Those allergic to bees, hornets or wasps could be facing medical problems

Those allergic to bees, hornets or wasps could be facing medical problems

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Honey Bees, hornets, wasps, fire ants and more are all a part of the Hymenoptera family.

When someone is stung by one of these insects and begins to have an allergic reaction, one of the treatments used is the venom from those insects.

A treatment which can be upwards of 98 percent effective.

"The problem is, we're running out of materials to do the testing's," said Miguel Wolbert, an allergist with West Texas Allergy. "So when a patient comes in before, when just out of curiosity to see if they were allergic. Now we have to kind of council them on if they need to be evaluated or not. We really have to rely on that history, much more so than perhaps we would have to do so in the past."

Even though the main part of the antidote comes from the bee, wasp, or whatever insect stung you, it's harder to find than you would think.

Michael Nickell, a scientist with the Sibley Nature Center, said getting their hands on the insects is becoming a problem.

"There are several things that are working in concert in helping keep populations at risk," said Nickell. "Probably one of the most significant things is the introduction of new types of pesticides to control crop pests. Well these toxins, if they're powerful enough to control crop pests, they'll also effect bee populations as well."

Some people may think the fewer of these stinging insects, the better. Nickell disagrees.

"Well, if you like to eat, you need to have bees," said Nickell. "Because bees pollinate a full one-third of our fruits and vegetables and without them, the produce section of our grocery store would severely be lacking."

So what happens if doctors cannot make enough antidote?

"Then we would not be able to effectively treat patients, beyond just avoidance measures," said Wolbert. "As we all know, avoidance for allergies is very, very complicated."

Wolbert said if you do get stung, clean the area and take out the stinger, and if you're worried about an allergic reaction, seek medical attention.

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