Four Tips for Avoiding Bee Stings
By Callie Turnbull
Summer time is here and bees are busy buzzing around and looking everywhere for nectar.
Bees are territorial and will defend their nests with their lives. If you see a nest, move away slowly and call a professional to have the bees removed and rehomed to a more suitable location. Be aware of any bees that may be in close proximity when mowing your grass. Wear a long sleeve shirt, pants and a hat to avoid getting stung in case you accidentally stumble upon a nest.
Photo credit – Beatrice Murch
2. Don’t look like a flower.
If you look like a flower,smell like a flower, or are standing in a field of flowers, a bee is going to check you out to see if you are filled with sweet nectar.
These insects are naturally curious and are attracted to both dark and bright colors. Wear something neutral or white, and if you stand still, they will likely move on.
Photo credit Kenneth Freeman
Bees rarely sting unless provoked. Flailing your arms and screaming and running can be misinterpreted by bees as you attacking them. If you are approached by a buzzing bee, stay calm, don’t move, and give it a chance to fly away. That said, bees often head‑butt as a warning that you are too close to a hive. If you find yourself on the receiving end of this early warning, stay calm and slowly move the other way.
Photo credit Alfred Shum
Bees are looking for sugar. Cover your drinks, fruits, and other sweet smelling stuff to avoid a mouthful of honeybee. Getting stung near your face can lead to respiratory distress.
In the event that you have practiced all these tips and you still find yourself on the wrong side of a swarm, do not swat at the bees—instead, RUN! Cover your head and face with your shirt leaving enough room to see. Shield your eyes with your hand and run indoors as quickly as possible.
Bees are on a mission this summer. They are running back and forth from flower to hive to collect as much nectar as possible. They need to make honey and keep their bellies full through the winter. If you don’t get in their way, they will likely stay out of yours.
Photo credit DCJohn