Thursday, May 28, 2009

When the bee stings

Though the calendar says it is still spring, it feels like summer where I live. Last week I shared with you one of my favorite simple summer pleasures, Peppermint Sun Tea. Unfortunately, summer isn't all about simple pleasures. It does come with a few annoying things too like bee stings. 

Bees and other stinging insects are out in the summer doing their thing.  That is all well and good, until them doing their thing collides with us trying to do ours. The results can be painful. The best way to avoid getting stung is a little prevention. Below are some tips to help avoid colliding paths with a stinging insect. 

1. Don't smell like a flower.
Bees are attracted to strong sweet scents. Avoid using heavy perfumes or perfumed products when you will be in the great outdoors. 

2. Don't look like a flower.
Bees like bright colors. Avoid these and floral prints when you'll be among the stinging insects. 

3. Gentle is the rule. 
Bees will not sting unless they feel threatened. Rapid movement and flailing of arms is threatening to the little insects. Don't swat at them. Hold still until they move on. If one lands on you, blow on it gently to encourage it to go elsewhere. 

4. Don't feed the bees. 
When you are eating outside be sure to keep food covered, especially sweet things like fruit and pop. Yellow jackets are also attracted to meats. 

5. Wear shoes. 
Shoes will protect your feet from stings when a bee is accidentally stepped on. 

6. Plan your gardens carefully.
Bees are good. We want to attract them to our gardens, but plant flowers that attract bees away from areas the kids play and the areas where you relax outside. Not sure which plants bees like? Check this list, Plant List for Attracting Bees

Even if you are careful to avoid stings, you may, as my five year old has already discovered this year, get stung. Don't worry. Unless you are allergic to bees, relief is in your kitchen cupboard. 

First remove the stinger if it is still in the skin.  Then all you need is a little baking soda and water to relieve the pain. Mix them together to form a paste, and apply to the area that was stung. The baking soda will relieve the stinging and help reduce the swelling. 

Enjoy the summer fun outside. Use a little prevention to avoid being stung. If you do get stung,  simply mix up a little baking soda paste for some relief. 

Bee photo credit: yyelsel_ann


  1. such a shame that all the bees are gone though. i have planted tons of sunflowers and salvia plants in my little urban garden to try to attract them back to our neighborhood...much to the neighbor's dismay though.

    the only problem i have ever had with a bee was riding the bike not too long ago and one accidentally flew right into my mouth and stung under my lip! ouch! i felt so bad for the bugger (no pun intended) because it was nobody's fault really.

  2. +1 to the baking soda and water solution for stings. Works like a charm.

    Great post :)

    to ZAPOLdesigns--ouch, ouch, ouch.

  3. Hummingbird feeders also attract bees and wasps.

  4. Great tips, I had no idea baking soda paste would relieve bee sting pain. COOL!

  5. I have a new puppy who plays with the bee's each day. Thank God she is not allergic. She gets stung often but just won't stop. Thanks for the information.


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