avoiding bee sting in outdoor by Kaivalya Verma


After so many PM on avoiding bee sting in outdoor, below I have tried to write a
crisp article on bees.

Bees are most notorious insects found in outdoors.
They are responsible for many fatal attacks in Sahyadri range.

I was always fascinated to study behavior of animals, reptiles, insects etc.
People always use to tell me reptiles and insects don’t have any behavior as
their brains are not developed like humans or animals. But always had a feeling that every snake or insect demonstrates different behavioral traits at different time. If we study and
understand behavior then outdoor becomes safe. You don’t need any
other entertainment like music, books, cards etc when you start observing
these animals, snakes or insects.

What are bees?
Bees are social insects when provoked can attack ferociously. Their attack is suicidal. Bees die after they attack. Apis cerana (Latin name) and Apis dorsata (Latin Name) are the species found in Sahyadri range. Apis Cerana are yellow and brown in color whereas Apis Dorsata is dark brown and big compared to Apis Cerana. They get carbohydrates from nectar, while protein from pollen.

Habitat….
People wandering in outdoors should always be vigilant. One should keep his/her eyes and ears open in outdoor to prevent bee attack. Bees will attack only to defend their colonies, so be vigilant and look for colonies or swarms. Be alert for bees coming in and out of an rock overhang, opening such
as a crack in a rock or in caves. Listen for the “HUMMMM” of an active bee
colony. Look for bees in holes in the ground, holes in trees and in sheds. Alert!!!!!!!!!!!!
Be alert for bees that are acting strangely. Quite often bees will display some warning signs or preliminary defensive behavior before going into a full-fledged attack. They may fly at your face or buzz around over your head. These warning signs should be taken seriously, since the bees may be telling you that you have come into their area and are too close to their colony for comfort both theirs and yours! Any animal, reptile, bird or insect will display a warning alarm before attack. It is important to understand these warning signs.

When in outdoors be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for bees the way you would watch for snakes, scorpions etc. Do not panic if you see bees foraging in the flowers.
Bees are generally very docile and wont attack unless provoked. Behavior….

1. Stay away from nests. Bees consider their nests as their territory. They will
defend it at any costs. If you see one stay as far away as possible.

2. Bees will attack all kind of dark colors. Avoid wearing dark and bright
colors. Experiments have shown bees have attacked hikers while having lunch. Bees are agitated by shiny  utensils. They are also disturbed by food smell.
3. Avoid using any kind of perfumes,aftershaves, deodorants, cologne or soaps when in bees infested areas. Bees are very sensitive to any pleasant or unpleasant odor. Chopped onion
smell provokes bees.

4. Any kind of smoke will trigger bees to attack. Avoid smoking nearby bee
habitats. Bees are very aggressive when there is forest fire. High
temperature during summers also provokes bees. Do not lit stove, gas or fire wood near bee swarms.

5. Keep all your food stuff in air tight  bags or lids. Bees are attracted to any
unusual smell.

6. Last but very important do not try to kill or bash any bee hovering over your head. Bee secret a pheromone in distress which is a alarming call for other bees to attack. Preventing bee attack and
management.

7. Prevention is always better than cure. Wear dull color full sleeves shirts and
trousers. Do not wear shorts or singlets while in outdoors. Always keep a 2sq. mtrs cloth handy to cover yourself.

8. Bees are very intelligent unlike snakes. Do not try to fool bees by standing still like an object or burning something far from your location to confuse them. When attacked immediately vacate the place and do not waste time in retrieving belongings.

9. Do not jump into water bodies when attacked by bees. It could be
dangerous. In some situations if one is not aware of the mud or creepers at the bottom then chances of drowning are very high. Bees are very patient and they can wait for hours hovering over
water for you to come out for breath.

10. Escaping is the best way of survival. Bees generally will follow approx 800ft to 100ft. Try to cover maximum distance but at the same time the terrain has to be considered. Be careful of the
scree or cliffs. Be vigilant and try to avoid scree slopes or cliff. Run only when the terrain is friendly. Being panic can make the situation worst.

11. Carrying a bee hat is a wise idea. It helps to keep your eyes open but still
protected. One can see the hurdles using bee hat while escaping. Towels or blankets wont help while escaping. 7. Do not try to help others when you are not safe. Guide the causalities to a
safe area only when you are safe. Do not shout and invite bees to attack yourself.

12. If the local symptoms are seen immediately carry the casualty to
medical center. Carrying an anti allergic like Avil is a good idea.

Additional tips by Ravi Vaidyanathan 

Do not pull out the bee stings which are on the body with your fingers.. by doing that you inadvertently pump in more venom into the body and worsen the victim’s condition. Instead you should always use a plucker and pull the stings out from the base without pressing the venom gland at the back

Give lots of water and also anti allergic and anti histamine tablets to the victim to avoid severe swellings.. many people allergic to bee venom can die of severe swelling of throat and neck muscles thus closing their breathing passage and choking them.

It is always best to get to the nearest first aid centre and get the victim treated immediately

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