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How Many Bee Stings Does It Take To Kill A Human?

How Many Bee Stings Does It Take To Kill A Human? And What Is The Record For The Highest Number Of Bee Stings Sustained By An Individual?

The number of bee stings that can be sustained before dying from an allergic reaction to the venom or from the toxic effects of venom vary significantly depending on the individual. People who have an allergy to insect venom can die from anaphylactic shock from just one single bee sting. However, an adult that does not have an allergy to insect venom can sustain hundreds or even thousands of stings without dying from the venom’s toxic effects. Amazingly, one man survived a total of 1,200 bee stings in Texas a few years back while another adult male died after sustaining a mere 98 stings. Obviously, neither one of these men were allergic to insect venom, but the significant disparity between the number of bites each man sustained illustrates how the effects of insect venom vary from person to person. While it may seem impossible to survive thousands of bee stings, it should be known that the above described bee attack survivor was 65 years old when he sustained 1,200 bee stings, and the Guinness Book of World Records describes a man who survived more than twice as many bee stings as the 65 year old.

Back in 1962, Johann Relleke survived a bee attack that saw 2,443 stingers removed from his body. Surviving more bee stings than this is certainly not likely, as one recent bee attack victim who did not have a venom allergy died almost immediately after sustaining 3,000 bee stings. According to the Merck Manual, a human can sustain 10 bee stings for each pound of body weight. Therefore, the average adult should be able to survive around 1,000 bee stings, while a child could survive 500. The data concerning the greatest number of bee stings sustained by a victim that died, is not easy to find, but the number would be very high. One bee attack incident in Arizona five years ago saw the victim sustain 800,000 stings. The bee culprits in this case were Africanized honey bees, which are responsible for several attacks on humans in Arizona each year.

Do you have a fear of bee or wasp stings?

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