The end of summer can sting, and for more reasons than one. Aside from cooler weather, late summer is prime time for honey bees and yellow jackets, resulting in more noticeable and aggressive behavior. As we prepare to wind down this sweltering season, it’s important to understand why these insects are more annoying than ever.



Why are bees more aggressive this time of year?

Much like most humans, bees aren’t exactly excited for winter. They spend this time of year getting the hive prepared for cold weather and decreasing food production. Additionally, this is also an active time for honey bee foes like yellow jackets, thus bees find themselves fending off attacks more than usual. As food supplies dwindle and unwanted intruders increase, honey bees are a little more cranky than usual.


What’s the difference?

Easily mistaken due to their yellow and black markings, honey bees and yellow jackets are actually remarkably different. Honey bees may attack when provoked, however wasps, like yellow jackets, are more aggressive predators and commonly attack.



Are aggressive bees more dangerous?

Not necessarily. Follow traditional bee avoidance methods like cutting down on perfume, avoiding sugary drinks and foods, and keeping your shoes on while outside. If a honey bee is flying close to you, try to stay still and avoid flailing or shooing them, as it may increase aggravation.  


Don’t bees die when they sting a human?

Not all of them. Worker bees will lose their barbed stinger if it gets stuck in tough skin. That said, wasps, like yellow jackets, can sting over and over until they fly away.


What should I do if I get stung?

It’s important to know that everyone reacts differently to a sting. While some people can have severe allergic reactions that require immediate injections of epinephrine, most will only experience mild discomfort for a short period of time. The first thing to do is to quickly remove the stinger from your skin, wash the sting with soap and cool water, and apply ice to the swelling. The pain should only last a few hours while swelling and itching will last up to a week.


No matter how afraid of bees you might be, it’s not worth staying inside for the final, fleeting days of summer. If you have a bee, yellow jacket, or wasp problem around your house or business, Mick’s Exterminating can take care of it. For more information on how we can help, call 636-978-5700.


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