What happens after a bee sting: Zombie muscles keep digging

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This horrifying video is causing serious buzz.

Frightening footage captured by an electron microscope shows what happens after a person sustains a bee sting, with the insect’s stinger sawing into flesh and unleashing a potent venom that “destroys human cells.”

The explainer video — shared to YouTube by Jon Perry, who creates informational clips via his “Stated Clearly” series — has racked up more than 600,000 views since it was uploaded.

“If you do happen to be extremely allergic, a single sting can kill you,” Perry ominously narrates in the 9-minute video, which also features a graphic animation of the bee’s stinger.

The content creator explains that only female bees can sting a human, landing on the skin’s surface before deploying their stinger deep into the flesh.

The stinger detaches, and the bee quickly dies, but not before they’ve done significant damage to their victim.

“Even when the stinger is detached, zombie-like muscles keep digging and injecting the venom,” Perry explains.


Frightening footage captured by an electron microscope shows what happens after a person sustains a bee sting, with the insect's stinger sawing into flesh and unleashing a potent venom that "destroys human cells."
Frightening footage captured by an electron microscope shows what happens after a person sustains a bee sting, with the insect’s stinger sawing into flesh and unleashing a potent venom that “destroys human cells.”
POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The explainer video — shared to YouTube by Jon Perry, who creates informational clips on topics pertaining to genetics and biology — has clocked up more than 600,000 views since it was uploaded.
The explainer video — shared to YouTube by Jon Perry, who creates informational clips on topics pertaining to genetics and biology — has racked up more than 600,000 views since it was uploaded.
Stated Clearly / Youtube

"The blades of the stinger pull down into the flesh," Perry explains, saying its jagged edges are designed to dig as deeply as possible into the victim's skin.
“The blades of the stinger pull down into the flesh,” Perry explains, saying its jagged edges are designed to dig as deeply as possible into the victim’s skin.
Stated Clearly / Youtube

A graphic shows “the stinger’s surprisingly complex structure,” with its tip featuring a sword-like strand featuring jagged blades.

“The blades of the stinger pull down into the flesh,” Perry explains, saying its jagged edges are designed to dig as deeply as possible into the victim’s skin.

The longer the stinger stays in the skin, the more venom is released, and the process can continue for up to a minute.

While a majority of those who are stung experience pain and swelling that usually subsides within hours, a small number of people are deathly allergic to bee venom, known as melittin.


The bee lands on the surface of the skin before deploying its stinger.
The bee lands on the surface of the skin before deploying its stinger.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

"As an engineer, seeing the impeccable machining in that bee stinger is beautiful," one exclaimed of nature's design.
“As an engineer, seeing the impeccable machining in that bee stinger is beautiful,” one exclaimed of nature’s design.
Stated Clearly / Youtube

Many viewers marveled over both Perry’s graphics and the microscopic footage showing a bee sting in action.

“As an engineer, seeing the impeccable machining in that bee stinger is beautiful,” one exclaimed of nature’s design.

“I am positively impressed by the complexity of a stinger, and knowing this has not helped my phobia of bees at all (getting randomly stung twice at a young age will do that I guess), and even maybe made it slightly worse,” another wrote. “But it’s undeniably a very cool biological mechanism.”


Many viewers marveled over both Perry's graphics and the microscopic footage showing a bee sting in action.
Many viewers marveled over both Perry’s graphics and the microscopic footage showing a bee sting in action.
Stated Clearly / Youtube

The video was released just days before six people were stung to death by bees in Ecuador after their bus ran off a road and crashed into a beehive.

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