How to Avoid Stinging Insects Honey Bees • Wasps • Yellow Jackets • Hornets

Honey Bees

These bees travel in a straight line from flower to hive.  Stings usually occur when someone interrupts a bee in flight, or strikes a flower where a bee is working.

Honey Bees are attracted to flower fragrances, bright colors and smooth-water surfaces.  Fragrant perfumes, colognes and powders also act as attractants.  The fragrance of some house paints has been known to excite Honey Bees and cause them to behave aggressively.

For safety, clothing should be neutral in color.  Hair should be short or tied up during the warm months to avoid entanglements that cause stings.  

If a person is stung and cannot identify the insect, see if the stinger is embedded in the sting site.  If it is, chances are the sting was from a Honey Bee.

Wasps, Yellow Jackets and Hornets

Wasps feed on the larvae of other insects, which they kill with repeated stings.  The stinger is not embedded in the sting site.

The adult wasp lives on juices, sap and nectar.  It is attracted to odors such as spoiling foods, soft drinks, fruit juices, leather, perspiration, bright colors and a water supply.

Yellow jackets make their nests in the ground.  Paper hornet nests may be close to the ground or high above it. Both of these stinging inects are particularly hazardous to bare feet and ankles.

General Rules for Avoidance and Removal

Protection Against Shock

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