PreventionBy Mayo Clinic staff
A number of prevention strategies can help you minimize your chance of getting stung by bees.
Minimize your exposure:
- Take care when drinking beverages outside. Wide, open cups may be your best option because you can readily see what's in them.
- Avoid eating sweet foods outside.
- Tightly cover food containers and trash cans.
- Clear away garbage, fallen fruit, and dog or other animal feces (flies can attract wasps).
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt, gloves and a hat.
- Wear shoes when walking outside.
- When driving, keep your windows rolled up.
- If you're concerned about being stung, avoid activities that might arouse insects in a beehive or wasp nest, such as mowing the lawn or trimming vegetation. Have hives and nests near your home removed by a professional.
Know what to do when you're exposed to bees:
- If a few bees are flying around you, stay calm and slowly walk away from the area. Swatting at an insect may cause it to sting.
- If a bee or wasp stings you, or many insects start to fly around, cover your mouth and nose and quickly leave the area. When a bee stings, it releases a chemical that attracts other bees. If you can, get into a building or closed vehicle.
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