Think of this: you’re walking through a park and all of sudden the person near you starts flapping their arms around wildly, begins walking or running quickly and looks rather panicked. We’re guessing you’ve seen this behavior before… This rather baffling behavior is typically triggered by a small, black and yellow insect - the bee.
For some reason at a young age, we all learn to be afraid of bees and to be very afraid of being stung. This fear brings with it a certain level of panic and hysteria which results in the flapping arms, the running and the screaming.
In this article we’ll explain to you why bees sting, what you can do when a bee stings you and help you understand bees a bit better. This way the next time you see or hear a bee, you won’t be that person running around flapping their arms wildly. Instead, you’ll just continue on with your walk or bike ride paying no attention to the bee. That is… unless your allergic. If you know you are allergic or show any signs, you should seek medical help immediately.
A Bit About Bees
First and foremost, bees are critical to our environment. We rely on bees for pollination and without these bees, it would be very challenging and time consuming to do this pollination ourselves. Interestingly, about one-third of our food supply relies on bee pollination.
In North America there are four common species of bees:
- European honey bees: these are the most common bees and they live everywhere except Antarctica. Like all other bees, these bees are very social insects and as a result live in hives. In each hive there is one queen bee, around one hundred drone (male) bees and a thousand worker (female) bees. These bees are responsible for creating honey with the nectar they collect from flowering plants. Typically, if you’re stung, it will be by a worker bee. Because of the way the sting occurs, a honey bee does die after it has stung you.
- Bumble bees: these bees live in smaller colonies and are rather gentle. It is rare to be stung by a bumble bee and these bees are able to sting you multiple times.
- Africanized honey bees: these bees are more aggressive and are more aware of threats than the honey bees we normally see. These bees are much more protective than European honey bees and are known to attack in large numbers. These bees live in the southern United States.
- Carpenter bees: the female carpenter bee builds her nest by burrowing into old or soft wood such as fences, decks or house frames. Male carpenter bees do not have stingers and while the female bee does have a stinger, it’s very rare for a carpenter bee to sting you.
Why Do Bees Sting?
Bees sting for the same reasons that we flail our arms around and get excited when we see a bee - they’re afraid or feel under threat. In general, bees won’t sting you when they’re out flying around your garden collecting nectar and pollinating your flowers.
If you do happen to scare a bee or accidentally step on a bee, then chances are pretty high the honey bee will react and sting you. This is purely a self-defense mechanism and is not done out of aggression. If you’re stung by a honey bee, it’s a female worker bee who is responsible for the operation of the hive.
When this bee does sting you, her stinger gets stuck in your skin releasing venom that is painful and irritating. Because the stinger is stuck in your skin, this causes a massive injury to the bee and kills her. As a result of this, bees really don’t want to sting you - they want to keep on living just like the rest of us.
Now, bees will sting you if you approach or harm their hive. The hive is their home and the bees are committed to defending and protecting it. In this case, you may be stung by multiple bees, all who are simply trying to protect their home.
Those bees you see flying around while you’re walking through the park on a Saturday afternoon are really not paying attention to you. When you react though by flapping your arms around and yelling, this does scare the bee and can cause the bee to react out of panic, stinging you.
Stay calm. Smile at the bee. Thank the bee for pollinating the flowers and making honey. The bee will fly away. Everyone will be happy.
What To Do If You’re Stung
Admittedly, bee stings are painful and for some people can trigger an allergic reaction. Again, if you know you are allergic or show signs of an allergic reaction, you should seek medical help immediately. Bug Bite Thing is not intended to replace treatments for allergic reactions to bee or other bug stings. The barbed stinger doesn’t feel great in your skin and neither does the bee venom. Because the venom sac is attached to the stinger, it’s important to remove the stinger as quickly as possible. You definitely want to avoid squeezing the venom sac because this releases more painful venom into your skin.
So how do you remove the barbed stinger without squeezing the venom sac? Well, with the Bug Bite Thing you can Buzz Back and stings don’t stand a chance. Don’t flail your arms. Show your swagger. Easily and safely scrape or brush off the stinger without squeezing the venom sac and then using the pump, you can suck the venom out of your skin. It’s really that simple. You’ll have immediate relief from the itching, burning and irritation that comes with a bee sting. Did we mention there are no chemicals, no sprays, no creams and no oils?Really, we don’t want you to get stung. Remember stay calm and walk tall when a bee comes buzzing around with the confidence of knowing you have your Bug Bite Thing in your pocket, your glove compartment or bag.