeatedly.

I had the awful misfortune to be swarmed by bees twice as a kid. (And no, I was not provoking the bees - I just stumbled into the wrong place, twice.) Hospitalized and traumatized both times.

25 years later, if a housefly buzzes by my ear, I am flashback to my own personal Vietnam, and I am running for my life through the woods.

All I am saying is that you can never have enough cans of bee spray.
posted by Flood at 5:16 AM on April 4 [14 favorites]


I had um kind of a failure of empathy once when a friend related a story of masturbating in the woods (I thought it was TMI from the get go), and a bee stung him right on the glans. A really good friend would've been all "I'm so sorry." but it took me about ten minutes to stop laughing so that I could express sympathy. Probably seemed less than sincere at that point.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:25 AM on April 4 [10 favorites]


When I was a kid, maybe 10 years old, at a cousins birthday party, I stepped on a mud dauber's nest

Gah! Stepping on a nest is the worst. Especially when you panic and try to brush the bees away from your feet with your hands, because then your hands get covered with stings, too, and before you know it, you're back at the house bent double, with all four appendages in a bucket of cold water, screaming and cursing while the cats scramble for hiding places and your sister yells at you for being stupid enough to try to brush the bees away with your hands.

I really admire Smith's sangfroid. I guess you've got to have some degree of it before taking up the work to begin with, but still. And I'm glad his advisor stopped him from trying the eyes.

In conclusion, Nostrilipenis.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:27 AM on April 4 [2 favorites]


A bee flew up my wife's wedding dress as we were walking to a lighthouse to get our photos done. It was sort of tangled in the layers of lace. As the groom it was my job to reach into the frills and squish the bugger. He stung my hand. The photographer and his wife were there and I remember her yelling at him to capture the moment. "Shoot it, Alan! Shoot it!" Never did get that image in our final prints. I should ask him about that.
posted by Brodiggitty at 5:49 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


I couldn't get past all the pictures of stinging creatures.
posted by theora55 at 6:10 AM on April 4


I looked out the window yesterday to see about 100 (euro) wasps busily attending to the new nesting site, under the curl at the bottom of the aluminium awning. I decided against donning armour and climbing a ladder for a spray-can pesticide spree (they say you should never ever do that from a ladder anyway) and decided to let the professionals do the yearly property spray that was missed last year. The guy who sprayed the wasps was laughing when he told of the magpies clamouring on the ground under the awning, fighting over the feast of poison insects. He didn't understand when I said that was a pretty fucked up thing to let happen.
posted by peacay at 6:11 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


Family lore claims my mother dropped me when I was an infant, when a bee flew up her skirt and stung her on the butt. Family lore also claims this explains a lot about me.

The spot right behind your ear where there's a lymph node right up at the surface is not a great place to be stung (even by a mosquito). It's not terribly painful in the event, but the node swells up like a golf ball afterwards and hurts for ages.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:12 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


I read about this index years ago and the description that stood out was Justin O. Schmidt saying one sting was so bad that all he wanted to do was 'lay down in a field and scream for about 9 hours'.
The Tarantula Hawk, I believe, was the culprit.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 6:14 AM on April 4


“Cornell University’s Human Research Protection Program does not have a policy regarding researcher self-experimentation [...]
ohh, I can see that policy changing in the near future.
posted by k5.user at 6:26 AM on April 4 [2 favorites]


When my family was still together we briefly lived in this big idyllic home surrounded by evergreen trees. These trees were just heavy with yellow jackets and I really shouldn't have been allowed around and under them, but the neighbour kids and I would play a game where we would see who could gather the most pinecones without being scared off or stung by angry hornets.

This game became a lot less fun when I was stung in the eyeball. That was a fun hospital visit.
posted by one of these days at 6:26 AM on April 4


Very few "bee" stings are actually from honeybees, which will sting you if (a) you step on or otherwise mash them or (b) dig into their hives. In fact, you can stick your hands right into a ball of swarming honeybees and they won't sting you because that's the opposite of what they're programmed to do.

Wasps, hornets, and especially yellowjackets will sting the hell out of you for no reason except that they're just dicks. Yellowjackets, in particular, seem unusually cruel and jerky, as if they're the ultimate result of a cycle of samsara in which reprehensible people, like SS officers, dictators, and gym teachers, are doomed to come back as vicious, soulless monsters on the wing until they repent. Sadly, they've abandoned all hope of progress in reincarnation and just hone their skills and glee at bringing misery.

