What causes Hymenoptera stings?

Updated: Nov 08, 2018
  • Author: Randy Park, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Hymenoptera are social creatures that typically sting to protect their colony, nest, or hive. Most stings are incited by proximity to the colony. Noisy or vigorous activity (eg, lawn mowers, weed eaters), bright or dark colors, and perfumes also may incite stings. When a colony is disturbed, many Hymenoptera release defense pheromones that attract other members of the colony to sting. These pheromones are released during stinging or when an insect is smashed.

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