HomeScience & InnovationWhy do bees die after stinging?

Why do bees die after stinging?

The difference between a honeybee and a wasp is, in particular, that the bees can only sting once. It’s all just about anatomy. It is the shape of the bee’s stinger that will deliver the fatal blow.

Honey bees are not aggressive by nature. If this social insect happens to sting, it is always in the interest of the colony and only to defend its territory, its hive and its queen. The bee having no awareness of its own life or the risks it incurs by stinging, it is without restraint that it sacrifices itself for the benefit of the hive.

Only female bees sting

Note that only female bees can sting. The male bee, known as the drone , does not have a stinger and therefore cannot sting. The queens, meanwhile, are limited to biting small animals that venture into the hive, or possibly rivals. The queen can sting several times without dying.

After stinging, a bee leaves in our skin, not only its stinger, but also its venom gland. © Waugsgerb, Wikipedia

A spur sting that responsible for the death of the bee

If the bees — worker bees only ultimately — die after stinging, it is because their stinger takes the form of a harpoon (whereas that of the wasps is very smooth). When it goes into our skin — and that of other vertebrates — our flesh literally closes in on it and the hooks of the harpoon then prevent it from coming out.

To escape, the bee is then forced to leave behind part of its abdomen containing the venom gland. Gutted, the bee is therefore condemned to die in the more or less short term, and of course in this case we need to try to relieve the sting as fast as possible.

Mehmet S. Kaya
Mehmet S. Kaya
Mehmet is one of the administrator of Teknonel. As a software developer, he loves to share his knowledge in related topics. He is highly familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, publishing, and performance analysis as well as product reviews.


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