Once the stinger has been removed, treat the pain and itching of a bee sting with ice, an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen and an over-the-counter antihistamine such as diphenhydramine, according to eMedicineHealth. Elevate the affected area to reduce discomfort due to swelling.
Bee stings generally cause local reactions in non-allergic individuals and can be treated at home, explains Mayo Clinic. Make sure the stinger is removed promptly, regardless of method. The stinger continues to pump venom into the skin and surrounding tissues for several minutes after the sting. The more venom injected into the tissues, the greater the body's immune response and the more subsequent discomfort.
Ice the area of the sting for 20 minutes each hour, states eMedicineHealth. Protect the skin with a thin cloth or towel before icing, and repeat as needed throughout the day. Follow with an anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil or Motrin to treat pain. If itching is significant, take an antihistamine such as Benadryl. If the sting is on the arms or legs, elevate the affected extremity above the heart to further reduce swelling.
Watch for the signs of an allergic reaction. They include itching or hives, redness, and shortness of breath, according to About.com. Should these symptoms occur, call 911 or go to an emergency room immediately.