A wasp got me, about five years ago, while I was on my scooter, completely boxed in by rampaging DC traffic. It flew into the stylishly unzipped collar of my armored jacket (I'm that guy on a scooter), in through the collar of my shirt, then proceeded to walk merrily around the rolling landscape of my carcass, just stinging me here, there, and everywhere as I desperately searched for a gap in the traffic in which I could pull out. I followed a very wasplike path on the Vespa as I beat myself with my free-ish hand, trying to kill the devil, and finally got it as it stung my elbow a few times and then got caught in the elastic of the sleeve cuff on my right arm.

It was all painful (notably unlike bee stings, which I barely notice), but even better than that was the fact that one of the stings at my elbow became infected. By the time my elbow was as swollen as Popeye's forearm, leaving me with a giant, stiff, misshapen arm, I headed for the doctor, who pointed out that I had MRSA in the site of the sting and would be lucky not to lose my arm. One unsettling ice cold IV of Cipro and a whole lot of lancing later, my distaste for wasps reached a level on a par with a yellowjacket's hatred of all that is warm-blooded.

When springtime comes, I go out to West Virginia and open up my broken-down cabin for the season, and it's always encrusted with hornet nests, mud dauber nests, and other edifices of wickedness on the wing, and I happily spray enough poison to turn my place into a Superfund site, because I have no sympathy for the devil.

Bees can sting me if they must, but wasps and their brethren get no truck.
posted by sonascope at 6:26 AM on April 4 [37 favorites]


On two separate occasions while riding a bike, I was stung by something I guess was a bee on the eyelid and the inside of my lower lip. One I was just heading out and stubbornly decided that I was not going to let this interrupt my ride. The other I was about 30 miles away from home, and I figured I might as well have lunch with everybody in the group and ride home as planned. We got a bag of ice from the deli along with my sandwich. Yeah, upon reflection, they hurt like a sumbitch, but that faded from prominence once ALL the people started asking "Oh, gosh, are you allergic?" I mean, yeah, it's swelling like a softball, but it's a sensitive area!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:41 AM on April 4


My wife: sun bathing and sipping on a beer>beer to lips>bee to tongue>no more open beers in the sun.

I got my lip sting in the same way, except it was a can of Mountain Dew. I have such a vivid memory of the incident. I can barely remember my son being born, but I remember so many stupid details of that bee sting.
posted by Area Man at 6:43 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


I too have been stung on the eyelid while riding my bike. Incredibly painful, fortunately there was no oncoming traffic because by the time I got my eyes back open I had veering into the other lane. The best part was all the people at work the next day, "did you get in a fight?".
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:48 AM on April 4


Why hasn't this been posted before

NOPE NOPE NOPE A WHOLE SWARM OF FLYYING HELL THE FUCK NOPES
posted by lalochezia at 6:48 AM on April 4


All I can say is "Do not pee on a wasp". Really, you'll benefit from my mistake. Although I've been stung lots of other places, and the worst one was on the inside of my knee. Not only did I have to take my pants off in front of a bunch of coworkers to find out why there was intense pain there, but after it swole up to the size of a grapefruit walking was... weird.
posted by sneebler at 6:53 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


In the peritoneum, while squatting to defecate. Ask me how I know.
posted by Scientist at 6:59 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


In the peritoneum, while squatting to defecate. Ask me how I know.

Ow! I made the mistake of standing in a fire ant nest while peeing once, which produces all kinds of bad results.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:07 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


The worst places to get stung by a bee

What, like the back of a Volkswagen?
posted by hypersloth at 7:13 AM on April 4 [14 favorites]


In the peritoneum, while squatting to defecate. Ask me how I know.
posted by Scientist


Because, when it comes to stinging insects, scientists are all insane?
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:18 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


The "boys" immediately headed north when I scrolled down the front page to this link. There is no way I'm going to click on it.
posted by tommasz at 7:33 AM on April 4


ohh, I can see that policy changing in the near future.

Indeed:
Was there any point in the experiment when he thought: Hey, maybe I shouldn’t sting myself in the nose and/or penis?

“By the time I got round to the third round, I thought: I really don’t want to do my nose again,” he says. “I had originally had the eye on the list, but when I talked to [my advisor Tom Seeley], he was concerned that I might go blind. I wanted to keep my eyes.”
posted by ninebelow at 7:34 AM on April 4


The worst place to avoid getting stung is your mouth while riding a bicycle downhill.

