Updated: June 2, 2023

Bees are highly beneficial insects that are responsible for pollinating plants and providing us with honey. However, despite their important role in our ecosystem, bees can be a cause of concern for many people due to their ability to sting. In this article, we will explore whether bees attack, bite or sting, and what you can do to protect yourself from their stings.

Do Bees Attack?

Bees are not typically aggressive creatures and will not attack humans unless they feel threatened or provoked. For example, if a bee feels that its hive is being threatened, it may become aggressive and try to defend its nest. Similarly, if a bee feels that it is being harassed or swatted at, it may become defensive and try to sting the person.

However, it is important to note that bees are not naturally aggressive towards humans and will only attack as a last resort. In most cases, bees will simply fly away when they encounter a human.

Do Bees Bite?

Unlike some other insects such as mosquitoes and ticks that bite humans to feed on their blood, bees do not bite humans. Instead, they use their stingers to inject venom into their victim.

Do Bees Sting?

Yes, bees do sting humans. When a bee stings a human, it injects venom into the victim’s skin through its stinger. The venom can cause pain, swelling, and redness at the site of the sting. In some cases, people may also experience more severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis.

It is worth noting that not all bees sting. Male bees, also known as drones, do not have stingers and therefore cannot sting humans. Only female bees have stingers. However, it is important to treat all bees with caution and respect to avoid getting stung.

How to Protect Yourself from Bee Stings

If you are out in nature or near a beehive, it is important to take precautions to protect yourself from bee stings. Here are some tips to help you avoid getting stung:

Wear protective clothing

If you are going to be in an area with bees, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants made of thick, durable material. You may also want to wear gloves and a hat to protect your hands and head.

Avoid wearing fragrances

Bees are attracted to sweet smells, so avoid wearing perfumes, colognes, or scented lotions when you are around bees.

Stay calm and still

If you encounter a bee, try to remain calm and still. Do not swat at the bee or make sudden movements. Slowly back away from the bee and give it plenty of space.

Move slowly and quietly

If you need to move through an area with bees, do so slowly and quietly. Avoid making loud noises or sudden movements that may disturb the bees.

Don’t disturb beehives

If you come across a beehive, do not disturb it. Bees will become defensive if they feel that their hive is being threatened and may attack.

Seek medical attention if necessary

If you are stung by a bee and experience symptoms such as swelling, hives, difficulty breathing, or nausea, seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms may indicate an allergic reaction that requires prompt treatment.


Bees are important pollinators and honey producers that play a vital role in our ecosystem. While they can sting humans, bees are not naturally aggressive towards people and will only sting as a last resort. By taking precautions such as wearing protective clothing and avoiding fragrances, you can reduce your risk of getting stung by bees while enjoying the benefits of these fascinating insects.