Ever wondered how you should act when you encounter an attack from a swarm of bees? Well, this article will get down to the job and help educate people on how to survive a bee attack. This is valuable knowledge especially for those who intend to purchase a hive to raise bees or plant a pollinator garden. Bees may be essential and very desirable for our eco-environment but an attack by them can be dangerous and deadly. As such, it is vital for us to know how we should protect ourselves just in case. Without further ado, here are the tips you should be equipped with and teach your kids, family, and friends!
1. Bees are not domestic pets
To begin with, we should familiarize ourselves with the nature of bees. Firstly, they are wild insects carrying out their task. With that said, they are not our average domestic pets like our dogs and cats which we can welcome with both arms to our homes. We should not assume that they are harmless or tame just because of the common perception that they help to produce honey and pollinate flowers. Bees have short lifespans in warmer periods of the year and they get little sleep during their busy periods of pollinating flowers. Thus, they would not hesitate to defend themselves and attack when they feel threatened. Furthermore, we should also know that when honey bees sting us, they will insert their stinger into our tough skin and this will cause the honey bee’s stomach to be ripped apart as they attempt to remove the stinger. However, honey bees do not usually unless we are really seen as a threat to them.
2. Do not defend yourself
Moving on, when we are really under an attack by a bee, we should not ever try to defend ourselves because this will invite more bees to come and attack you. The reason being, a pheromone is released when a bee inserts the venom into you. Hence, this sets off a signal and alerts the other bees of the danger we are presenting if we defend. So, instead of standing there, swinging your arms around and agitating the bees further, quickly dash away from the scene as far as possible as the bees will follow you.
3. Look for a shelter
Following a run, we should quickly seek shelter to hide as running into an open area with a swarm of bees following you behind solves nothing. It is highly unlikely that you can outrun the bees unless you are super fit so once you spot a house or a car, immediately make it your hideout. In the case that you manage to escape into a shelter and have a few remaining bees following you into the shelter, crouch down and let the bees mind their business until they forget about you.
4. Create shelter if needed
It is common that you may get chased from the garden when harvesting crops and there is no nearby shelter. This is because bees can get quite territorial over the garden since it is practically their food supply. In such instances when you have no other place to seek shelter amidst the wide plot of farmland, head for any trees or bush you can spot. Otherwise, you can run into your crops of corn if they are tall enough as this helps to distract the bees. In extreme desperate times, head for the tallest bush you can find.
5. Fire extinguishers are useful
Having a fire extinguisher near your farm can come into good use because the blast is strong enough to kill the bees. However, pulling this off by yourself can be a challenge so we would like to advise those on the sideline to act instinctively and to grab the extinguisher instantly so that it can be sprayed in both the direction of the bees and the person being attacked. Thereafter, bring the person into a shelter and hide from other bees that may follow.
6. Do not escape into the waters
Next, we shall address the common misconception that you should jump into the water when under a bee attack. In most cases, there are usually pools in residential areas but the problem with pools is they attract bees because of the chlorine they contain. So, to prevent bees from flying into your house and pool, you can throw in some salt into your pool. Not to mention, another problem with jumping into the water is that it only helps you to stay unexposed when you are underwater. Soon, you are bound to rise from the water to breathe and the bees will make use of such timing to attack you. Also, when you come into contact with water, clothes will get damp and stick onto you. As such, when you make a run from the pool, the clothing that once helped to protect you will now be skin-tight with reduced functionality in providing less protection.
7. Remove the stingers
After a successful escape away from the bees, make sure to remove the stinger because if not, the venom will still be continuously injecting into your body and cause swelling and allergic reactions.
8. Seek medical help
Under a major attack from a swarm of bees, extreme reactions can occur as you may experience difficulty breathing, racing heartbeat, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and even fainting because of the amount of venom injected into your body. When you experience such symptoms, immediately seek medical help.
A few commonly asked questions
1. Is it considered an attack when bees bump into you?
To answer this, we can only say that bees bump into you for various reasons so there is no definite answer to this. Bees are curious creatures so they may bump into you so that they can try to figure you out as they do not have fingers and hands like us humans to feel things. Another possible reason could be because of our sweat as bees like to drink them. Also, it might be due to our hair product and perfume that confuses the bees, thinking that we are flowers.
2. Is there a need to exterminate the bees to avoid an attack?
The answer is no, we should not exterminate the bees out of fear just because they are becoming more aggressive. The reason is that, ultimately, the bees possess an important role in helping with our harvest so we recommend ordering a new queen with good genetics as it can help to calm the hive down. If there is a wild hive present near your household, call a local beekeeper.
All in all, bees can be dangerous and are ferocious creatures. We should take precautions in familiarizing ourselves with these tips so that we can all protect ourselves under such life-threatening situations.