Most bees and wasps have a smooth stinger that doesn’t get caught when they sting and can be repeated multiple times. The worker honeybee however has evolved a barbed stinger that is fine for stinging other bees and insects but can get caught in the thicker skins of mammals including humans. When the honeybee tries to get free it rips part of it’s abdomen away and quickly dies.
The honeybee’s stinger consists of three parts: a stylus and two barbed slides (or lancets), one on either side of the stylus. Once stung the slides move alternately up and down pulling the stylus into the wound. The sting injects apitoxin, or ‘bee venom’, into wound.