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World's Most Painful Insect Bites

Common Honey Bee

Richard Schuerger

Common Honeybee

Don’t dismiss the sting of the common honeybee. The toxic cocktail of melittin and other amines acts on the heart and restricts the blood vessels. The pain is hot and messy and familiar to almost everyone, which is why Schmidt placed the honeybee sting in the center of the pain index.

Where They’re Found: Honeybees may have originated in Central Asia, but there are now 20,000 varieties worldwide.

How to Avoid Them: Geographically speaking, you can’t avoid them. Once stung, you’re even more of a target: they secrete a pheromone that encourages other bees to attack. The substance can’t be washed off easily, so hiding in the river for the swarm to pass is a bad idea.

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