Insect stings and the Schmidt “Pain Scale for Stinging Insects”

A number of years ago I met a honey bee researcher from the Tuscon USDA Bee Lab named Dr. Justin Schmidt. Sometime later I read about his Pain Scale for Stinging Insects. Not too surprising, since one of his research interests was Africanized Honey Bees. These bees are known for their stinging, as I discovered first hand in Africa in August.

While boarding a plane in France for the last leg of my a flight to Africa, I picked up a copy of the International New York Times. What was on the front page but this article about Justin, titled The Connoisseur of Pain, about his first hand experiences with stinging insects. Was someone trying to tell me something? After returning home last week I was forwarded the following link to the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Guess who was on the show? And Justin has a new book out, which is mentioned in the video clip.  Check out all three links – interesting, entertaining, and educational. Science is fun, though research can be painful. I prefer to stick to honey bee stings. They are fairly low on the pain index.

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