Bees sting as a form of self-defense. Bees live in their hives in groups called colonies, and they work to make honey and protect their queen. If a bee feels that a person or animal is threatening their colony or their queen, they will sting! Because the bee's stinger has little “hooks” on it, the stinger stays in the place where it has been inserted, such as a person's arm or an animal's back. Without its stinger, the bee then dies but has hopefully also helped to save or protect its colony!
A bee sting hurts because it has venom, which causes a painful reaction. Always get help from an adult if you get stung by a bee because removing the stinger the right way can make it less painful. Some people are allergic to the venom in bee stings, so these people need immediate help from an adult if they are stung, and they usually carry medicine with them to use in case they are stung.
What other animals have forms of self-defense? Bad-smelling skunk spray and the spiky quills of porcupines are both good examples. Why do you think it's important for animals to have special defenses like this?
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