Bees sting to protect the colony

If you are a bee lover you probably roll your eyes when somebody starts to freak out about being stung by a bee. It is the biggest concern when speaking with people who do not keep or understand bees.

So let us shed some light on this topic. First and foremost, whenever a honeybee stings you, it dies! So being the intelligent creatures they are, this is the last action they resort to. The honeybee colony is in fact a super-organism. As such, some of the flying bees might try to sting a noisy beekeeper, a bear or any other “predator”. During the millions of years through which the honeybees have evolved, they have developed a certain set of reflexes. For example, even though most bees have never seen a bear, if they spot a big hairy creature (or a person wearing dark colors) approaching their home, they immediately associate this with a bear and attack to preserve the colony. Same thing happens with smoke. If they sense smoke, they associate it with fire and immediately fill their mouths with food. The idea being, they understand that evacuation might be in order, so they start preparing for it. But here is the funny thing, the muscle suction muscle is the same one responsible for controlling the stinger. Bees cannot sting with their mouths full. That is why beekeepers use smoke, to simulate fire and assure they are not going to be attacked while opening a hive.

Bees are lovely creatures, but they communicate through different techniques. So just keep this in mind and next time a bee starts circling you, warning you it is afraid you are a threat, you just tilt you head down, cover your face and slowly go away from the colony.

By | 2017-10-10T12:37:17+00:00 April 27th, 2016|The bees|0 Comments

About the Author:

Aerospace Engineer, trained in new product design and sustainable social endeavors at Singularity University. Sergey is passionate about protecting the delicate balance in nature and its pollinators.

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