My brother caught a bee or wasp in his mouth while riding with a group of friends and in his panic to spit it out he wiped out and caused a pile up. He didn't get stung but he did lose about a square foot of skin. His friends however got it worse..the total was something like a couple of broken arms, a fractured collar bone and a concussion.

So if you catch a bee in your mouth while cycling with a group of friends, take one for the team.
posted by srboisvert at 7:37 AM on April 4 [3 favorites]


Once, while housepainting, I kicked open a bumble bee nest in a mulch pile. I learned three things:

(1) seven bumble bee stings is enough to put you in bed for a few days;

(2) they don't sting randomly - they aim for your face; and

(3) they have hands!! One they land on your lip, you can't just easily brush them off. They muckle on.
posted by rtimmel at 7:51 AM on April 4


Initially I was nervous because I have 2 packages of bees arriving in a few weeks for my first foray into beekeeping. Now I'm scared to ride my bike or drink while outside or walk across my lawn.
posted by Turkey Glue at 7:52 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


Unless it actually stung him on the scrotum, there is something missing from this story that's probably relevant to Mr. Smith's perception of discomfort.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 7:53 AM on April 4


I was fixing fences one day and a bee got trapped in my coffee cup. Took a sip. That was something.
posted by Trochanter at 8:33 AM on April 4


I just thought anywhere was the worst place to get stung by a bee!

From a honeybee's point of view, this is true. For them, the experience is fatal.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:34 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


Like the back of a Volkswagen?

Dammit hypersloth.
posted by RobotHero at 8:56 AM on April 4


[bumblebees] don't sting randomly - they aim for your face

Truth! When I got stung I was playing near a sprinkler or something, and saw the bumblebee just sort of buzzin' around. Now, when I was a kid, every time I saw a bee I wanted to run, but I had always been cautioned that running was the worst thing to do and that I should stand still and wait for it to fly away, which totally made no sense to me but it's what the grownups were telling me so I was trying really hard to comply.

And so I stood totally still, eyeing it fearfully as it buzzed around, and watched in horror as it swerved up, flew right at me, and landed right on the tip of my nose, where I looked at it in cross-eyed terror for about two seconds until I felt the stinger starting to enter my lip. At which point I thought "fuck this" and swatted it off my nose and ran like hell.

The swelling didn't happen until the next day and required an emergency visit with my pediatrician, who gave me a couple days' worth of Benadryl and then I was fine. Never had any breathing trouble or anything, just the super-swollen lip. But afterward I felt justified in ignoring the "just stand still if you see a bee" advice and felt validated in running, which I have always been grateful for because seriously, fuck bees.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:58 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


I've been fortunate in avoiding bee-to-penis interaction. Chigger-to-penis interaction, not so much. Web-diagnosis of the bite resulted in hysteria and speculation as to the efficacy of a particular brand of condom. Kids, don't self diagnose. See your doctor.
posted by echocollate at 9:06 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


Wow, I did not expect that I would develop a fear of stinging things in beverages today, but that is apparently now a thing in my life.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:09 AM on April 4


Yellowjackets are super evil. My sister and I trod on a nest when I was about 12 and we ran for a mile before the swarm gave up on chasing us.
posted by junco at 9:10 AM on April 4


and a bee stung him right on the glans.

Because she got wet, that hen got mad.
Because she got mad, that hen kicked a bucket.
Because of that kick, the bucket went up.
Because it went up, the bucket came down.
Because it came down, it hit Farmer Brown.
And that bucket got stuck on his head. a bee stung him right on the glans.
posted by davejay at 9:10 AM on April 4 [3 favorites]


Om my god, echocollate: been there, not fun. Worse than the wasps.
posted by junco at 9:11 AM on April 4


Chigger-to-penis interaction,

Wow, you just reminded me of a long suppressed tick-to-penis interaction. It was back in the day when a hot match was the preferred method of extraction.
posted by rtimmel at 9:11 AM on April 4


"Caustic and burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut."

I'm wondering whether this is imaginative or whether someone actually poured hydrochloric acid on a papercut to compare. Timely because I just had an encounter with a red paper wasp this morning on the outside and underside of the big toe.

