There are many essential oils for bee stings, both as a first aid treatment, and to speed up healing. Here’s our pick of the three best oils to use, and how.
Full merrily the humble-bee doth sing,
Till he hath lost his honey and his sting;
And being once subdued in armed tail,
Sweet honey and sweet notes together fail.
Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida
How To Use Essential Oils for Bee Stings
First Aid for Bee Stings
Remove the stinger if it’s in your skin by scraping the area with a thin dull edge, such as the edge of a credit card.
We advise against using tweezers because you could squuze more venom into the skin, but if you insist” hold tweezers as near to the skin as possible – avoiding the venom sack. Grasp stinger and remove it.
To neutralize the acidic bee venom, apply bicarbonate of soda (an alkali) made into a paste with a little water. Bicarbonate of soda also neutralizes acidic ant venom.
After the initial vinegar treatment apply neat essential oil to the sting area. This will prevent infection, and relieve pain and inflammation. You can also use a herbal ointment, or a diluted herbal tincture. Use Calendula and/or St. John’s Wort.
Then put ice on the sting (wrap an ice cube in plastic and a thin cloth so it isn’t directly on your skin) to lessen the pain. 
After the first aid treatment your can continue using the essential oils for bee stings discussed below to reduce itching, pain and inflammation.
Topical Treatment Bee Sting Paste
Make a soft paste with:
1 tsp baking soda (to nullify the acidity of the bee sting)
1 drop chamomile essential oil
1 drop lavender essential oil
Combine the baking soda and essential oils in a small non-reactive bowl. Mix well, adding just enough water to make a soft paste. Dab the paste frequently on the sting areas until healed.
Topical Treatment Oil (3 to 6 drops essential oil)
Start with a ½ percent solution. Add 3 drops of essential oil to every 30 ml ( 2 tablespoons of carrier oil). Grapeseed oil is easily absorbed and its astringent effects are useful for bee stings. Adding a few drops of calendula oil, if you have it on hand, will also be beneficial because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
If no irritation results after the initial application you can increase to a 1% solution. Add 6 drops of essential oil to every 30 ml ( 2 tablespoons of carrier oil).
Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction to a Bee Sting
If you have an allergic reaction to a sting, you may have:
- An itchy rash all over your body
- Trouble breathing
- Wheezing (a whistling sound while breathing)
- Shock (a dangerously low drop in blood pressure)
Get to a hospital right away if you have these symptoms—you could be having an anaphylactic reaction (a life-threatening allergic reaction in which your blood pressure drops and you can’t breathe). 
When To See a Doctor
If you experience any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing, hives, or dizziness, call your local emergency services. Don’t attempt to drive yourself to the emergency room.
If you used your EpiPen in response to the bee sting, you should see your doctor.
Seek emergency help if you’ve been stung multiple times. Seek medical help if the bee sting symptoms don’t improve after a few days.
Top 3 Essential Oils for Bee Stings
In a first-aid emergency one has to reach for an essential oil that you’ll find in the home apothecary. Most family herbalists will have all three of the below in their apothecary. The three may be combined for a topical application for bee stings.
Lavender – Lavendula officinalis, L.vera
Lavender grows throughout the Mediterranean region as well as in England, Russia and Australia. The fresh stems and flower buds (flowering tops) are used to extract the essential oil with steam distillation.
The essential oil is a pale yellow liquid with a sweet floral-herbaceous aroma. The odour effect is uplifting, calming and refreshing.
Lavender essential oil is antibacterial, pain-relieving, healing for wounds, soothing for skin diseases, deodorizing, antiseptic, fungicidal, rejuvenating and anti-inflammatory. It is helpful for skincare (most skin types), acne, allergies, athletes foot, boils, bruises, eczema, dandruff, dermatitis, burns, chilblains, psoriasis, ringworm, and insect bites and stings, also as an insect repellent.
It is also helpful for asthma, earache, coughs, colds and flu. catarrh, laryngitis, headaches, insomnia, migraine, nervous tension, PMS and stress, related disorders. Headaches disappear with cold lavender compresses.
Lavender blends well with citrus essences, cedarwood, clary sage, coriander, frankincense, geranium, juniper berry, neroli, rose, petitgrain and pine. In addition lavender strengthens the effects of other oils when used in blends.
Roman Chamomile – Chamaemelum nobile
Roman chamomile is native to southern and western Europe, and naturalized in North America. The genus name, Chamaemelum, derives from the Greek word khamaimelon, meaning ‘earth apple’, alluding to the plants apple-like scent.
The essential oil, a pale yellow liquid, is captured by steam distillation of the flower heads. The sweet dry aroma has a apple-like nuance with a warming calming effect.
