What to do when attacked by bees?

Honey bees can chase their prey at a speed of approximately 32 km/h, so if you have enough strength, run faster than the bees. When stung, you need to remove the venom stuck to your skin as soon as possible.

The Arizona Fire and Medical Department, USA, recommends the above for those unfortunate enough to be attacked by bees. Most bees actually have no intention of causing harm to humans. However, due to the shrinking of living space by humans, the relationship between bees and people sometimes becomes tense.

This agency provides guidance on how to handle situations where bees are chasing or stinging you and causing injury.

Should we run away from bees?

In case of necessity, escape from bee attack. Running straight to safety is a wise choice. According to Professor James Nieh from the University of California, San Diego, who studies bee behavior, running straight is the best way to escape being chased by bees.

Honeybees, when flying alone, can chase prey at speeds of up to 20 mph, or approximately 32 km/h. When they fly in flocks, their speed will decrease significantly. Therefore, if you have enough motivation and strength, you can completely run faster than the flying speed of the bees.

Honey bees fly in groups at a speed of 32 km/h, so experts recommend that you run away from the bees. Image: People

Should bees be chased away?

Trying to chase them away is not a wise solution. Instead, covering your face, especially your nose, mouth and eyes, is the best way to protect yourself. Not only does this help avoid sudden movements that could make bees feel threatened, but it also reduces carbon dioxide emissions, one of the factors that attract bees.

According to Thompson, a beekeeping expert, screaming should be limited unless it is necessary to warn people around. Bees are often attracted to dark spots on the body, such as the nose and eyes, because these are the most vulnerable places. This explains why wearing black clothing can increase your chances of being noticed by bees. However, once agitated, bees can attack regardless of color.

Will the bees stop chasing?

In the unfortunate situation of being chased by a bee, find a safe and private shelter. Prioritize entering spaces such as buildings or cars with tightly closed windows to isolate bees. This action needs to be done immediately, before thinking about running away.

Avoid hiding in areas with gaps where bees can sneak in, such as warehouses or caves. This can be a temporary solution to avoid bee stings, but only if there is no other option, as these places are not completely safe.

Should you jump into the water if attacked by a bee?

Jumping into water when being chased by a bee is not a safe choice. This action can increase the risk of being stung by a bee when you need to come up to breathe and can also lead to drowning. Bees can wait patiently outside the water and detect people through carbon dioxide bubbles.

In a state of panic, people’s judgment and breathing ability may be affected, forcing them to come up to breathe more often, thereby increasing their chances of coming into contact with bees. This is not only dangerous but can also create scary possibilities, such as bees entering the respiratory tract and causing internal damage to the body. Medical literature has recorded a number of such cases and the victims died. So, finding a dry and safe shelter is a much better solution.

Should bee venom be removed when stung?

Bee stings leave venom on the skin. It should be removed as quickly as possible. Bee venom is attached to the bee’s poison sac. When stung, warning pheromones are emitted, attracting more bees from the hive. Therefore, if you see venom on your skin, gently scrape it with your fingernail to remove it without breaking the poison sac.

However, don’t stop to look for bee venom on your skin while you run away. Continue moving to a safe place, then proceed to remove the venom.

Nieh and Thompson say de-venoming not only reduces the scent that attracts bees, but also lessens the body’s response to the venom, reducing the risk of a serious reaction from the sting. Remove the venom gently to avoid rupturing the venom sac and releasing more venom into the skin.

Are children more vulnerable than adults?

According to the US Department of Agriculture, most people can withstand 10 bee stings for every 0.45 kg of body weight. This means that 500 bee stings can be fatal to a 22.67 kg child, while the average adult can survive more than 1,100 bee stings.


In the case of a severe allergic reaction to bees, a dangerous condition that can cause swelling of the airways and difficulty breathing, use an EpiPen to prevent an anaphylactic reaction. However, if there is no allergy, EpiPen should not be used due to the risk of side effects such as heart palpitations and increased blood pressure.

Bee stings often cause swelling and itching, which can last several days. People with insect allergies need medical attention, sometimes requiring anti-allergy medications, epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisone.

For common stings, use cold packs, anti-itch creams, or antihistamines such as benadryl. A device called an insect bite relief pen may also help relieve itching if used immediately after a bee sting.

If there is swelling in other areas or symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, low blood pressure and rash, go to the hospital immediately. This could be a sign of a mild allergic reaction, which occurs after being stung and lasts a few hours.

Each person’s body reacts to a bee sting. In all cases, Thompson advises to stay calm and maintain a safe distance from bees. Bees usually don’t want to cause trouble, and you shouldn’t bother them unnecessarily.

By Editor

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