• Asher Engelberg

Bee Careful

Updated: Aug 3



When a bee lands on someone, their first reaction is to run away or swat at the bee,

frightful and nervous about getting stung. Though it has been proven that it is a better method to stay still if a bee is around you, according to Dr. Fertel at the Cleveland Health Clinic, many

people instead tend to freak out, leading to unnecessary stings. I live with a fairly severe bee

allergy, and while I have had the misfortune of being stung twice in my life, there are some

tenets I try to live by to avoid getting stung in the future.


The first time I got stung by a bee was a few years ago, when I was walking around a

swimming pool with no shoes on, and unfortunately stepped on a bee that was on the ground. A shot of pain flew up my leg, preceding several minutes of panic, ice, and a swelled-up foot that took a week to heal. This was the spark that truly led to my fear of bees. Since then, I have always been wary of bees; whenever eating outside I make sure to always stand so that I can make a quick escape.


However, this strategy proved to be ineffective, as a few years later I was at a summer

BBQ, and a few bees were circling around the burgers and hot dogs everyone was eating. All of a sudden, a bee spontaneously appeared on my plate, fluttering its wings about and gnawing on a piece of watermelon. I dropped my plate in fear and started to run away, but I was no match for the ferocity of the bee. In my eyes, the bee looming towards me was at least 50 feet large, and the stinger was a needle the size of the Washington Monument. I tried to put up my hand to block the blow, and as the bee stuck out its stinger towards my hand, I felt the initial plunge.


A feeling of terror welled up in me, preceding the actual pain that was to come. This time, the reaction was much more severe, and I felt like I was going to pass out. Thankfully, there were people around me, and they were able to help me through the pain and get the stinger out.


Since the fateful event a year ago, I have done my fair share of research into bees and

how we can try not to get stung. I have learned a greater appreciation for them, as they are

necessary in the pollination of flowers and help keep the ecosystem vibrant. Additionally, I have come to understand that bees really do not want to sting us as it kills them to do so.

In conclusion, my message for people wishing to avoid bee stings is to always be careful where you tread, and most importantly, don’t panic if a bee does fly by or on you. But don’t get me started on wasps…