Prevention is better than cure. Here are some tips to help you prevent bee and wasp stings:
Prevent bee and wasp stings to the feet by keeping feet covered.
Do not walk barefoot, or allow children to run around barefoot on lawns, especially flowering lawns featuring clover, bird's foot trefoil, cowslips, dandelions or other flowers where they may be foraging.
Some bee and wasp species may nest in the ground. If bees and wasps are trodden on by accident, they may sting.
Nests of bumblebees and solitary bees can generally be left alone.
However, if you see a large wild honey bee nest or wasp nest, or spray chemicals, never throw objects or spray chemicals, since you risk causing aggravation. Keep children and dogs away.
If you have a honey bee nest in your garden, ask a beekeeper for assistance and advice (locate a local beekeeping organisation).
If a wasp nest must be moved, seek professional help, but remember that wasps nests also will last only a season.
More information about wasp nests here.
This is so true for children, who may be inclined to get food around their mouths and hands, and spill food onto their clothing.
Wasps are attracted to sweet foods and drinks, so ensure the face and hands especially, are free of sweet, sticky foods like icecream, jams and jelly, chocolate and fruit juice.
Clean away spillages on clothes.
Take a packet of wet wipes with you when out and about, and dry the hands and face after wiping clean.
To help prevent wasp stings whilst out and about, it's sensible to store food in appropriate containers, especially drinks.
Select a suitable travel mug or beaker, with a lid and straw such as these below. There are some really nice designs available too!
This is especially useful for children. Since wasps are attracted to foods, try to select foods that can easily be popped into the mouth in one go, or cut sandwiches, fruit and cakes into small pieces that can be put into the mouth.
Keep them in sealed containers until ready to eat, and take them out one at a time. This avoids the risk that a child will be holding a food item for some time, thus attracting wasps.
Allow bees and wasps to go about their foraging activities in peace. Try to avoid waving your arms around. Keep calm and move away.
If you discover a bee nest or a bee swarm, move calmly away and contact a local beekeeper. Keep children and pets away from the area.
If you don’t like them being near you, avoid highly scented hairsprays and perfumes during the day in Spring and Summer, when bees and wasps are more active.
Alternatively, try a repellent containing Picaridin.
There are many available, including wrist
bands and lotions.
Repellents can also be used in the home or in the garden around picnic areas.
Avoid sitting close to refuse bins, where wasps may gather looking for human food scraps and drinks cans.
If you are afraid of bees, avoid sitting close to flowering shrubs.
Planning a summer picnic? Want to deter wasps from making a nest in your garden? Take a Waspinator with you to deter wasps, and install a Waspinator at strategic points around your home and garden, such as seating areas, the eaves of the house, and so on.
Do the bees or wasps 'sound' angry or aggravated? If so, keep away.
Note that bumblebees are largely docile, but will raise their middle leg if they feel threatened.
If they feel threatened, it’s your signal to leave them alone.
Remember that most of the time, you can walk around parks and gardens, and you won't even notice the bees, busily going about their business, pollinating fruit and flowers!
A company called Sawyer offers a small, reusable vacuum pump (featured right) helps remove poisons below your skin in a quick motion; for use on snake bites, bee/wasp stings, mosquito bites, and more
Emu Joy offer a natural, portable skin soother stick to help relieve pain and itching on the go - ideal for taking camping or to have in the car or bag whilst out and about.
Indeed, there are a wide range of sting treatments available. Below is a great selection available from Amazon:
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