Why do Bees die when they Sting?

Why do Bees die when they Sting?

Most people panic when they see a bee hovering near them. They are afraid that the bee may sting them. It is true that bee stings really hurt and can cause a lot of harm if not treated right away. However, it is actually the bee that should be afraid because when they sting, they can die.

Not all bees suffer the same fate when they sting. This only happens to female honey bees. But we should consider ourselves lucky because these species of bees are relatively docile. They only sting when provoked.

Because of their size, the negative effect of stinging on them only happens when they do it to mammals because of the thick skin. Bee stingers are actually tubular structures that extend from the abdomen of the bee. The more scientific term would be ovipositors. They are barbed structures that help bees defend themselves from being harmed by predators. Think of it like a tube with fish hooks attached to it. The barbs help in pressing the stinger into the thick skin.

So when the bee stings this structure is left in the skin. The bee cannot fly away with its stinger intact because of the barbs that have attached. So when they try to escape after stinging, it actually tears out the abdomen of the bee. Since the stinger is attached to her abdominal system, a part of the digestive tract, muscles and veins are left attached to it. This tearing causes the abdomen to rupture and eventually killing her in the process.

This scenario can only be true when the bee stings a thick skinned animal. The barbs are lodged in the thick skin making it hard to remove which leaves them no choice but to let it tear itself out from their bodies.

It can be quite revolting when you think about it but survival is the name of the game here.

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