What to do if you’re attacked by bees

A swarm of bees. Photo/Courtesy

There is a saying that goes, bees can be domesticated but not tamed. On Thursday, these hive dwellers showed  protestors, police and journalists in equal measure that there is more to them than producing honey by attacking the lot near Supreme Court grounds forcing them to scamper to safety.

Here is a list of what to do if attacked by bees:


If  you get caught in a situation that bees are after you, Standard Times Public Health advises one to run as fast as they can, preferably, in a zigzag pattern until the bees cease chasing you or you access a shelter. If you stop or freeze you make yourself an easy target because they have already identified you as their enemy.

Cover up

Use anything within your reach to cover yourself. Do not use your bare hands because they will get stung, spreading venom to the rest of your body hence weakening you from making a swift escape. Pull the piece of cloth you are wearing over your head or anything that can help you cover up within the vicinity. Be careful not to slow down.

Do not swat

It is  a reflex to fight back a bee after a sting or make any aggressive movements since bees are mostly attracted to disturbances, however, when you harm the bee, there is a smell it produces, which summons more bees making the attack more lethal. If you get stung, use a scratch card, nail or a blunt blade to scrape the stingers. Avoid pressing it out of the skin because it will only spread more venom to your body.

Do not seek refuge under water

Do not hide under water, be it a pool or a bath tub, the bees will swarm above you, waiting for you to to come up to catch a breath then sting you.

Seek shelter

Identify the nearest shelter and and run to it, this varies from cars, restaurants, houses even a retail store. This will help reduce the number of bees in the colony that are after you and will eventually completely decline in numbers. It is also advisable to open all the windows and turn off the lights to divert the bees from the target.

Do not disturb a beehive

Bees build their hives mostly on trees, poles or high walls. It might be tempting to want to disturb the bees and cause a commotion, however, you have to understand that it will only have a  grave impact on you as bees are always prepared to attack at any detection of disturbance. If you must harvest honey, then wear a protective gear and send the bees away using smoke, which will force them to migrate.

First aid

In case you have a victim of a bee attack, first, lay them in a hygienic place, scrape off the stingers with a credit card or a blunt knife. After removing the stingers, apply ice cubes on the fresh wound and immediately seek medical attention in case of any oversights.

It is advisable to seek medical attention when stung by bees, for a certified practitioner to evaluate how badly you have been injured. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reports that bees, which are in abundant during warm months, are among the world’s most deadliest insects.

The venom of bee stingers can be lethal to persons allergic to the venom. Otherwise, one experiences mild discomfort and pain, depending on how many times a victim got stung.

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Story By Sally Boyani
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