Prevention strategies can help you minimize your chance of getting stung by bees.
Minimize your exposure:
- Take care when drinking sweet beverages outside. Wide, open cups may be your best option because you can see if a bee is in them. Inspect cans and straws before drinking from them.
- Tightly cover food containers and trash cans.
- Clear away garbage, fallen fruit, and dog or other animal feces (flies can attract wasps).
- Wear close-toed shoes when walking outside.
- Don't wear bright colors or floral prints, which can attract bees.
- Don't wear loose clothing, which can trap bees between the cloth and your skin.
- When driving, keep your windows rolled up.
- Be careful when mowing the lawn or trimming vegetation, activities that might arouse insects in a beehive or wasp nest.
- Have hives and nests near your home removed by a professional.
Know what to do when you're exposed to bees:
Feb. 07, 2014
- If a few bees are flying around you, stay calm and slowly walk away from the area. Swatting at an insect may cause it to sting.
- If a bee or wasp stings you, or many insects start to fly around, cover your mouth and nose and quickly leave the area. When a bee stings, it releases a chemical that attracts other bees. If you can, get into a building or closed vehicle.
- Freeman T. Bee, yellowjacket, wasp and hymenoptera stings: Reaction types and acute management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 5, 2013.
- Stinging insect allergy: Tips to remember. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/stinging-insect-allergy.aspx. Accessed July 5, 2013.
- Skin emergencies. National Center for Farmworker Health. http://www.ncfh.org/pdfs/BilingualEd/PDF9.pdf. Accessed July 5, 2013.
- What to do in a medical emergency: Bites and stings. American College of Emergency Physicians Foundation. http://www.emergencycareforyou.org/EmergencyManual/WhatToDoInMedicalEmergency/Default.aspx?id=210#spider_bites_and_scorpion_stings. Accessed July 4, 2013.
- Tintinalli JE, et al. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=40. Accessed July 5, 2013.
- Tracy JM. Diagnosis of hymenoptera venom allergy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 5, 2013.
- Bee stings: Safety. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/docs.htm?docid=11067&page=1. Accessed July 5, 2013.
- Simons FER. Anaphylaxis. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2010;125:S161.
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