THE NOSTRIL IS the worst possible place to be stung by a bee, according to a new scientific study by an academic who stung himself all over to find out.
Michael L Smith of Cornell University forced bees to sting him at 25 different sites around his body – including the penis, testicles and buttocks – to ascertain which was the most agonising.
The graduate student from the university’s Departyment of Neurobiology and Behaviour published his findings in a paper in online journal PeerJ.
Assessing each sting’s pain level out of 10, he found that being stung on the nostril was the most excruciating – giving it a 9.0 rating.
Being stung on the penis was a comparatively bearable 7.3, with the scrotum an even-more-comfortable 7.0.
The least painful places to be stung were the skull, the middle toe and the upper arm. Buttocks also rated low on the pain scale.
To encourage the bees to sting him, Smith held them against his skin with forceps until they reacted.
He told the Independent the idea for the paper came about after a discussion with his research adviser.
We speculated it probably really would hurt to get stung in the testicles. Two days later, by chance, I did get stung there. It didn’t hurt as much as I expected it to.
Conducting the experiment was a complex business. Smith wrote in his paper: “Some locations required the use of a mirror and an erect posture during stinging (e.g., buttocks).”
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