The Flowers in My Garden Are Attracting Bees, Is There Anything I Can Do to Avoid Getting Stung?


The flowers in my garden are attracting bees, is there anything I can do to avoid getting stung?

Laura Deacon
Ottawa, Kansas

First, thank those industrious bees for gracing your garden! Bees are terrific pollinators, and they’re presence in your garden is great news for the flowers you enjoy so much. With so much concern over Colony Collapse Disorder, there are many people who would love to have such a worry.

And, actually, honeybees aren’t likely to bother you unless you disturb them or their hive. You go about your business, they’ll go about theirs (making sure the flowers keep coming back!). Pay attention, and use common sense. Also, avoid wearing bright clothing, and skip perfume or heavily scented lotions when you know you’re headed outside. That said, you can’t be expected to keep track of every critter in your garden at every moment. If you are ever stung, you can find a few natural bee sting remedies.

— Aubrey Vaughn, assistant editor

Lady Aelina
7/2/2010 2:01:17 AM

I am beekeeper and currently have 3 hives in my yard. My yard and neighborhood is also very bee friendly. AND yes I have been stung. AND yes, surprisingly... I am also allergic to bees. My husband and I also belong to a group that helps to humanely remove hives and swarms before they are destroyed. There is a lot of mythology in regards to bees and why they sting. Bees are very smell and sound sensitive. The two men who were were recently stung in San Diego County were both weed eating around the hives and actually damaged the hives. Bees will protect their hive and the Queen at all cost. Bees are attracted to color and smell. If you are in the garden with "flower" colors remember you look like a flower. Don't panic and let the bee explore you. If you don't smell right it will fly off. Now smell is harder. There is historical documentation back to the Middle Ages that states that bees don't "like alcohol, fowl breath, and odors." When we got out to work on the hives we have to shower with a non scented soap and then smoke ourselves. Bees will be attracted, negatively or positively, to shampoos, deodorants, and perfumes. Again, if a bee is suddenly attracted to you, don't panic and calmly walk away. Don't panic! Bees think the carbon monoxide coming from your mouth and your pours are a predator. Bears, raccoons, and mice are the biggest threat to bees. I have had to learn to calm my natural instinct to run away like my hair is on fire. Once a bee stings it does die.

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