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  1. #1
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    Mar 2009
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    columbus,ohio,USA
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    Default can bumble bees sting more than once?

    I was mowing a neighbors lawn to pay for my girls suger syrup addiction. I ran the lawn moxer right next to some flower with bubmlebees. I don't know if it got in my shirt or was having a bad day. So I got stung in the side and the crease between to fingers. I know the one on the finger was a bubmle bee, and the one on the side was more than likley one too. I was wondering if it was two different bees or just one. To bubmle bees die when the sting you?
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
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    Default Re: can bumble bees sting more than once?

    Take a look on this site. http://www.bumblebee.org/

    The sting
    Bumblebees can sting, at least the queens and workers can, and their sting is not barbed like that of the honeybee, so they can sting more than once. The photographs on the left shows the sting of a Bombus lapidarius queen. I found her dead in the garden one morning. It was early in the season so she may have been fighting over a nest site with another queen, or she may just have died in the cold of the night. Normally the sting remains hidden inside the last abdominal segment when not being used

    Male bumblebees cannot sting as they do not have a sting. In males the part of the body that becomes the sting in females becomes the genital capsule (see the photograph below left) in males, so is used in mating.

    The reason a honey bee dies after she has stung a human is that the barbs in her sting and our relatively elastic skin prevent her pulling the sting out. Eventually she will either be swatted to death by whomever she has stung, or she will pull so much that the sting, poison sac and part of her abdominal contents will be pulled out of her body and left hanging and she will fly off to die. If the sting and poison sac are left behind hanging out of your skin the muscles will probably still be attached to the poison sac and will still pump poison for a while, so you should pull the sting out. Some say it is best to pull, other say you should use a downwards brushing motion.

    It is believed that the sting evolved to be used against other insects who do not have elastic skin, so the sting could easily be pulled out. It is only relatively recently that mammals have become bee predators, so the honey bee sting will evolve to have smaller, then no barbs. However this does not explain the smooth bumblebee sting, and bumblebees are usually thought as less "advanced" than honey bees. Also it is not the survival of the individual worker that is important in a hive or nest, but the survival of the new queens and males, as only they will go on to breed.

    What does it feel like? I have never been stung by a bumblebee, but I have heard that a bumblebee sting is less painful than a wasp sting, some say it is also less painful than a honey bee sting, others that it is more painful. Also the pain seems to be worse in certain parts of the body - the face and neck for instance. And others complain of the swelling and irritation lasting for days after the initial pain of the sting has worn off. Bumblebees seem reluctant to sting, and appear to do so only if they are mishandled or their nest is threatened. However I have heard recently that some species of bumblebees found in America (north and south) are more aggressive than European species. So always treat bumblebees with respect as there are some people who have an allergy to bee venom that can lead to death even after just a single sting if not treated promptly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    columbus,ohio,USA
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    518

    Default Re: can bumble bees sting more than once?

    The sting from the bumble bee on the side hurt about the same as a honeybee sting. The one in betwwen the two fingers was the second or first worst hurting sting ever. The tip of a finger trying to get a bee out of hair hurt really bad too.
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,762

    Default Re: can bumble bees sting more than once?

    Yes, they can. As far as I know, only apis mellifera loose their stingers when they use them.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  5. #5
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    Apr 2009
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    Issaquah,WA,USA
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    Default Re: can bumble bees sting more than once?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Yes, they can. As far as I know, only apis mellifera loose their stingers when they use them.
    Bumblebees can sting, at least the queens and workers can, and their sting is not barbed like that of the honeybee, so they can sting more than once.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Eagle Creek, Oregon
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    289

    Default Re: can bumble bees sting more than once?

    I have, by accident, torn apart a few bumblebee nests. The bees seemed to be bewildered but not at all aggressive. The only time that I was stung was when I was sitting in a beach chair and put my hand right on one. The sting got my attention and was unpleasant but was not among the worst stings that I have suffered.

    George

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, Texas
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    1,378

    Default Re: can bumble bees sting more than once?

    When I was a teenager I convinced my younger sister that she could trap a bumble bee in a trumpet vine flower without getting stung. Of course it stung her right through the flower and then flew off. My younger sister is a spitfire, truth be told, I probably would have been better off proving my "theory" that a bumble bee can sting through a flower myself LOL!

    We laugh about it today, but she still insists that it was worse than a honey bee sting, I can't say as to this day I have never been stung by a bumble bee.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
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    1,674

    Default Re: can bumble bees sting more than once?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Weitzel View Post
    When I was a teenager...but she still insists that it was worse than a honey bee sting, I can't say as to this day I have never been stung by a bumble bee.
    Gene, I use to stalk Bumble Bees on Virginia creeper and Trumpeter Vines, (aka cow itch) armed only with my trusty Daisy Red Rider BB gun. You can not call yourself a good shot until you can realizably hit a Bumble Bee on the wing.

    Gene, let me know when you are in my neighborhood. I will introduce you to some Black Headed Bumble Bees so you can complete your education on the comparative pain of bee stings. I have plenty of experience with both Honey and Bumble Bee stings and I will choose the Honey Bee's sting over the Bumble Bee's sting each and every time, at least on a one to one ratio.

    giant pumpkin peep, By getting two stings at approximately the same time while cutting the grass I would suggest that there is a Bumble Bee nest in the ground around your neighbor's flower bed. Lawn mowers and weed eaters are not known for hypnotizing Bumble Bees. Around their nests they are bad news. The good news is that Bumble Bees only seem to attack in ones and twos.

    giant, The other good news is that this is the perfect time to educate Gene about bee stings. Grab a couple of your honey bees and force them to sting your side, and then return to your neighbor’s flower garden and roust out a couple more of them lawn mower hating Bumble Bees. I am sure Gene is waiting breathlessly for your report.

    When I started in the auto salvage business I got a lot of Bumble Bee, wasp, and Yellow Jacket stings. Even though there were once as many as five feral colonies of honey bees in various cars, trucks, and one rusted out 5 gallon gas can on my first yard, I never once got a honey bee sting at work. Then again, Honey Bees almost always left plenty of evidence, and often stayed put year after year. However, using only a small scrap of corrugated roofing tin, a co-worker once killed an entire Bumble Bee nest in the carpet under the left front seat of a 65 Mustang, while I (carefully) removed the driver’s side door glass. As the Bumble Bees dribbled out by ones and twos to check out the disturbance on their front lawn, my co-worker swatted them into eternity on the wing like Forrest Gump playing ping pong.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

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