Since we are currently smack dab in the middle of bee season, let’s take a few moments to learn a little more about how to prevent yourself from getting stung, treating bee stings, and when to go to the emergency room. Of course, the best thing to do during bee season is to avoid them all together. But let’s face it, that simply isn’t possible! So here are some great tips to keeping the bees away and what to do if you seem to have gotten stung.

Prevention

There are many ways you can reduce the risk of attracting bees while you are enjoying the beautiful fall weather. It is certainly a fact that bees are attracted to sweet smells and bright colors. So what are the best ways to keep those bees closer to the honey and further from you and your family?

Avoid wearing perfume or cologne.

The sweet smell of flower in some perfume and the scent of fruit in some men’s cologne can leave you as the target of the whole hive! When you know you are going to be outside for a long period of time and you are likely to be in an area that is prone to bees, save yourself the trouble and just avoid the perfume and cologne all together. So what if you aren’t the best smelling person at the party!

Stay away from bright colors.

Although we tend to pull out the bright colors as soon as summer starts, avoiding clothes that may draw a bee’s attention to you can be beneficial. If you can’t avoid bright colors, just try to stay away from floral prints.

Watch what you eat.

If you are eating outside stay away from food that is sweet. Although summer is a great time to enjoy a juicy peach or sink your teeth into some sweet watermelon, try to save the extra sweet treats for the indoors.

Do NOT walk bare foot.

Although the summer days may be hot and it may feel great to kick your shoes off and feel the grass between your toes, try to avoid this in the fall during bee season.

Avoid loose fitting clothes.

Try to wear clothes that conform to your body. This leaves less room for any little bugs to swarm your shirt. You don’t want to give them an opportunity to get wrapped in the material, become frustrated, and sting you.

Don’t move!

Although we all want to run as far away as possible, remaining still actually causes a bee to lose interest in you and fly away.

Windows up!

We all love the crisp fall air, but the last thing you want to do is find yourself swatting a bee while you are driving. Keep the windows up and get your fresh air fix when you aren’t in your vehicle.

Rinse out your trash.

Garbage cans and recycling bin can carry odors or sticky remains of last night’s sweet dessert. Keep the lids on your trash and recycling cans and wash them thoroughly to avoid attracting unwanted yellow and black pals.

Stay out of the garden.

An obvious way to avoid bees is to stay away from flowers.

Call a professional.

If you notice a hive near your residence or even your work, call a professional to have it properly and safely removed.

Quick Fixes

If you do get stung by a bee, make sure you properly treat the bee sting to avoid further pain and suffering. The most important first step is to remove the stinger. The longer the stinger remains in your skin, the longer the venom is released into your body, and the more pain you will experience. If you have to pull it out with your fingers, so be it! As long as you get that stinger out as quickly as possible, you will save yourself a lot of negative reactions to the sting. Use ice, Benadryl, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, or Hydrocortisone depending on your reaction. If you are itchy and red, focus on the antihistamines. If you are in lots of pain, focus on the pain reducers.

When to Call it an Emergency

Anaphylaxis is when someone experiences a life threatening, allergic reaction to something. Many people are allergic to bee stings. If you are allergic to them, make sure to carry your EpiPen with you wherever you go. Keep an eye out for telltale signs of an allergic reaction. These signs include itching and redness in places throughout the body other than the sting site, swelling, hives throughout the body, and shortness of breath. Another reason to go to the emergency room is if you have experienced multiple stings. The average rule of thumb is that if you experience more than 10 bee stings, it is best to seek medical help.

Now that you know the ins and outs of being prepared for the bee season, try to enjoy yourself this fall. And remember, in the event of an emergency, don’t hesitate to dial 9-1-1.