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Pain in the Bee-hind and Elsewhere

 

By Scott LaFee   |   June 26, 2019

In the name of science (or something), an entomologist named Michael Smith once sacrificed himself to answer the question: Where is the most painful place to be stung? In 2014, he published his findings, inducing honey bees to sting 25 different locations on his body (three times per spot), after which he ranked the resulting discomfort based on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index.

To be sure, Smith’s rankings are subjective (and maybe a little bit suspect: Is this guy in his right mind?), but here they are, from least to most painful, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being most painful.

Bee sting
  • 25. Skull (2.3 average rating)
  • 24. Middle toe tip (2.3)
  • 23. Upper arm (2.3)
  • 22. Buttocks (3.7)
  • 21. Calf (3.7)
  • 20. Lower back (4.0)
  • 19. Upper thigh (4.7)
  • 18. Wrist (4.7)
  • 17. Foot arch (5.0)
  • 16. Forearm (5.0)
  • 15. Back of knee (5.0)
  • 14. Back of neck (5.3)
  • 13. Behind ear (5.3)
  • 12. Top of hand (5.3)
  • 11. Top of foot (6.0)
  • 10. Abdomen (6.7)
  • 9. Middle finger tip (6.7)
  • 8. Nipple (6.7)
  • 7. Armpit (7.0)
  • 6. Cheek (7.0)
  • 5. Palm (7.0)
  • 4. Scrotum (7.0)
  • 3. Penis shaft (7.3)
  • 2. Upper lip (8.7)
  • 1. Nostril (9.0)

How best to treat a bee sting and other safety tips for summer time perils.


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