Do Bees Die After Stinging?

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Do bees die after stinging? This is a common question asked by people who are afraid of being stung. The answer to this question depends on the species of bee. Some bees die after being stung, while others do not.

As the weather becomes warmer, you’ll observe a swarm of yellow and black insects buzzing around your yard. What’s more, besides being beneficial to nature, these tiny insects present quite an interesting array of facts. One of these aspects is the belief that bees die after stinging, but is this true? Do Bees Die After Stinging? Are their stings dangerous?

Let’s investigate and learn more about this fascinating truth.

Why do bees sting?

Bees are a group of unique insects in that they only sting when absolutely necessary. The sting these critters inflict on their foe will be devastating for a good reason.

do bees die after stinging?

Typically, bees are pacifist by nature and rarely attack; however, if they feel confused, stepped on, or threatened, these insects will sting to defend themself.

Furthermore, only female bees have the ability to sting; the male, known as the drone, does not.

Instead of stinging around the hive, the bee will sting at its perimeter. It will be primarily concerned with defending its area and congeners.

Keep in mind that these creatures can be sensitive to certain aromas, such as perspiration or perfume.

Do Bees Die After Stinging? 

bees on honeycomb with bee uterus. Queen bee in the center.

Do bees die after they sting? This is a question that has been asked for many years, and the answer is still not clear. Some people believe that when a bee stings something, it dies right away.

Others believe that the bee can sting multiple times before dying. The truth is that no one really knows how long a bee can live after stinging something.

What we do know is that when a bee stings something, it uses its barbed stinger. The stinger is attached to the bee’s abdomen, and when the bee flies away, the stinger stays in whatever it was stinging.

This means that the more times a bee stings something, the more chances it has of losing its stinger. Once the stinger is gone, the bee cannot fly anymore and will eventually die.

Honey bees, Africanized honey bees, bumblebees, and carpenter bees are certain common bees you might see wandering around your house.

All of these bees sting, but usually only when they feel threatened.

Furthermore, because the stinger is a modified ovipositor, all stinging bees are female.

Different patterns are observed amongst different species when it comes to the proceedings after the sting.

Carpenter bees and bumblebees have smooth stingers and can sting several times before dying. They are both relatively gentle species, which is quite fortunate.

On the other hand, Stinging is usually lethal for honey bees and Africanized honey bees; this is due to the fact that these bees, unlike other species, have barbed stingers.

The stinger, venom sac, and internal organs of these bees get removed from their body when it flies away, thus disemboweling the insect and causing it to die.

So Why Do They Sting?

It may seem odd that bees continue to sting even if the sting kills them, but there are several reasons for this. One of the key reasons is that bees aren’t always aware that stinging is a form of suicide; they’re only trying to protect themselves, their colony, or their hive.

Furthermore, when bees sting, a unique alarm pheromone is released to inform the rest of the hive. When this is discovered, the other bees’ protective-fight or flight responses are triggered, making them aggressive and prompting them to sting any nearby beings indiscriminately.

 Which species of these stinging pests are harmful?


The threat of being stung can be frightening for both people who are truly allergic to bee stings and those who are not.

And, because certain bees are more dangerous than others, it’s critical to recognize the type of bee you’re encountering before taking action.

That said, proper identification is critical, as you could end up killing a bee that is vital to the environment.

If you discover any of these bees in your yard, take assistance from a professional before attempting to remove them.

Honey bees

Honey bees are not aggressive by nature and will only sting humans if they feel threatened.

Moreover, when a honey bee stings something, the venom sac associated with the stinger is automatically activated.

The sac continues to pump venom into the object until the stingers have been pulled out. For this reason, it’s important to remove the stinger as quickly as possible.

Fortunately, honey bee stings are only dangerous to people who are allergic to bee stings.

For everyone else, a honey bee sting is painful but not life-threatening.

In addition to stinging, Honey bees can cause structural damage by building nests in wall and ceiling cavities. The presence of honey and beeswax in the nest might cause the wall to sag or become discolored as the nest develops in size.

Carpenter bees

Carpenter bees are one of the least aggressive types of stinging insects.

While Male carpenter bees cannot sting and are generally harmless, female carpenter bees may attack if they feel threatened, are mishandled, or stepped on; otherwise, they are fairly docile.

Nevertheless, their stings can be quite painful.

