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Unstick the stinger.

First, remove the stinger. Do not attempt to use tweezers, which will likely crush the stinger and the venom sac that may still be attached. Instead, scrape the stinger out with the edge of a playing card or credit card and do it quickly, as it may still be pumping venom into the skin.

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Decide on a method.

Next, choose your remedy. Each of the suggested remedies is most effective when applied immediately after the sting occurs, before the venom can spread and cause pain. These remedies can safely be combined if you need a two- or three-punch approach to ease the symptoms.

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Good Old Baking Soda

Mix a small amount of baking soda with water to form a thick paste. Apply it to the site of the sting. Allow it to dry without washing it off.

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Lavender

Lavender essential oil has natural antiseptic qualities. Apply one drop of lavender oil directly to the bee sting for instant relief. (Do not use undiluted essential oils on children under 2 years old.)

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Garlic Juice

Crush a clove of garlic to release the juice. Apply garlic juice directly to the bee sting and allow it to air dry.

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Plantain Leaf

Smash or chew up a plantain leaf and apply it directly to the area of the bee sting for immediate relief.

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Calendula

Crush fresh calendula flowers between your fingers to release their liquid and apply it to the sting.

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Basil

Tear or crush basil leaves to release their natural oils, and pack them on the site of the bee sting.

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Honey

In an ironic twist, the honey that bees make can actually take the sting from, well, their stings. Just rub a small amount of honey (preferably raw, local honey) over the area of the bee sting.

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Bee balm

If you were smart enough to plant bee balm in your garden, this is the time to use it. Pick fresh bee balm leaves and either chew them or roll them between your fingers to release their juices. Apply the leaves directly to the site of the sting.

Images via Shutterstockccarlstead, Lauren Hammond, jessamyn west, Stewe, crabchick, Harry RoseSerres Fortier,  Whitewater Warehouse, Kristen Taylor, and nhoulihan.