I always heard that wasps were worse because they are predators who use their stingers to kill things in horribly gruesome ways, as opposed to bees who are the suicide stingers of the insect world.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 9:12 AM on April 4


anybody else remember the song dr. demento used to play "when the bumblebee invaded the nudist colony"?

i wonder if some of you are not misidentifying your insects. i have bumblebees here, they're totally benign. the bald-headed hornets they resemble are a whole 'nother thing. late april/may is the annual queen war, when i see them looking for new homes and spray poison out the window at them. several years back, i went outside to urinate and burn my credit union statement on the ash/compost pile. the yellowjacket queen was moving low and slow around the pile when i dropped the burning statement perfectly on top of her. felt like a golfer hitting a hole-in-one.

winter woodburners who bring sticks in from outside: look over each one, they like to spend the winter in your woodpile.
posted by bruce at 9:14 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


In the peritoneum, while squatting to defecate.

I know you meant perineum (because this is a mistake I also frequently make) but I like the vision of getting stung INSIDE YOUR ABDOMINAL CAVITY so much that I'mma pretend you meant what you said.
posted by KathrynT at 9:24 AM on April 4 [5 favorites]


i wonder if some of you are not misidentifying your insects

No, the same bumblebee you are talking about. Big, placid, and maybe a little dumb - the cow of the insert world. But kick open their nest - which can conveniently be located at foot height - and they turn into puffballs of death.
posted by rtimmel at 9:56 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


getting stung INSIDE YOUR ABDOMINAL CAVITY

Now THERE'S someone who can squat1!
posted by Trochanter at 10:22 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


getting stung INSIDE YOUR ABDOMINAL CAVITY

Now THERE'S someone who can squat1!


Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding for Pink Flamingos!
posted by sonascope at 10:27 AM on April 4


While we're all unearthing our suppressed stinging/biting insect memories, here's one that just came to mind.

When I was in college (ca. 1997-98) I bought a soft-serve cone from a stand at a campus arts & music festival. I took a big bite off the top and noticed something crunchy inside my mouth. Immediately sensing something very wrong, I spat the bolus of ice cream on the ground and what to my wondering eyes should appear but A DEAD, SOFT-SERVE-ENCRUSTED YELLOWJACKET.

I didn't get stung, but it definitely put me off of ice cream for a while.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:35 AM on April 4


True fact: Wasps and Yellow Jackets can sting right through knit stirrup pants quite easily and quickly.
posted by tilde at 10:43 AM on April 4


I have a friend who got stung on the tip while using the bathroom during his honeymoon. Just thought I'd share.
posted by maryr at 10:46 AM on April 4


Working outside you learn to buy your cola in bottles that you can reseal, being tongue stung ith nathy.

"Riding a motorcycle at 70 miles per hour..."

Riding northbound across the Aurora bridge in Seattle wearing my red sparkle-flake open face helmet one lovely summer afternoon on my miserable 1974 Honda CB 360-T I caught a southbound bee in my nose. In, as in bounced off of my upper lip and deflected into the entrance to my right nostril. The closing velocity was at least 70 mph. Bees are durable. The weird thing - I saw her from a distance and the arc was perfect - it wasn't a line - she flew low but in an attempt, I imagine, to miss me, she fucked up.

It's hard to tell which one of us was more alarmed. I have a fucking bee in my right nostril who doesn't want to be there and is flapping it's wings at insect speed desperately trying to not be in my right nostril. I'm driving a motorcycle across an undivided bridge inhaling through my mouth and exhaling through my nose in desperate snorts. A final snort expelled her in what I imagine was a relief to both of us.
posted by vapidave at 10:47 AM on April 4 [7 favorites]


But if you’re stung in the nose and penis, you’re going to want more stings to the penis over the nose, if you’re forced to choose.

Metafilter: You’re going to want more stings to the penis over the nose, if you're forced to choose.
posted by suprenant at 11:04 AM on April 4


I've got a couple that continue the themes of motorcycles and beverages.

In the first, a big fat lazy bumblebee lodged itself in-between my helmet liner and face, right next to my left temple. I could feel it struggling to free itself, and could see it's flailing legs just out of the corner of my eye. Sure I was going to catch one in the eyeball, I navigated with surprising calm to the side of the road, but was unable to avoid a poke in the temple.

