Can a single bee sting really be fatal?

Bridgerton Season 2 has everyone talking. It’s not new. The first season of the period drama Shondaland caused a stir. The second season did not disappoint.

There have been just as many shocks in the new season, including some shocking deaths. But were we really realistic? [Note: The article below contains spoilers. Those who haven’t seen season 2, episode 3 of Bridgerton should save this for later.]

A character died of a bee sting in ‘Bridgerton’ season 2

Rupert Evans as Edmund Bridgerton in ‘Bridgerton’ Episode 203 | Liam Daniel/Netflix

As those who have seen Season 2 already know, Edmund Bridgerton has passed away. According Slate, Edmund is stung by a bee and croaks in less than a minute. Fans of the original books know there was more to the story.

Julia Quinn, author of The viscount who loved me, which was the raw material for Bridgerton Season 2, wrote that Edmund was stung by a bee before the encounter. Doctors say it takes a second bite for an allergy to develop. After the first shot, Edmund was fine. By the second bite, his immune system had developed its deadly allergy.

Another fun fact? Edmund’s allergy does not mean that his son, Anthony is allergic. It’s more likely to have an allergy if someone in your family has one, but that’s not a fact. Even if Anthony had an allergy, that doesn’t mean he would die from a sting. Not all bee allergies are fatal.

It is possible to die from a bee sting

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Fans who have seen the Macaulay Culkin classic My daughter know death by bee sting. It’s not something that only happens on screen. According to Mayo Clinic, it is possible to die from a bee sting. People with severe allergies to bee stings can die from it.

However, the rate at which Edmund died may not be medically accurate. As Slate writes, Edmund died within a minute of the show. This is unlikely to happen in real life. Although anaphylaxis, a medical term for an allergic reaction, can happen quickly, it would probably take someone more than a minute to die from anaphylaxis.

But the allergic reaction would start almost immediately. Without medical attention, a person with a severe allergy would struggle for some time. But watching someone on screen struggle and then die for five to 10 minutes wouldn’t make good television. That’s probably why Shonda Rhimes and her team decided to change the timeline between bee sting and death a bit.

A bee sting would have been riskier in ‘Bridgerton’ days

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According to Slate, bee stings would have been more risky during the Regency era, when Bridgerton takes place. Modern medicine has a few options for treating anaphylaxis, but these did not exist in Regency times.

Nowadays, a patient with severe allergies can carry epinephrine or an epi-pen. The drug will cure anaphylaxis almost instantly. There are also other options, such as antihistamines and steroids. Again, this was not an option for Edmund. In fact, the epi-pen would not be approved by the FDA until more than a hundred years after Edmund’s death. Bridgerton takes place in the early 1800s and epi-pens were approved in 1980.

Fans shouldn’t expect to see modern medicine on Bridgerton in the future, but there could definitely be more bee scenes. Season 3 has already been greenlit by Netflix, and given its popularity, there will likely be more to come after that.

RELATED: ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2 Breaks Records For Netflix, Proving Audiences Are Ready For Diversity And Inclusion

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