Nobody wants to get stung by a bee. But if you have an allergy to bee stings, it's more important for you than for the average person to make sure that you protect yourself from being stung. You already know to carry your epipen just in case, but you're better off not being stung in the first place. Believe it or not, there are ways to lower your risk of being targeted by a bee, and they don't involve staying indoors all of the time. Take a look at some simple, smart tips that will prevent bees from targeting you and keep you safe outdoors.
Dress for Success
Surprisingly, the way that you dress can do a lot to prevent you from being stung. Of course, wearing long sleeves and long pants is a good start—that leaves you with less exposed skin that's vulnerable to being stung. But what about occasions when long sleeves and pants are impractical?
You may be able to make yourself invisible to bees by wearing the right colors. White is your best option—there is a reason why beekeeper suits are usually all white. When you're dressed in white, the bees can't see you as well and will usually leave you alone. If white isn't an option, choose other pale colors. Brightly colored clothing will attract bees. They're attracted to brightly colored flowers, and they may not distinguish between your shirt and a flower. Floral patterns are also risky.
Dark colors, like black or red, may confuse bees into thinking that you're a predator like a bear or a skunk, and they may be prompted to attack you in an effort to protect themselves, so avoid these colors as well.
Don't Smell Like a Rose
Just as the colors you're wearing might cause a bee to mistake you for a flower, so might the fragrances you're wearing. If you're heading to any place where bees might be likely to congregate, it's a smart move to leave off the perfume, cologne, and scented lotions or hair products. Use unscented deodorant, too. As an extra precaution, you can wash the clothes that you're planning to wear in an unscented detergent.
You should also pay attention to the smells of anything you bring with you into possibly bee-infested areas. Planning a picnic lunch? Make sure that you have tight lids for your food and drinks, and don't leave anything out or open longer than you need to. The smell of food might attract bees. Take special caution with desserts or sugary drinks—bees might confuse the sweet smell with the smell of flowers.
Know Your Nests
The typical honeybee hive is not the only kind of nest that a bee can make, and of course there are other kinds of stinging insects, like wasps or hornets, that may or may not cause a reaction similar to the one you get from a bee sting. Knowing what kind of nests are out there can give you an idea of what areas to stay away from.
Neat round holes in wood may suggest that there are carpenter bees nearby. Bumblebees create loose nests made of dry leaves, grass clippings, or insulation material—they may also nest underground, so you may want to avoid walking around barefoot. Hornets create papery looking nests that are exclusively found outdoors. Some yellow jackets also create similar paper structures. Wasps tend to move into cracks or crevices in existing structures, so you'll need to look for signs of wasp activity to identify their nests.
Being aware of ways that you might be attracting bees so that you can avoid them, and also being able to identify nests in the area, can help you keep your distance from stinging bees. However, don't let that prevent you from carrying your epipen and letting others around you know what to do in the event that you're stung. The more precautions you take regarding your allergy, the safer you'll be. For further tips, contact a representative from a facility like Oak Brook Allergists.Share