Honeybees, Wasps, Yellow Jackets & Hornets

Stinging insects do not seek sustenance from humans, as do biting insects, such as mosquitoes, flies and fleas. The sting of these insects is only used against people for self-defense or defense of the nest.


These bees travel in a straight line from flower to hive, and stings usually occur when someone interrupts a bee in flight, or strikes a flower in which a bee is working.

Honeybees are attracted by flower fragrances, bright colors and smooth-water surfaces. Fragrant perfumes, colognes and powders also attract honeybees. The fragrance of some house paints has been known to act as an excitant to honeybees and cause them to behave aggressively. For safety, clothing should be light in color. Hair should be short or tied up during the warm months to avoid entanglements that cause stings.

If a person is stung and cannot identify the insect, see if the stinger is embedded in the sting site. If it is, chances are the sting was from a honeybee.

Wasps, Yellow Jackets & Hornets

Wasps feed on the larvae of other insects, which they kill with repeated stings. The stinger is not embedded in the sting site.

The adult wasp lives on juices, sap and nectar; it is attracted by odors such as spoiling foods, soft drinks, fruit juices, leather, perspiration, bright colors and a water supply.

Yellow jackets make their nests in the ground, and paper hornets’ nests may be close to the ground or high above it. Both of these stinging insects are particularly hazardous to bare feet and ankles.

General Rules for Avoidance & Removal

Protect Against Shock

Hypersensitive individuals should obtain a prescription kit for self-administered protection against anaphylactic shock for use when medical treatment cannot be immediately secured.

A prescription Ana-Kit® supplied by Hollister-Stier Laboratories, complete with directions for patient administration, is specially designed for this purpose. Please ask your Allergist for a prescription and make sure to have the kit with you at all times.

Medical alert tags or bracelets ensure prompt and proper treatment in case consciousness is lost.

If you have questions about how to avoid stinging insects, feel free to contact our offices. One of our staff would be happy to answer your questions about allergies to stinging insects and different treatment options offered at Allergy & Asthma Clinics of Ohio.

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