Most painful places to get stung

Before 2014, science had information about which insect species delivered the most painful sting, but it didn't have info about how the painfulness of stings varied by body location. So Cornell University graduate student Michael Smith set about to correct this omission. He used honey bees to sting himself in 25 body locations and then rated the painfulness of the stings on a 1-10 scale. He published his results in the online journal Peer J (Apr 3, 2014, "Honey bee sting pain index by body location").

From the article:

Guard bees were collected in a cage, and used immediately. Bees were taken from the cage haphazardly with forceps. To apply the sting, the bee was grabbed by the wings and pressed against the desired sting location. The bee was held against the sting location until the sting was first felt, and kept at the location for 5 s to ensure that the stinger would penetrate the skin. The bee was pulled away after 5 s, leaving the stinger in the skin. The stinger was left in the skin for 1 min, and then removed with forceps.

And the results:

The three least painful locations were the skull, middle toe tip, and upper arm (all scoring a 2.3). The three most painful locations were the nostril, upper lip, and penis shaft (9.0, 8.7, and 7.3, respectively).

In 2015, Smith received an Ig Noble Prize for his efforts.

     Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 31, 2017
     Category: Science | Experiments | Pain, Self-inflicted and Otherwise

Now that's dedication for dubious research. And Mr. Smith truly deserved that prize.
Posted by KDP on 01/31/17 at 10:44 AM
In the Kama Sutra bee or wasp stings were used to enlarge your ling-am along with nettles. I do think he deserves an Ig Nobel prize!
Posted by BMN on 01/31/17 at 11:26 AM
I can vouch for the pain of being stung on the top of the hand, although it was by a wasp, not a honeybee.

Perhaps this will inspire research using other insects. A few years ago, I was working outside my home (which is in a wooded area, not in the lowest level of a former iron mine), and a wood tick attached itself to the inside of my navel. Major pain ensued, which necessitated a trip to my physician.
Posted by Fritz G on 01/31/17 at 03:45 PM
Last year, there was the story of some guy down under, who was bitten by venomous redback spiders (their version of the black widow) twice in less than 6 months. I know, a spider isn't an insect, but it was on his schlong, both times. He's been called the 'Unluckiest Man in Australia.' It must be a great subject for the singles' bar conversations.
Posted by Virtual on 02/01/17 at 11:53 PM
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