Keep an eye out for hives. Wear light-coloured clothing. Bees tend to attack dark colours.

Bees are sensitive to odours. Avoid wearing aftershaves or perfumes in the wilderness. A true campologist (when in the great outdoors only) doesn’t bathe with soap nor apply any scented products such as deodorants. This isn’t always popular with your friends, however, if all your camping buddies smell the same, it becomes a non-issue…sort of!

If you do find a swarm or colony – keep family, friends and pets away.


An Attack Occurs

Consider the following:

  • Bees generally target the head,
  • Cover your head and run for shelter,
  • To cover up use anything available – blanket, jacket, shirt, towel, newspaper,
  • The stings on your chest and abdomen are far less serious than those to the face and head,
  • Take refuge in a cabin, tent or car – the windows and doors closed,
  • Don’t jump into the water – bees will wait for you to come up for air,
  • Run, run, run – don’t bother to zigzag, this will make no difference.
  • Bees will chase you for up to 1000m.
  • Running through rough bushes or tall grass may help evade the bees – ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch!

After An Attack

Consider the following:

  • Ice the sting wounds,
  • If you have been stung more than 15 times, or experience allergic reactions other than local pain and swelling –  seek medical attention.
  • Remove stingers quickly to reduce the amount of venom entering the body,
  • To remove the stinger – do not grab the stinger(s) sticking from the skin – this could release further venom. Scrap the stingers from the skin with a blunt instrument.

Eating and Drinking

Several people die each year when drinking sweet beverages (beer is sweet to bees) from a can or bottle in the great outdoors. When outside – never, never drink directly from a bottle or can. If you must, use a wide mouth and/or clear container. Bees, hornets and wasps love to fly into cans or bottles in search of sweet fluids. The unknowing camper will drink from that same can or bottle, and the thirsty wasp/hornet/bee will slide with the fluid and sting the throat, mouth or tongue of that unknowing camper. This is often deadly. The resulting swelling will restrict or block breathing.

You don’t have to be allergic to bee stings to suffer this nasty fate!

European & African Honey Bees

European Honey Bees are generally very passive as they go about their normal activities.  African Honey Bees however are much more prone to attack in defence of their colony than their European relatives. Vibration, noise, or motion anywhere within 50 feet of the nest can provoke an attack. They dislike the sounds made by such items as lawnmowers and vehicles. Odours can also aggravate them, including freshly cut grass, perfumes or citrus.



No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





Many of our adventures and random thoughts are captured with video and available on our YouTube channel


Don’t miss anything, 
Subscribe to our newsletter today.