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Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

Why Can’t a Bee Sting More than Once?

Why Can’t a Bee Sting More than Once?

Most bees depend on their stingers, or stings, as their only means of self-defense. A bee’s stinger is located at the tail end of its body. You may know something about that already!

The stinger of a worker bee is covered with pointy barbs. When the bee thrusts the stinger into the victim’s flesh, the barbs hold so firmly that the bee usually cannot pull the stinger out.

The bee must tear itself away, leaving part of its organs attached to the stinger. Soon after losing its stinger, the bee dies. That is why a bee usually can sting only once in its life.

However, honey bees can sometimes survive after stinging if the victim’s skin is thin and doesn’t hold the barbed end of the stinger.

This does not happen all that often, though, because honey bee stingers are designed to stick in the skin of the victim to maximize the amount of venom injected into the victim.

Content for this question contributed by Janell Hunter, resident of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, USA