I am a potential new bee keeper. I have seen several videos of people being in the middle of swarming bees in shorts with no protection.

Why do they not get stung? I live on a ranch and have paid a lot of money getting rid of swarms and hives because they tend to sting people when they get close.

I decided to look into joining them instead of fighting them but am concerned about encouraging them because of potential stinging problems with our guests.

Am I doing the right thing or should I continue to get rid of swarms?

One Response to “How to Avoid Bee Stings.”

  • beesonthenet

    You may have seen videos like this one of me dealing with a swarm which arrived in my backyard. I probably shouldn’t be so blazĂ© about this type of situation, but sometimes it’s too warm to wear a beesuit.

    Firstly you’re making an assumption that I never get stung when doing this sort of thing, that’s wrong. I get stung fairly often, it’s just not that important. It still hurts when I get stung, but it passes quickly.

    I should explain that swarming bees are much less likely to sting than bees in established colonies. This is because before the swarm left their parent colony they filled up with honey to sustain them until they are able to collect nectar after finding their new location.

    It’s true to say that bees are at their most docile when they’re swarming. Being full of honey puts them in a good mood and makes it more difficult for them to bend their bodies to sting. Since stinging is a defensive response and the swarm has nothing to defend the bees in a swarm are much less inclined to sting.

    Once the swarm has found it’s new location, or you’ve hived the swarm, and the colony becomes established, they tend to show their true colors and can then become aggressive. It’s no fun keeping aggressive bees, but there are ways to change the demeanor of a colony of bees.

    I think it’s a good idea to embrace the idea of beekeeping, understand what’s going on and manage your hives so they aren’t a problem to your visitors. The intelligent siting of hives has much to do with whether it creates a problem. You can manage your hives so that they don’t become aggressive.

    Whether you decide to keep bees or not, I hope you’ll still have bees in your neighborhood. I think you’re much better prepared to deal with any bee situations if you’re a beekeeper. If you’re able to display your beekeeping to your visitors it’s likely they will be much more tolerant of bees in general. The better educated the public is the better the bees will thrive.

    To jump start your beekeeping sign up for our Free Beekeeping Course. Good luck, I’m sure you’ll enjoy being a beekeeper.

    The Bee Guy

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