Bees and You: Don’t Get Stung

June 13, 2016 12:00 PM

Less than 1% of people are allergic to bee, wasp, or hornet stings, but for them, a sting can be a life-threatening emergency. The good news is that bees and other stinging insects are not seeking you out as prey but usually sting to defend themselves or their homes. While most of us get a painful lump, the bee often dies after stinging. For humans, prevention is the best strategy for getting through the summer without getting stung.

If you smell or look like a flower, bees could assume you have nectar. So, put away the flowery perfumes, colognes, and hair sprays for the season. When outdoors where bees might be common, try to dress in white, beige, or light colors (avoid flower colors). Don’t walk barefoot in the grass, those small flower that you hardly notice could be a major part of a local bee colony’s food supply. Sugary foods such as fruits and sodas attract bees for the same reason – they assume that dinner has been served. A soda can that’s been sitting could contain a very distressed bee who fell in trying to find food.

When bees do come buzzing, stifle the urge to run or swat at them. It could be difficult for you to stay calm if you’ve been stung in the past, but the best course of action is to move away slowly. If you have disturbed a nest and cannot avoid the insects, cover your face with your hands and move away quickly.

If you’re allergic to stings. Carry an Epi-pen Auto Injector at all times in case a sting cannot be avoided. Speak with one of our primary care providers if you believe you are allergic to insect venom since a prescription is required for an Epi-pen Auto Injector.


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