How to Avoid and Survive a Bee Swarm


Summer is here! This, of course, means more outdoor activities which, in turn, means bugs and insects. Some of these are just annoying but others can be dangerous and even fatal in proper respect isn’t shown. Bees and wasps are in the second category.

Once you are stung, you are way more likely to be stung over and over again because in the sting a pheromone is released that signals other bees to attack as well. If there are a lot of bees around you will get stung multiple times. If you accidentally stumble into a swarm of bees your only hope is to get as much distance as you can between you and the swarm or to get in a closed space before you get stung too many times.

Here are some tips to help protect you from bees this summer:

  1. Listen to the buzzing. Bees, like rattlesnakes, are good at letting you know they are there and they would much rather avoid a confrontation so don’t ignore that buzzing sound, especially if it gets louder (meaning that there are more and more of them around).
  2. Don’t swat at them. Even though this is the first response for most of us, it stirs up the bees and makes them want to attack. They interpret those quick, jerky motions as a threat.
  3. Wear light colored clothing. Bees don’t see color just shades of grey; the darker the color the more you look like a natural predator like a bear or a badger to them.
  4. If the bees aren’t acting aggressively yet, walk away calmly. If, however, they start bumping into you or trying to sting you, run. Try to get as much distance as you can between you and the swarm. Generally it will take about a quarter of a mile before the bees give up and return to the hive.
  5. Do not jump in the water. Unlike what comic books and cartoons taught us, bees don’t go away just because you disappear underwater. They will just wait till you resurface and sting again.

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