What Should You Do If A Bee Is Chasing You?

This story made me giggle a little but, it also made me think about how many people might react the same way. It is a recount of a woman’s day out for a stroll with her child. She had a harrowing experience with a bee, got some great exercise and a good laugh.

There we were. Taking a leisurely walk along the path, in the hills behind our campsite. Strolling along, enjoying the ocean view. Up at Leo Carrillo State Beach, near Malibu. The only setback was the Radio Flyer wagon I decided to drudge along, so that three year old Brad could kick back, while I pulled […]

Read the rest of the story @ A Bee, Plus We — BonaFideAffairs

What should you do if a bee is chasing you?


There are many species of bee and most of them are very tame.

There are very few species that are known to be aggressive-  but those that are violent –  can be deadly.

The main thing to consider is numbers. If it’s you against one bee or even a gentle swarm that you’ve walked up on, you’re probably fine.


Bee swarm in beard formation
Bees are at their tamest when they are in a beard formation during a swarm.

If more than one bee is charging after you, you are NOT fine


Running from angry bees
If being chased by a swarm of angry bees- run and don’t stop

If one bee is chasing you, stand still and cover your face. The bees are most attracted to your nose and mouth. So, hold your breath and do not swat. If you miss, they will sting you.

They are warning you that they see you as a threat. Show them that you are not. Lone, tame bees will always buzz in a few times to warn you before stinging.

Any bee will sting if it feels threatened by you but, each bee can only sting once so, they will use restraint.

If a gentle swarm is just buzzing near you and not bumping into you with their butts as a warning, you are ok. Just walk away.

“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams,” said Henry David Thoreau, who clearly knew what he was talking about. Swarms of honeybees have appeared in Salisbury, Marlborough and Chichester, and the growing fashion for amateur beekeeping may be to blame. So, are middle-class novices not looking after their hives properly, causing their bees to go rogue?

BUT, if a swarm of angry looking bees is charging after you, they may be Africanized so, act as if they are. European honey bees will chase you away but, once you are no longer a dire threat, they will give up and begin a retreat.

Africanized bees are not the same. They will usually send an army to warn you as soon as they sense a threat. If you do not run away and seek cover, They will sting you and alert the others as they die.

Airplanes with painted bee wings

The smell of death causes a frenzy in the others and they will not stop stinging and dying and re-triggering the others until the threat (you) is gone.

Your best bet is to run in a zig-zag pattern and not stop until you are safely contained in an airtight area.  Any building or vehicle nearby will work. Get inside. Relax, a human can withstand multiple stings and still survive. When you panic your body releases hormones that the bees can sense. So, stay calm. You may shit yourself later.

Africanized honey bees pursue victims for up to 328 feet, compared with only 33 feet for European honey bees.

Do not jump in the water unless you plan to stay under until the scent of bee death is no longer in the air (about 12 hours, rumoredly). They will chase you for quite a while. They have been known to chase a threat for up to half a mile.  They will hover over the area until you come out, waiting, with stingers aimed. They are attracted to your breath too, remember?

So, if you jump into a pool of water, be prepared to stay under for a really LONG time.

Oh yeah, stingers also smell like bee death, so if you have a face full of stingers, you will need to flick or scrape them off. DO NOT pull the stinger out. They have small barbs on the tip of their stingers that, when ripped off, release venom. Guess what venom smells like- no, not teen spirit – bee death.

This is why beekeepers wear gear. Good beekeepers know how to handle their bees but, hungry or wild bees out looking for a free hive to loot, are sometimes a threat.

Buzz by our store for practical beekeeping gear and cool, innovative bee veils.


Wear proper gear when inspecting beehives.

Have you ever been stung or chased by bees? How did you respond?

Do you have any tips that we missed?



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