Bees, Wasps, & Hornets: How bad can they hurt me?
Summer has arrived, school is out, and summer vacations are on. Many people are ready to spend their summer outside to enjoy the weather and participate in outdoor activities. Although summer is synonymous with fun, it is critical to be aware of the dangers that surround you. Bees, wasps, and hornets are most active around midday during the summer months. Below are some precautions you can take to avoid being harmed. First, it’s important to know the differences and similarities between these insects. Bees are pollinators that are mostly active during early spring, but this does not mean they aren't out during the summer. Although there are various bee species, Honeybees are the most common. They are crucial pollinators for the environment. Most of the time these bees are harmless but will sting you if they feel threatened.
Bees are usually rounder and have yellow or amber fur all around their bodies. Wasps, on the other hand, are narrow-wasted insects that have no fur. They are predatory insects, since they feed off other insects as well as sugars. Like bees, wasps will only sting you if they feel threatened, so try to avoid hitting them or getting too close to them. Finally, hornets are another predatory insect like the wasp, but are way larger and more rounded. These hornets, like the others, could also sting, so it’s important to keep a safe distance, especially if don’t know if you are allergic.
How to avoid being stung by these insects?
It is important to be aware of your surroundings, especially when you are outside.
Avoid bee swarms and hives if at all possible.
If your home gets infested by a bee swarm or you find a hive nearby, do not try to remove it yourself. Get professional help right away.
If you are attacked, run as fast as you can from the bees to avoid getting stung multiple times. Multiple stings can be dangerous and even deadly in some cases.
Steps to take if you ever get stung by any of these insects:
With a credit card, try to scrape off any stinger left in your skin.
Remove any tight clothing or jewelry from the sting site in case the area swells.
Do not scratch the area.
Stay calm and look for symptoms you may experience
You may experience one of the symptoms listed below:
pain at the bite or sting site
If you experience any of the symptoms below, call the poison center right away or seek medical attention immediately (call 911).
evidence of infection such as fever, expanding redness, swelling, or pus
sting to the eyeball
decreased urine (or no urine)
If you have questions about any insect bites or stings or have concerns about the symptoms you may be experiencing, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222.