How to Prevent Bee Stings?

If you happen to be allergic to their sting, having a bee buzzing around you can be a frightening prospect.  A single bee sting can send some people into anaphylactic shock, which can be deadly.  However, you can make a bee sting a less likely prospect if you know how to prevent stings.

When you are stung by a bee, you are being stung by a female worker bee.  Male bees don’t have a stinger and the Queen bee rarely leaves the hive.  Many people believe that when a bee stings, it leaves behind its stinger and dies.  That is partially true, but in general, the barbs of the stinger are strong and the stinger will not be ripped away unless the skin is thick, like on an animal.

 

Why Does a Bee Sting?

Bee Sting

Bee Sting

Even though there are nearly 20,000 species of bees in the world, honey bees and bumblebees are the species that come to mind for most people when bees are mentioned.  These species are social bees and live together in hives or colonies and generally they will not sting.  Normally these bees are docile and not prone to attack or stinging.

The most common reason for a bee to sting is because it feels threatened.  If another bee is harmed or if the nest is being approached by an intruder, bees will sting to protect themselves and their colony.  When honey bees sting, they release a pheromone that signals for its hive mates to attack as well.  That is why when a bee stings, there are often multiple stings if a person or animal is near the hive or colony.

The sting of a bee is only dangerous to those who are allergic and if a person is stung multiple times.  However, the average human being can tolerate up to 10 stings per pound, which means the average adult can be stung over 1000 times will little to no affect.  However, 500 stings are capable of killing a child.

 

Preventing Bee Stings

The best way to prevent being stung by a bee is to stay away from bee hives or bee colonies.  If you spot a hive, avoid it if possible or try not to disturb it in any way.  Be careful about threatening a bee you see flying around you as well.  If you let them go about their business, they usually will not sting you.

Bees feed off of flower nectar, so they are attracted to flowery smells and bright colors.  If you are spending time outside, avoid wearing perfume or colognes because they can attract bees.  They will be attracted to brightly colored clothes, especially floral prints, as well, so don’t wear that type of clothing.

If you are on a picnic, sugary foods and drinks will attract bees, so you should try to keep them covered as much as possible.  Avoid spending time in flower gardens.  With a few sensible precautions, you can prevent being stung by a bee and have a pleasant time outdoors.