The stings of members of the genus Hymenoptera, which includes bees, wasps and ants, produce harmful effects on human beings ranging from slight local pain or discomfort to a shocklike syndrome or even sudden death. Until a comparatively few years ago it was thought that the effects were purely toxic in character, but more recent investigations have indicated that an allergic factor may be involved in some instances at least.
STINGING MECHANISM OF THE BEE
The common honey bee, Apis mellifica, has an anatomic structure which is especially adapted for stinging. The venom glands are found only in the female and are situated under the last few abdominal segments between the uterus and the rectum. There are two types of glands, one being a larger, long tubular structure having an acid secretion derived from polygonal cells, each with a chitinous tube discharging directly into the main lumen. The other type