It makes a good skin care oil suitable for most skin types and is helpful for acne, allergies, burns, eczema, inflamed skin conditions, earache, wounds, menstrual pain, PMS, headaches, insomnia, nervous tension and other stress related disorders. It blends well with citrus oils, clary sage, lavender, geranium, neroli, rose and ylang ylang.
CAUTION: The herbal remedy is generally safe for home use. The essential oil, however, must be avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy because it may stimulate menstruation. The oil is highly odiferous, so use in the lowest recommended quantities.
Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus globulus / Eucalyptus radiata
Native to Australia but widely cultivated in the southern hemisphere. Eucalyptus was widely planted to dry out swampy ground, notably in Italy and California. An important timber species, used for the keels of ships in the 19th century. Commercial oil distillation started in Australia in 1854.
Eucalyptus globulus is widely used as a flavouring in pharmaceutical products and in spot removers for oil and grease. It is rich in eucalyptol and has a very strong odour but because of a rectification process (re-distillation of the essential oil) its olfactory richness is lost. Eucalyptus radiata‘s more subtle aroma is generally more pleasant to breathe.
The essential oil is obtained from the leaves and small twigs. It is generally known for its strong antiseptic and healing effect on infections. Because of it’s antiseptic, anti-catarrhal, antispasmodic and stimulant properties it’s helpful in a vast range of cases: arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, burns, colds and flu, cough, cuts, fever, cystitis, catarrh, diarrhea, emphysema, exhaustion, fluid retention, fibrositis, headaches, herpes, inflammation, kidney infection / stones. laryngitis, measles, mood swings, muscular pains, nervous disorders, neuralgia, rhinitis, rheumatism, sinusitis, sprains and strains, tonsillitis, throat infections, and urinary infections.
Eucalyptus oil requires dilution with a carrier oil before topical application and should only be used in moderation. Use small circular motions to apply eucalyptus oil to affected areas and on reflex points to relieve muscle and joint discomfort.
Eucalyptus blends well with: cedarwood, cypress, geranium, chamomile, ginger, grapefruit, juniper, lavender, lemon, marjoram, orange, peppermint, petitgrain, pine, rosemary, tea tree, and thyme.
Contraindications: Eucalyptus must not be used in conjunction with chemotherapy treatment.
Remedies for Bee Stings from Day’s Gone By
We love old granny cures. If nothing else, they provide much needed comic relief in cases of bee stings…
MIX COMMON EARTH with water to about the consistency of mud. Apply at once. The Canadian Home Cook Book, Toronto, 1877
APPALACHIAN FOLK REMEDIES:
- Chew or mash ragweed and put it on the sting to deaden pain and reduce swelling.
- Take seven different kind of leaves. Wad and twist them together, tear the wad in half and rub the sting.
- Crush a few chrysanthemum leaves and rub the juice on the sting.
SALT AND VINEGAR is a valuable remedy for the sting of a bee. Wet the salt with vinegar, and lay it on in the form of a poultice; it will extract the virus. If the person is stung upon the hand, or in any part that is accessible, he should instantly apply his mouth to the wound, draw it powerfully, till some other remedy is provided. The People’s Manual, Worcester, Massachusetts, 1848
A VENOMOUS STING: Apply the juice of honey suckle leaves. Or, apply a poultice of bruised plantain and honey. Or, take inwardly, one drachm of black currant leaves, powdered. It is an excellent counter-poison. Reverend John Wesley, Primitive Physick, 1747
Essential Oil Cautions
- Do not take essential oils internally.
- Do not take essential oils during pregnancy.
- Do not take essential oils if you suffer from asthma.
- People with epilepsy should consult an aromatherapist before using essential oils.
- If you are undergoing homeopathic treatment, do seek the advice of your homeopath before embarking on the use of essential oils for sore throat.
- The usual safety precautions for using herbal remedies also applies to essential oils. Refresh your memory if you need to.
More Essential Oil Guides:
 Merck Manual Consumer Version: Bee, Wasp, Hornet, and Ant Stings
 WebMD: Insect Sting Allergy Treatment
Share Your Personal Experience
Do you use essential oils for bee stings? What’s your favourite oil? Please share your experience in a Reply below.
The information provided is for educational purposes only. Used as a reference, not as a means of diagnosis and/or treatment, it can act as a guide, but only with the cooperation and advise of trained professionals. It is not within the scope of any collection of information to perform the medical duties of the health care profession.
Always consult with your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before embarking on a new wellness program. If you are pregnant or lactating, taking medications, have a health condition or are planning a medical procedure, you should consult your doctor or other healthcare provider.