Speed Reads


Man lets bees sting his genitals for science


Where on the body does it hurt most to get stung by a honeybee? If you guessed somewhere in the nether regions, you'd be wrong — at least according to one graduate student who allowed bees to sting him a handful of times each on 25 different parts of the body.

Michael Smith was studying honeybees at Cornell when one flew up his shorts and stung him in a delicate place, as National Geographic reports. Yet unlike most people, who would have screamed and sworn and maybe put on pants, Smith used the unexpected sting as inspiration to study where a bee could do the most damage in terms of sheer pain.

Turning himself into a lab rat of sorts, Smith pressed bees against various parts of his body — the palm, wrist, neck, and, yes, butt, scrotum, and penis — and recorded the pain on a scale of 1 to 10. The results: Stings to the nostril hurt the most (9 out of 10 on the pain scale) followed by the upper lip (8.7), while those administered to the upper arm, middle toe, and skull hurt the least (2.7)

As for the, uh, private parts: "If you're stung in the nose and penis," he told National Geographic's Ed Yong, "you're going to want more stings to the penis over the nose, if you're forced to choose."