That being said, Carpenter bees can be pests because they bore holes into wooden structures, leading to rot and moisture damage.


Bumblebees are generally indifferent about stinging humans unless they feel threatened or are mistreated.

When a nest is disturbed or endangered, the colony makes a loud, agitated buzzing noise.

Therefore, a bumblebee nest is only a threat to an establishment or a homeowner if someone is allergic to bumblebee stings.

Suppose a bumblebee colony is close to a building’s entrance or route and poses a threat to your or others’ safety. In that scenario, seeking expert help for safe eradication is strongly advised.

Africanized honey bees

The social organization of Africanized bees is similar to that of European honey bees. They even assist in the pollination of plants.

However, when it comes to protecting their nest, they are exceedingly territorial and violent. They patrol a considerably greater region surrounding their nest.

Consequently, the drones inform the colony to “attack” if a child, animal, or person wanders near the nesting area.

These bees then tackle the perceived threats by attacking in higher numbers.

Hundreds of stings can be found on the victims of an attack.

Despite the fact that their venom is no more strong than that of a honey bee, the sheer volume of stings means more poison enters the target’s body.

Stinging until the target is no longer recognized as a danger is the primary goal of Africanized bees.

How long does it take a bee to die after stinging?

Bees die in a matter of minutes after stinging due to their barbed stinger, precisely because they lose their abdomen into the skin of the victim after stinging.

Furthermore, the thick skin of the target is also a factor why certain specific bee species die after stinging; that is, in just a few minutes, bees die a horrible death.

Are Bee Stings Dangerous?

Honeycomb hanging on the tree branch.

Though bee stings are not generally dangerous to the average person, they can be fatal in some cases for people with severe allergies.

This is because they can cause anaphylactic shock, which is a potentially deadly reaction.

If you are unsure of whether or not you have a severe allergy to bee stings, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid being stung altogether.

Overall, bee stings, while a little painful, are simply a nuisance for most people.

How to soothe a bee sting?

There is a variety of measures to soothe a bee sting.

One popular remedy is honey. Honey has natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help to reduce swelling and pain. It is also a soothing agent, providing relief from the itching and burning sensation that often accompanies bee stings.

Another common option is to use toothpaste. Toothpaste has ingredients that can soothe the skin and reduce inflammation.

In addition, if someone is stung by a bee, they can apply pressure to the site and then put a cold compress on it.

Baking soda can also be used as an effective soothing agent for bee stings.

Tips for Bee Removal

Beekeeper At Work

Observing a swarm of bees near your property might direct you to undertake certain actions for their elimination. 

However, before you go after these buzzing insects, consider that bees are beneficial pollinators.

In fact, these insects, particularly honey bees, are responsible for a huge portion of the fruits and vegetables you consume. outright murdering bees is often frowned on

Therefore Here are six actions to take for the safe removal of these stinging pests:

  • When dealing with stinging insects, it’s always best not to provoke them. The majority of bee species only sting if they believe their colony or queen is in danger. Keeping your distance minimizes the odds of an angry hive, reducing the possibility of being stung.
  • If the hive or swarm is outside, keep your dogs, children, and anybody who is allergic to bee stings inside and away from the bees. In case you observe a beehive in your house, try to isolate the location.
  • If the hive has made its home in your home, try to figure out how the bees came in. Avoid blocking the entrance to the hive, as the bees may escape into other sections of your home.
  • Refrain from employing insecticides or traps to exterminate the swarm on your own. While eradication may backfire in the lack of adequate understanding, insecticide use can also be damaging. Especially since the EPA has prohibited the use of many commonly used insecticides near bees. This means that it is illegal to use such products on bees.
  • To get rid of bees, employ professional services. In case the bees swarming your yard are honey bees, depending on the location of the hive or swarm, a local beekeeper may be able to take them off your hands for little to no money. However, getting rid of bees belonging to other bee species or large indoor colonies may need visiting a pest management professional.


Hopefully, this guide was useful in sorting out the facts from the myths.

As we now know, certain bee species, such as honey bees and Africanized honey bees, are known to die after stinging due to the existence of piercing stingers; however, this is not true of all species. 

Furthermore, while these little insects can sting and cause pain, they are generally docile and only strike when provoked or threatened. 

Therefore, eradicating these environmentally friendly insects should be done with extreme caution and strictly under professional supervision. 

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.