With warmer weather approaching, bees and flying insects are becoming more active. Do you know how to reduce your risks of being stung by a bee or other stinging insect? Let’s see how well you do on this quiz:

True or False:

  1. To reduce the risk of being stung, you should avoid bananas and banana-scented toiletries
  2. Sweat angers bees
  3. The face is the most likely place for a bee or wasp to sting
  4. When a bee stings, it releases a chemical that alerts other bees to attack
  5. You cannot outrun attacking bees
  6. If you’re being attacked and you can’t get indoors, you’re better off in a shaded area than an open area

Answers: All True!

Most bees and insects will not attack if left alone. If provided, a bee will sting in defense of its nest or itself. Thousands of people are stung each year and as many as 40 to 50 people in the United States die each year as a result of allergic reactions. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself.

Reduce the Risk of Being Stung

  • Wear light-colored, smooth-finished clothing.
  • Avoid perfumed soaps, shampoos and deodorants. Don’t wear cologne or perfume.
  • Avoid bananas and banana-scented toiletries.
  • Wear clean clothing and bathe daily. Sweat angers bees.
  • Cover the body as much as possible with clothing.
  • Avoid flowering plants.
  • Keep areas clean. Social wasps thrive in places where humans discard food, so clean up picnic tables, grills and other outdoor eating areas.
  • If a single stinging insect is flying around, remain still or lie face down on the ground.
  • The face is the most likely place for a bee or wasp to sting. Swinging or swatting at an insect may cause it to sting.
  • Bees release a chemical when they sting, which alerts others to the intruder. More bees then often join in the attack.
  • If you are attacked by several stinging insects at the same time, do whatever you can to get away from them. Trying to outrun bees is futile. Bees can fly about 20 miles per hour and have been known to chase people for over a quarter mile.
  • If possible, get indoors when there are a few, if any, bees around you.
  • Outdoors, a shaded area is better than an open area to get away from the insects.
  • If a bee comes inside your vehicle, stop the car slowly, and open all the windows.