In the second, on my wedding day I met up with some little bugger who shared my fondness for brown ales. Just as I was realizing that the texture I was experiencing in my mouth was all wrong for said ale, the little bastard got me in the tongue. I inelegantly spewed beer and bee onto the ground in front of my dad-in-law to be and his wife. There was a brief moment of panic about my tongue swelling up enough to prevent me saying my vows. "Quick, let's do this before he can't talk!" Fortunately my reactions to stings are pretty mild, and we were able to proceed as planned.
posted by calamari kid at 11:06 AM on April 4 [4 favorites]


My mother was once stung inside her throat. Was out camping, and a bee or wasp or somesuch had gone unnoticed inside an open soda can that she then took a swig from, and it got in a blow on the way down--which you really can't blame it for, and in fact you sort of have to admire the spirit of it.

It's jokeable enough about because she wasn't allergic enough for that to have killed her, which it very easily could have with even a bit more swelling involved. I don't know how the experience rates on pain scales, but based on the vivid memory of her misery when the parents got home again, I'm comfortable saying it must have been pretty high.

Also the life lesson was, be careful about drinking anything sweet outside. Accidentally swallowing a bug is not the worst outcome.
posted by Drastic at 11:50 AM on April 4


The least painful locations were the skull, upper arm, and tip of the middle toe (all averaging 2.3).

Yeah, you notice this guy was willing to get stung on his nostril, his nethers, and the tip of his toe, but even HE wasn't willing to get stung right in the joint of his fourth toe, and I can tell you why, because he would still be crying like a little kid right this very minute.
posted by HotToddy at 11:54 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]


I think what impressed me about the paper wasp I stepped on this morning, was how quick it hit. I cut myself shaving earlier this week and it took a good half-minute before it started to sting. I've discovered insect bites washing my hands after mowing. With the wasp, it went from "wait, we have thumbtacks?" to FUCKING HELL, SOMETHING IS CHEWING ON MY BIG TOE in under a second.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:37 PM on April 4


High on the chin. Near the bottom lip. Makes every tooth in your lower jaw ache and ache.
posted by bkeaggy at 4:07 PM on April 4


INSIDE the mouth on the frontal upper palate. I was at a picnic many years ago; wasps were everywhere and very persistent about hovering around meat. Someone handed me a barbecued chicken sandwich; I took a bite - wow! It hurt like hell; the pain took quite a while to subside, but it gave me quite an endorphin rush.
posted by Vibrissae at 4:23 PM on April 4


When I was about 7 I stepped on a bee barefoot, and I was allergic so it hurt like hell and my foot swelled up like a balloon.

This post makes it clear that there are worse things.
posted by homunculus at 10:21 PM on April 4


My son has been stung three times in his life so far, despite every attempt he has made to avoid bees and wasps and yellow jackets. They find him aggravating, apparently.

So one day we're at a pool and he's trying to avoid a flying yellow thing of indeterminate type, and I tell him "just leave it alone, walk away, it'll be fine." The thing starts hovering near me, and I say "do I look afraid? It doesn't want to sting me, so I just won't aggravate it." Oh, brave dad.

So of course it was inevitable that twenty minutes later it landed on the back of my neck, and I swatted it, and so it stung me. And then I felt stupid, and started to tell my son how hilarious it was that with all my bee-ravado I went and got stung, when oh the burning and I could feel the venom spreading and then I remembered just how much being stung sucks ow ow ow.

I am much more sympathetic to my son's bee avoidance desires now.
posted by davejay at 8:10 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]


quite a few years ago i was a low level planning department employee working for DuPage County. I worked in a large office building--full of cubicles and courtrooms and what have you. I was taking a break one fine summer morning and sitting in a lobby on the second floor when I felt something crawl up my pants leg. I swatted at it and it responded by stinging me.

I was not happy but thought "Oh a bee has flown up my pants leg." I was actually pretty familiar with the situation as I had recently experienced a rash of bees flying up my pants so I calmly got up to walk to the nearby bathroom to remove the now dying bee.

Then I got stung again. And again. Unfortunately the lobby and hallway of a government building is not an appropriate place to remove one's pants so I made the 50 meter walk being stung on what seemed every step. Finally when I was able to remove my pants a black wasp flew out. I hunted it down and killed it.

