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Bee Stinger Picture: How big is a bee stinger?

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Updated January 25, 2014

Bee Stinger next to Dime

The dime is just under 18 millimeters across. The stinger is just about 3.

(c) Rod Brouhard Bee Stinger Closeup

Bee stinger closeup

(c) Rod Brouhard Bee Stinger next to Dime

Bee stinger next to a dime

(c) Rod Brouhard

Question: Bee Stinger Picture: How big is a bee stinger?

One of the most frequently asked questions here at About.com First Aid is what to do about a bee stinger under the skin. Some of the folks who email me are curious how big a bee stinger is. Thanks to my dog, I can show you with this picture of a bee stinger.

Answer: My dog was stung by a honey bee on his tongue. When we finally got the bee stinger out -- trip to the vet and $120 later -- I laid it next to a dime and took a picture. It was 3 millimeters long.

Different species of bees and wasps are going to have differently sized stingers. Some of those stingers have barbs that keep them in the skin while others don't. Usually, if the bee stinger is barbed, it will be left behind after the bee stings you. If not, the bee gets to keep the stinger to sting you over and over again.

The biggest concern with a bee sting is the potential for a severe allergic reaction.

 

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