Should You Be Afraid of Bees?

When and why honeybees sting — and when and why they don’t.

At Paradise Meadows, home of Hawaii’s Local Buzz, we have about 25 beehives. Most folks find bees fascinating, and some folks are terrified of bees. We thought it might be interesting to learn about when and why bees do and don’t sting people, and whether you should be afraid of them.

Assuming you’re not allergic to bees (that is, go into anaphylactic shock after being stung), you normally should not be afraid of being stung by a honeybee. You do, however, need to differentiate between honeybees and other stinging menaces like wasps and hornets. While honeybees will not sting you unless they absolutely have to, wasps and yellow jackets are aggressive and have no compunction whatsoever about stinging you over and over again if you get them riled up. Look how nice and fuzzy and friendly looking a honeybee is compared to a yellow jacket or a paper wasp:

From left to right: Honeybee, Yellow Jacket, Wasp

Scott, the “Big Kahuna” at Paradise Meadows, was inspired to do a video about this very subject as a part of our “Hawaii’s Local Buzz Bee Chat” series on YouTube. Although the video is a little long (and forgive us for the wind noise), it’s very informative and explains all the reasons why honeybees normally won’t, and sometimes might, sting you. Enjoy!

Hawaii’s Local Buzz Bee Chat: Should You be Afraid of Being Stung by a Honeybee?

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