How to NOT Get Stung [HBM Podcast Transcript 12]

The following is a transcript of Honey Bee Man Episode 12 – All about advice on how to avoid getting stung by your bees.


Today I’m going to tell you a little bit about how to avoid an attack of honeybees or other stinging insects.

how to avoid getting stung by beesFirst of all, let me explain that honeybees are normally very gentle. They will not normally attack people unless somebody is bothering their hive, unless they feel threatened by you getting too close to their home.

If you walk up to the side of a hive and touch it, kick it, or whatever, you’re going to get attacked. They’re going to come out of there with a vengeance and they’re going to really tear you up.

Hopefully, you’ll never be in this situation. However, if you ever are, I’m going to tell you about some ways that you can avoid a serious injury, which could be fatal. There are actually several fatal stinging injuries in the United States every year. This does happen, though it’s rare. I’m going to explain some ways to avoid a serious attack.

Put some space between yourself and the attacking insects.

If you can get indoors, that’s your best bet.

Separate yourself with a screen. Just run inside a screened-in area. At least if you are in a screened-in area the only stinging insects that you have to deal with are the ones that are actually chasing you through the door. If you have 50+ bees flying around your head, if you get inside the door and only 20 of those bees make it in the door with you, then you only have 20 bees that are going to sting you unless you can kill them first.

So, number one, put some distance between you and the attacking bees.

Simply walk around a tree.

Let’s say you have 50-100+ bees flying around your head, circling you. If there is a vehicle nearby, walk around the vehicle. This will confuse the bees. If you get out of sight of their hive by walking around the backside of a vehicle, you’re going to lose about half of the bees that are trying to chase you.

If you walk around a tree, the bees will get confused by the tree. If you walk around 10 trees, walk circles around trees or walk figure-eights around different trees, this confuses the bees. You’re going to lose bees every time you walk around a tree.

This should work for honeybees, hornets, any other stinging insects. It may work for some varieties better than others, but this is certainly one way that you can avoid a massive bee attack. Confuse them so that they can’t chase you, by going around objects like vehicles and trees. If you’re by a fence line, go down the fence line.

If you’re out in the middle of a wide open field, that’s about the worst place you can be because there is nothing that you can do to put anything in between yourself and the bees to confuse and lose a number of those stinging insects that are chasing you.

So, number two, use your surroundings to confuse the bees and lose them. Confuse and lose.

Maybe most important: Try to cover your face.

They’re going to go after your face. They seem to somehow know that your face, where you breathe, your eyes, where the soft tissue is. They’re going to go after soft tissue.

If you have a towel or something you can wrap around your head, that’s a good thing to do because they are going to go after those tender areas and that’s really not a fun place to get stung.

Hopefully, these three simple ideas can help you if you are in a situation where you are attacked by bees. Like I said, normally honeybees are very gentle and normally you wouldn’t have this problem.

With the Africanized bees becoming more prevalent in some of the southern states, this is something that more people should be trained on, methods to get away from bees. This should work with Africanized bees just as well as it does with any stinging insect.

These are just some simple methods to put some distance between you and the stinging insects. Hopefully that helps. Hopefully this quick lesson can help somebody to have a whole lot less pain.

About Honey Bee Man Transcripts

I first found this podcast via

This is a great podcast series that MarkZ the Honey Bee Man recorded back in 2007 where he goes through his 10-minute-lessons in beginner beekeeping.

It's a great resource for anyone getting started and the audio from the episodes are still hosted on TalkShoe and iTunes, but it's the internet and information can disappear into the void at any moment, especially after a podcast has been retired, so I wanted to make sure this information was available for everyone to use. I know our community has several folks who are hearing impaired that might be interested to read the info as well, so I've transcribed them and posted them here as articles for everyone.

Episode 1: Introduction to Beekeeping
Episode 2: Pollination
Episode 3: Where to Place a Backyard Beehive
Episode 4: The Best Plants for Your Bees
Episode 5: What Beekeeping Equipment is Needed to Start Keeping Hives
Episode 6: Is It Important to Buy Local Honey?
Episode 7: Basic Protective Gear for Beekeepers
Episode 8: Will Eating Local Honey Help With Allergies?
Episode 9: How to Install a New Package of Bees
Episode 10: Honeybee Hive Inspections - What You Need and What to Look For
Episode 11: Possible Concerns with Used Beekeeping Equipment
Episode 12: How to Avoid Getting Stung By Your Bees (or other stinging insects)
Episode 13: Talking About Colony Collapse Disorder
Episode 14: Different Types of Honey
Episode 15: Extracting Honey from Hives

Organic Backyard Beekeeper is not officially associated with The HoneyBee Man in any way, these transcripts are being provided freely without payment to share and preserve them as a resource. © This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License - Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike -