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Question: Are bee stings and wasp stings acidic or alkaline?

Asked by emma101999 to Amy, Sarah, Will on 21 Jun 2012.

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  • Photo: Will ReynoldsWill Reynolds answered on 21 Jun 2012:

    Hi Emma. They are actually opposites. Bee stings and acidic, and need to be neutralised with sodium bicarbonate and wasp stings are alkaline and can be treated with vinegar! Hope this helps.

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  • Photo: Sarah MartinSarah Martin answered on 22 Jun 2012:

    Hi Emma,

    Bee venom contains acid but this is not the single active ingredient that causes the pain from a bee sting, so adding soda won’t help much… The venom from wasps and bees is injected under the skin and after a few minutes spreads deep into the tissues, so adding soda on the surface won’t reach.
    Wasp stings are alkaline but once again the venom has so many active ingredients that it is very unlikely that it is the alkali alone that is the single active ingredient that causes the pain.

    So neutralising a sting with either vinegar or bicarbonate of soda is unlikely to be effective… however using an antihistamine sting cream will ease the swelling and itching!

    :) Sarah

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