I had a reaction and had to take a fistful of benedryl and despite being a government employee everyone noticed that there was something wrong with me and I was sent home. My leg stiffened up quite nicely and it was several days before I was fully recovered.
posted by lester at 8:49 AM on April 5


soniscope--I happily spray enough poison to turn my place into a Superfund site, because I have no sympathy for the devil.--soniscope

"They worried it was some kind of high-atmosphere corrosion until the mystery was solved in the lab. It turned out the black spots were dead bugs that were cycling around in the upper atmosphere, blasted into the jet stream by the world's two superpowers rally of thermonuclear bombs. The bugs were killed in the bombs blasts and sent aloft to ninety thousand feet in the ensuing mushroom clouds where they gained orbit."

That's Ken Collins I see, as I read here from Area 51-An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base. (He's talking about the Oxcart plane and above ground tests)

"Once, a pilot flying over semirural West Virginia had to restart an engine at thirty thousand feet. The resulting sonic boom shattered a chimney inside a factory on the ground, and two men working there were crushed to death."
posted by sirlikeitalot at 12:11 PM on April 5


You're honey, child, to a swarm of bees. Gonna blow right through you like a breeze.

Inside your visor. Sorry about that. I didn't know HuronBob was a motorcycle enthusiast.
posted by sirlikeitalot at 12:27 PM on April 5


I've had a variety of insects find ways into the intimate inner spaces of my full face helmet, but on one of the most recent occasions, I was going through the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, where there is no such thing as a place to stop, and I was entirely relieved when the insect in question walked daintily across my eyeball and gave me a glimpse of fur that let me know that I had a honeybee on my face and not a wasp. I rode through the tunnel, the lights overhead beating a strobe against my alpha rhythms as I fought the urge to itch, and when I stopped to pay my toll, I calmly opened my visor, let her walk onto my finger, then indicated, in no uncertain terms, that our status as fellow travelers was over.

This would have all been very zen and pastoral and perfect, except that my toll money fell out of the back of my glove in this process, which meant I then had to dismount, with the hordes all honking, and chase the entire balance of my liquid assets at that moment across eight lanes of toll traffic like a Keystone Cop before returning to pay my toll and look appropriately shamed as the toll attendant yelled at me for acting in a very, very dangerous manner.

This, then, is how honeybees made me get an EZ Pass.

It is all part of the great circle of being.
posted by sonascope at 6:02 PM on April 5 [6 favorites]


You write good, sonascope. It's like you're in bee court.
posted by sirlikeitalot at 12:38 AM on April 6


This thread will definitely influence my summer fashion choices this year. I am horrified by all the bee-in-the-helmet stories in particular. I can barely control my hysteria if a stinging creature is simply just flying around in the car with me.

So apparently the only thing good about a bad sting in sensitive body part is the horror/humor/drama value in the retelling of the story.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:36 PM on April 7


madamjujujive's summer fashion choices is funny, do you guys get it? It's like a hazmat suit, ha ha, for all the radiation?

Anyway, yeah I got stung bad...i guess it was a couple Septembers ago. I was picking a bucket of apples for my neighbor, because she has a donkey. I was being careful because I had a hole in my glove, and I was almost done. I had already picked the apples on the lower branches. And as I recall, a vehicle drove by and I checked where my beagle was and got distracted, and I picked the last apple and got stung.

It was my fault 'cause I pinched him, but it was a hornet or maybe two hornets. My index finger had two stinger holes in it, right below the nail.

I'm serious now, it was like a second degree burn for 36 hours. I lost two nights of sleep. I had to try and sleep with my finger in ice water. But after awhile the cold hurts just as bad.

So you never want to reach where you can't see if you can at all help it.

But your summer fashion also reminds me of a thought-form, or a tulpa. If you walk into a dark shed or something during a summer day, you don't want to project a firebomb, just project a protective screen around you, gotta stay calm.

But yeah, here in the Ozarks, in decades past, unfortunate people have died from hornet stings, not necessarily because of allergies, but because of pain. That's what I heard anyway.
posted by sirlikeitalot at 7:20 PM on April 7


sirlikeitalot, you can tell your neighbor that she can buy her donkey a bee protection suit. And if she buys one like mine, they will have a fashionably protected look going on. Your Ozark hornets sound pretty mean so they may need it.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:57 AM on April 8


Maybe the bees are trying to kiss that donkey because he's so cute. All donkeys are beautiful.
posted by sirlikeitalot at 12:12 PM on April 8


« Older Graham cracker manufacturer Honey Maid recently ra...  |  What do you get when you cross... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments