Stinging Bees and How to Avoid Them

This post answers the following questions

1) What are the characteristics of bees?
2) How did a person hiking in Echo Canyon die?
3) Why does a single bee can also be deadly?
4) What is an anaphylactic shock?
5) What are the precautionary measures when spending time outdoors?

Bees are often portrayed in animated movies as cuddly and adorable insects that are hard at work making sweet honey. With their outer covering of yellow and black stripes, they are attractive creatures indeed. But underneath that fuzzy exterior is a menacing stinger. Just recently, a person hiking in Echo Canyon in Phoenix Arizona died because he was attacked by bees, which then caused him to lose his balance and fall off a cliff with a height of 150 feet. The hiker was pronounced dead, while 2 others, who were on a path close to Icebox Canyon in Arizona, were also attacked and stung 300 times by a swarm of bees. These two were lucky considering that they survived the attack. They are currently recuperating in a hospital.

Every year, there are several instances of bee attacks. But apart from a swarm attacking people, a single bee can also be deadly, particularly when it stings someone who is extremely allergic to bee stings. An individual who is very sensitive to the sting of a bee can experience what’s known as an anaphylactic shock. Here, the victim will demonstrate symptoms, such as: breathing difficulties, nausea and vomiting, numbness, clammy skin, extreme itching or rashes all over the body, and fainting. Localized pain, swelling, redness, itching and warmth, particularly on the site of the sting, are less serious and common reactions. Still, someone who experiences a severe allergic reaction to a sting must be brought to a hospital as soon as possible. Emergency care is needed to prevent loss of life.

Beware of Bee Stings

Because a number of species of bees attack in swarms and since stings can be deadly to some individuals, anyone who likes to spend time outdoors must take precautionary measures. Below are some tips.

1. Wear suitable clothing.

If you like to spend time outdoors, such as when hiking or going on picnics, it’s best to cover up. Wear long sleeved tops and long pants. Tuck the edge of pants inside socks so that insects won’t be able to crawl in your pants. Try not to wear clothes with bright colors because striking hues easily attract bees and other insects.

2. Avoid wearing perfume.

A lot of fruity and floral scents draw in bees and other bugs. So, don’t spritz perfume or body spray on your skin or clothes before hiking or going outdoors. Avoid using scented soaps as well.

3. Use insect repellent.

There are creams or lotions that repel bees and most bugs. So, be sure to apply some on exposed skin, like the neck and hands. You can also check out repellent-treated outdoor clothes, such as those treated with permethrin. This substance kills bees, ticks, fleas, lice and other insects upon contact.

4. Keep to used trails.

When you go hiking or camping, your companions could convince you to become more adventurous. But don’t get too carried away. Avoid exploring hidden caves or trails that are seldom used because you might find yourself in areas where bee hives and nests are located.

5. Know if you’re allergic to stings.

If you are sensitive to things, animals or food, make sure that you determine whether or not you could be allergic to bee stings as well. Consult an allergist for allergy testing before going camping or hiking. If you are allergic, carry a bee sting kit. Also, ask your allergist if he can provide you with an EpiPen or an epinephrine auto injector.

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Claire Clarke is a freelance blogger who also happens to be a home improvement enthusiast. She regularly blogs about common household pests and ways to control them. She also writes for, a pest control company with a good track record.

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