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How can the painful bites and stings of insects be objectively classified onto a spectrum of suffering? One entomologist has spent his life’s work doing just that.

Listen in to discover:

  • Why honeybees might have the most dangerous sting in the world
  • What makes an insects sting painful
  • What determines how painful an insect’s sting will develop to be

Entomologist and author of “The Sting of the Wild”, Justin Schmidt shares his insight on honeybee behavioral adaptions and his experience creating a sting pain index from scratch.

Mr. Schmidt left his role as a laboratory chemist to combine that knowledge with his love of insects. Using his chemical expertise and applying it to the venom of insects, the Schmidt Sting Pain Index was created. On a scale from one to four, insects worldwide find their place from a mere annoyance on the low end of the scale to an electric shock topping out at four.

Contrary to intuition, a bug’s size is not necessarily relative to the might of its sting. It has been found that regardless of the size, if an insect is not often threatened or challenged by large predators, it may not have as severe a sting. Due to honeybee behavioral adaptions, a single sting only falls as a two on the index, but the victim may be in for severe repercussions if attacked by a swarm.

To learn more, purchase “The Sting of the Wild” on Amazon.com or search the Schmidt Sting Pain Index online.

Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C

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