Bees Stings CAN HURT Your Cham

Andrew1283

Established Member
I have posted about the various types of bees and wasps I feed to my female veieled chameleon. I have always removed their stingers before feeding despite being told several times on these forums that there is no need to remove the stinger. I’m sorry to say that information isn’t entirely correct. I fed my cham two honey bees today, which I shook up and stunned within my powder shaker cup. Against my better judgment I didn’t remove the stingers. It wasn’t long before her face turned bright yellow and then partially black, which can be an indication of injury. She’s not showing obvious signs of distress, like tongue swelling, face rubbing, or the inability to swallow but regardless, bees can and will sting your chams and those stings can cause injury. I’ll let you know how quickly her mouth heals. The first pic is what she looks like normally, the next few pics are just minutes after eating the bee, and the third is several hours after eating.
 

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Ahhh omg I am so paranoid about this happening to my chams and that is why I steer clear of bees. How do you remove the stingers?? I really hope that ur girl is alright!!
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
The reason your bee was stung is because you shook the bee and disturbed it prior to feeding to the cham. Its best if your going to feed bees to your cham to let the cham catch them on their own out in the yard. This is so they catch the bee off guard. The bee or wasp doesn't have time to release the toxins this way. Sorry about your chameleon by the way. I've been letting my veiled catch bees every summer here in nw Indiana. In fact that's just about all he eats for 3 months out of the year. Don't have to worry about pesticides on the bees either they have a great sense to detect poisons and pesticides.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Poor girl! I hope she has a full recovery. I don’t feed bees but years ago one of my girls snatched one in the yard before I could stop her. Her tongue swole up and wouldn’t quite fit in her mouth. I took her to the vet and he said the bee stung her tongue and he put her anti-inflammatory. It took her about a week to recovery. The vet said he had seen this happen before.
 

suprdude

Established Member
It's not like insects are hard to find, why bother with using bees? (not to mention the tedium of removing stingers).
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
It's not like insects are hard to find, why bother with using bees? (not to mention the tedium of removing stingers).

They are a large part of the wild chameleon diet. Wild chameleons do not normally eat crickets, roaches, silk worms, those things do not hang out in trees, or the tree doesnt grow in their native habitat. Wild diet is mostly low calorie bees/wasps/beetles/flies and other flying insects.


It could be a sting, but it could also be a bite...

I mean if it was a sting from a honey bee, wouldnt there be a a stinger and a bag?
 

Andrew1283

Established Member
I get it, bees collect pollen from a variety of sources and keep it on their back legs. The chameleon ingests the bee and gets the nutritional benefits of the bee, as well as the pollen they have collected. Removing a stinger is not that difficult to do. You hold the bee with a pair of tweezers and use a second set of tweezers to grab and pull out the stinger. I have good vision so it’s easy for me but others may need to use a magnifying glass. At that point I would say forget about it! Bumblebees have no stingers so they are easy feeders. Niteanole, unfortunately I can’t see the stinger and bag because the sting is on the inside of her mouth. I watched her grab the honeybee with her tongue and draw it into her mouth before chewing. If this is the outside of her mouth, I can’t imagine the damage inside. I’ll try to get her to open her mouth with a feeding today. We have a good trusting relationship but I can’t make her go Ahhhh like I’m a dentist :) This is her today and the spot is smaller with less yellow.
 

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Andrew1283

Established Member
Also, I know we all think of these animals as our family but they are wild predators, capable of being stung during a hunt, which probably happens often in the wild. We don’t know what pain they feel from a sting or what dangers or lasting effects it can have. I remember reading an article about the redwood forest and how new growth was slowing to a halt. No one knew why. It turns out humans were interning to, “save” the forest by stopping forest fires. Well….turns out the redwoods need the heat from those fires to drop the seeds from their cones. I’m not saying a chameleon is anything like a redwood tree but sometimes human intervention does more harm than good. I know I seem very contradictory but I am being practical. Yes, bee stings can hurt your Cham, it probably happens often in the wild, and we don’t know if it’s necessarily all bad.
 
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redhorse

Chameleon Enthusiast
JMHO- I think for wild animals is is a learning lesson and they would "learn not to eat something" after testing it out. Example: we see are with plants in our terrariums (speaking about Veileds only for my experience eating veggies). Few bites and it is good or not. :)

There are many smaller flying insects that sting, like these little ant looking things. I think they are called "sweat bees" OUCH!
I personally have been stung by a bumble bee. Young and trying to show off in front of the gals in Jr. High. I LOST! It was much more painful for me than a bee sting (yes did those too). Also worst than a wasp sting to the forehead. Throwing rocks at one of those big paper wasp nests. Never saw it coming just a feeling of something running in circles. Sneaky little dude. I leave all the above along, lesson learned. I have learned not to even swat at things that have landed on me. Hope they just made a quick landing and leave me alone. (y)

Knowing a little about your female and the care you give, she should be fine. I would be interested if she would eat something like the bumble bee after removing stinger (not sure if males and females have them or the species you have in your area).

Thanks for sharing!!!!
photo off google search
 

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snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
I would spot check her mouth in a few days to ensure there is no infection developing from the sting or stinger. Mouth infections are common with a variety of feeders that can bite or scratch (or sting) on the way down. They can become very serious if they go unnoticed.

It is intimidating to do for the first time, but make a "C" shape with your index finger and thumb, like you would if you were stealing your kids french fries when they weren't looking.

Be confident and committed - don't jerk away or get nervous.

Gently and slowly place your fingers behind her head/casque so that you are just behind or barely touching the jaw. That's usually all that is required - no squeezing. They'll open their mouths to say "what the heeeeccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk" and will continue to do so, usually, until you remove your hand. You dont have to squeeze... your fingers being behind her are enough to keep her from jerking her head around to bite.

As soon as she opens up, either take a bunch of pics on your phone or get a good, quick look all around. I like the phone technique because I can stare a lot longer to evaluate the situation... but you'll likely need a bunch of photos to get one good one. So set it to burst!

Here's a great walk through about the process (geared more towards medicating)
http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/2014/05/how-to-give-different-medicines.html
 

redhorse

Chameleon Enthusiast
LOL you were LUCKY! There is a big bee like bumblebee that I think only the females have stingers or only the males.. Research for another day..
Thanks again for your experience because some might think about it but to see potential problems can allow for positive solutions.

I do like the pollen info as many add pollen to vits...
 
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