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Health Information For Kids
Bee, or honeybee, is the word many people use to describe any flying insect that has wings and a stinger. But honeybees are really only one of a group of insects that includes other bees, wasps, and ants.
Bees are fuzzy insects that feed on flowers. There are thousands of different types of bees worldwide, and they can be many different colors. The most familiar kind of bee is the honeybee. These bees build nests out of wax in old trees and manmade hives (like the ones that beekeepers take care of) and spend a lot of their time collecting nectar and pollen from flowers. Then they turn the nectar into honey for food.
Wasps are closely related to bees, but instead of only feeding on pollen and honey, wasps eat animal food, other insects, or spiders. They are not fuzzy like bees, but seem kind of smooth and shiny, and they have skinnier bodies. There are also thousands of different types of wasps in the world. Two common types of wasps are bald-faced hornets and yellowjackets:
Ants are small insects that can be brown, black, or red. Some have wings and others don’t. Some ants can sting, like the fire ant. Fire ants are tiny and reddish-brown and live in nests under the ground.
Honeybees, wasps, hornets, fire ants, and yellowjackets may look different and have different homes, but they all sting when they are upset! If a person is stung by any of these insects, the sting will feel a lot like a shot at the doctor’s office.
The site of the sting will feel hot and it may itch. A red bump surrounded by white skin will develop around the sting, except for the sting of the fire ant, which turns into an itchy blister.
Wasps and many bees can sting more than once because they are able to pull out their stinger without injuring themselves. Only honeybees have special hooks on their stinger that keep the stinger in the skin after a person is stung. The stinger gets torn out of the bee’s body as it tries to fly away. As a result, the honeybee dies after stinging.
If you think you have been stung by one of these insects, tell an adult immediately. Some people are allergic to stings from insects. The symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives (red patches on the skin that sting and itch), nausea, dizziness, a tight feeling in the throat, or difficulty breathing. A person who has these symptoms needs medical attention right away.
But usually, you can follow these steps after getting stung:
Call the doctor if you or your parent are worried about the redness, swelling, or itching. Sometimes, the doctor will suggest giving a medicine called an antihistamine to control these symptoms.
If someone has an allergic reaction to a bee sting, a doctor must immediately give a shot that fights the reaction. People who know that they are allergic to bee stings also sometimes carry emergency medicine that they can give to themselves to prevent a severe reaction from happening.
If you know you are allergic to bees or other insects, you’ll want to take extra steps to avoid getting bitten or stung. You may want to avoid places where they spend time, like gardens or orchards in bloom.
No one likes to get stung, so here’s some advice for everyone:
If a bee or wasp flies around you, stay calm and don’t swat at it. If you get stung, tell an adult and go indoors right away.
Fire ants think they’re hot stuff. Learn how to handle them in this article for kids.
A gnat is a very tiny insect, no bigger than the head of a pin. Learn more about gnats.
The brown recluse spider is one of six poisonous kinds of spiders in the United States. Learn more about the brown recluse spider.
There are thousands of different kinds of mosquitoes in many different sizes and colors. Learn all about mosquitoes and how they bite you in this article.
Scorpions are about three inches long (about the length of a crayon), with eight legs and a small pair of claws that look like crabs’ claws. Read all about them.
A bedbug is a small, flat, reddish-brown bug that can be found in homes all over the world. Learn more about bedbugs.
A flea is a small (no bigger than the head of a pin) brown bug with a hard shell. Learn more about fleas and how they affect you in this fun article just for kids.
A tick attaches itself to the skin of a person or animal and sucks blood. If you have a dog, it may have picked up a tick before! Learn more about ticks in this article for kids.
The black widow spider is one of six poisonous kinds of spiders in the United States. Learn more about them!
Learn about rashes in a flash. Check out our article just for kids!
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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