Why are beekeepers not stung?

Some people are scared to death at the thought of bee stings. However, beekeepers know that this is one of the prices to pay to get their reward. Some people shy away from keeping bees due to stings. Bee stings hurt! And while you can’t compare wasps or yellow jacket stings, you can’t ignore the pain. The pain depends on the location. Stings on the face (eyes, lips, nose, ears) are the most painful.  Fingers, arms, and legs pain much less. 

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Why are beekeepers not stung?

Beekeepers get stung by bees. This is natural. In the bee’s world, there is no difference between a beekeeper and a non-beekeeper. If you provoke or pose a threat to them will face their wrath. No beekeeper will tell you they have never been stung by bees! Since they spend much of their time around bees, being stung is inevitable. It is part of the risks that come with beekeeping. The stings tend to hurt less with time. This is because the body builds tolerance to bee venom. Some beekeepers allow the bees to intentionally sting them several times in the season to build up a tolerance to bees. They also apply various strategies to avoid stings. The beekeepers tend to understand the behavior of bees. They know when they are most irritable and avoid performing hive operations at such times. 

Do all bees sting?

Not all honey bees can sting. When you get stung, most likely, it is from a worker bee. The male bees(drones) don’t have a stinger; therefore, they cannot sting. The queen has a stinger but does not use it to protect herself or the hive. She uses her stinger to fight rival queens. Unlike the worker bees who lose their stinger once they sting, hers is smooth and can sting several times. Bees will only sting when provoked or feel threatened. The workers have a barbed sting, and once they sting you, they eventually die.

Can l keep bees if l am allergic to bee stings?

Only a small percentage of the population is allergic to bee stings. And if you have never suffered a bee sting, it is advisable to visit a doctor to know your reaction level. It is possible to raise bees, even when allergic to bee stings. However, you must take the necessary precautions, such as having an Epi-pen on hand when around the bees. It is good to know the potential risks before deciding if it is a worthy course. 

Can bees remember a beekeeper’s scent?

Bees are unlikely to recognize a beekeeper’s scent, although they have a well-developed sense of smell. If you see bees coming after you, you probably have offended them, have not washed your gear to remove pheromones, or have floral scents. 

How often will beekeepers get stung?

The frequency of stings usually depends on the bee’s temperament and individual beekeeping skills. The more experienced a beekeeper becomes, the fewer stings they will likely suffer. Most experienced beekeepers will only suffer a few stings every year. They have mastered the art of moving calmly around hives and using a smoker to calm the bees. Despite covering themselves from head to toe, novice beekeepers might get stung several times a week. This is due to fast movements around the hive, crushing or swatting bees. Some beekeepers purposefully allow bees to sting them to build immunity and make subsequent stings less irritating. 

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How does a bee sting feel?

Once you get stung, it hurts for a few minutes, turns red, swells up, and itches. The pain and reaction vary among individuals and the location of the body. Stings on the face are usually bad news. The itching afterward can also make you uncomfortable, though it usually stops after a few days. It can take a week or so for the swelling to go completely.

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