Prof. Hassan H. Fadl andÂ Dr. Mahmoud S. Abdel Dayem
Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
Some insects are among the venomous species that live around us. There are more than 1300 stinging and venomous insect species in Egypt. Bees, Yellow Jackets, Hornets, Wasps, Fire Ants, Velvet Ants and Blister Beetles are found near human habitats and present a threat to the people. The venom apparatus of the insect (the sting) is a very highly developed organ, which is a modified ovipositor that ejects venom instead of eggs. Thus, only female can have a stinger. The venom comes from two acid glands that secrete into the poison sac. During stinging, the contents of the alkaline gland are dumped directly into the poison canal where they mix with the acidic portion. In the honey bee the poison contains a protein and certain enzymes which cause the tissues of the victim to produce histamine.Many people fear insect stings, often believing themselves to be dangerously allergic. However, the vast majority who are stung will experience no more than a local reaction with redness, pain, swelling and some itching only at the sting site. In USA, over two million are allergic to stinging insects, 50 to 150 deaths occur each year from these stings and up to a million hospital visits result form insect stings.