Bees – More Deadly Than You Think
Australia is well renown for the deadly beasts that inhabit its borders. Majority of people will say the greatest threats are from sharks, jellyfish, crocodiles, snakes and spiders.
These animals can be lethal, and some do kill, but would you ever expect to see the European Honey Bee amongst the list?
Statistics show that Bees are ranked deadlier than snakes and spiders, and have killed just as many people as sharks in the last ten years.
For the majority of people, a bee sting only causes mild pain and swelling. Although the toxin is poisonous to humans it’s estimated that it would take at least 500 stings to kill the average adult human, which thankfully, has never been heard of here in Australia. However, keep in mind that up to 3 per cent of the population is thought to be allergic to honey bee venom and within minutes of being stung, can suffer severe allergic reactions to bee stings, by developing symptoms of anaphylactic shock, during which their airways can be obstructed and their blood pressure crashes.
75% of snakebite fatalities at least made it to hospital to receive treatment, unfortunately only 44% of people who died from an allergic reaction to an insect sting got to hospital, therefore, some researchers believe that the main reason that anaphylaxis (caused by insect bites and stings) has proven deadly, may be because people are complacent in seeking medical attention.
Like most animals, Bees generally only sting when they feel threatened, so it’s best to have the same respect for them as we do snakes, spiders and all of Australia’s other wonderful and frightening creatures.
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