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Bees and Wasps

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stripee_ellie_phant
201189.  Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:01 pm Reply with quote

If you were stung by a bee, would being then stung by a wasp neutralise the sting?

 
npower1
201257.  Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:43 pm Reply with quote

Almost certainly the answer is 'No'.
However, the question is more important than the answer. Why? Because it has not been asked before. This appears to be an original question. New questions in science are rare. Just because the answer appears to be obvious does not make that answer valid.

 
stripee_ellie_phant
201549.  Sat Aug 18, 2007 3:14 am Reply with quote

sorry if the question seemed a bit ludicrous, but, well i was extremely curious.

 
ali
201581.  Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:01 am Reply with quote

From what I can see on the web, the treatments for both stings are pretty much the same, so they probably wouldn't counteract each other.

 
smiley_face
201587.  Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:43 am Reply with quote

npower1 wrote:
Almost certainly the answer is 'No'.
However, the question is more important than the answer. Why? Because it has not been asked before. This appears to be an original question. New questions in science are rare. Just because the answer appears to be obvious does not make that answer valid.

I'd be inclined to disagree with that logic. Just because a question hasn't been asked before, doesn't mean it won't have a valid answer. If that were to be the case, how would science ever advance?

 
jonp
201589.  Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:47 am Reply with quote

I thought the respective cures were baking soda for bee stings, and vinegar for wasps: alkali for the acid bee sting, alkali for the acid wasp sting? I can see the beginnings of an argument that the two might cancel. Or am being qignorant?

 
smiley_face
201593.  Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:30 am Reply with quote

jonp wrote:
...alkali for the acid wasp sting?


Don't you mean acid for the alkali wasp sting? :-P

 
jonp
201598.  Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:40 am Reply with quote

Well spotted - 10 points and a gold star! :-D

 
smiley_face
201601.  Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:51 am Reply with quote

I only point it out, because I had a ten minute* argument with someone in the pub recently, who was trying to tell me I was an idiot for saying vinegar is acidic. I mean, it's called ethanoic acid for god's sake!

*Well, in fairness, it was probably only a minute or so, but when slightly inebriated, ones perception of time is vastly altered.

 
jonp
201605.  Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:59 am Reply with quote

smiley_face wrote:
I only point it out, because I had a ten minute* argument with someone in the pub recently, who was trying to tell me I was an idiot for saying vinegar is acidic.
I don't know; the aggression that takes over after a couple of pints. I mean the other person, not you. Of course. ;-)

 
Ameena
201606.  Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:00 am Reply with quote

Ethanoic? I thought vinegar was acetic acid? Or am I thinking of Vitamin C...no, that's ascorbic, isn't it...

 
smiley_face
201618.  Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:34 am Reply with quote

Ameena wrote:
Ethanoic? I thought vinegar was acetic acid? Or am I thinking of Vitamin C...no, that's ascorbic, isn't it...

Acetic acid and ethanoic acid are exactly the same molecule, just with different names. Chemists tend to use the term "ethoanoic acid" these days because the IUPAC says so.

 
npower1
201644.  Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:21 am Reply with quote

smiley_face wrote:
npower1 wrote:
Almost certainly the answer is 'No'.
However, the question is more important than the answer. Why? Because it has not been asked before. This appears to be an original question. New questions in science are rare. Just because the answer appears to be obvious does not make that answer valid.

I'd be inclined to disagree with that logic. Just because a question hasn't been asked before, doesn't mean it won't have a valid answer. If that were to be the case, how would science ever advance?


I can see how my words could have been misinterpreted. I should have typed 'There appears to be an obvious answer. Being obvious does always equate to being correct'.

 
ali
201650.  Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:35 am Reply with quote

npower1 wrote:
Being obvious does always equate to being correct'.


I think you've missed a crucial 'not' out of that statement. :)

As regards the acidity/alkalinity of bee/wasp stings, here is a site that explains it.

 
Prof Wind Up Merchant
248621.  Sun Dec 23, 2007 9:00 am Reply with quote

Bees don't have a physical sting, more like a gland at the back to deliver the painful stuff. Wasps do have one. Bees secrete an acidic compound, can be treated with Bicarbonate of Soda, Wasp stings which are alkaline with Vinegar.

 

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