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Bee Behavior: Are Bees Afraid Of Humans?

Are Bees Afraid Of Humans

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When I was thinking of starting beekeeping I had the same question as you. I am also worried about the fact that are bees afraid of humans. Because all we know that when bees are afraid about something they will attack it for their safety.

So, at the beginning of my beekeeping, I have taken all the protective gear before each inspection. With experience, I got to know that bees aren’t disturbed by me. So, I started taking off my veil, and white beekeeping suits.

Now I work my bees without any protection. By wearing my normal clothes. That’s what I am going to reveal today with this post.

So, after this post, you will have the following concept clear.

  • Are bees afraid of humans?
  • How should you treat your bees to remove their fear?



Can Bees Smell Fear?

Bees can smell fear in some cases and can’t smell fear in some cases. If they see any activities around their colony that can be harmful for them. They will predict the danger and will attack. Otherwise, they won’t do anything.


In my backyard, I keep carpenter bees and honey bees. Sometimes in my region, I have seen ground bee nests too.

I have seen that ground bees are usually not aggressive at all. But honey bees are aggressive. I also noticed that only honey bees can smell the fear in some cases. From my perspective, no other bees can smell fear.

Whenever honey bees think a danger is coming the queen is informed first. She will release a type of alarming pheromone. So, all other bees will come closer to the hive.

Then they will jointly try their best to protect the hive. So, they will start attacking and stinging the things that they thought were harmful.




What Do Bees Afraid Of?

Bees are afraid of anything that can be harmful to them. Bees also do not like some colors and smells. So, whenever they get those smell or color they become aggressive or flies away.

Following are the things that bees are afraid of. If you put these around beehive they won’t stay long to that place.

  1. Vinegar.
  2. Lime.
  3. Bleach water.
  4. Essential oils like lavender oil, lemon oil, etc.
  5. Lime, etc.

There are plenty of plants and other things that bees do not like. So, if you are a beekeeper make sure these stuffs shouldn’t be around.




Are Bees Afraid Of Humans?

There is no research conducted about the fact that “are bees afraid of humans or not”. But the real fact is yes bees are afraid of humans in different situations. The main thing is simple If you are nice to them they won’t be afraid of you. Instead, they will be friendly to you.

Are Bees Afraid Of Human


At the beginning of the post, I mentioned that I was very protective when I started my beekeeping. Because I was new to them. It is normal that they won’t like me at the beginning. But it is also true that they won’t dislike me either.

When my first nuc of bees arrived I transferred the nuc to a full-sized hive. During this transformation, I have seen that bees are acting very aggressively. They are covering my whole suit and trying to sting me.

Because I am forcefully transferring their colony from one place to another place. It is normal they won’t like it. So, in this type of situation, you can say bees can smell fear.

After the nuc to hive transformation, I fed them with sugar syrup. I observed bees become a little quiet after providing sugar syrup.

After a few days, I noticed that the bees were not behaving aggressively at all. They are just like they didn’t see me and focused on their work.

I have seen several times teenage boys throwing stones at a beehive. Then a large force of bees start chasing them and ends up stinging peoples around.

In this case, initially, bees don’t have any idea about the upcoming danger. They suddenly got attacked.

So, without any command from the queen, they will run in the direction from where the stone came. In this situation, they will attack and sting anything they find in that direction.

Lastly, I reached the conclusion bees can fear smell when they see any activities around them that can be harmful to the colony. In other cases, they won’t be able to smell fear. Also, only honey bees are capable of predicting the upcoming danger.




Do Bees Ignore Humans?

Yes, when they find any human is not a threat to them they will ignore the human. But if they see any threatening activities from the human they will attack that person.

Bees were behaving very aggressively at the beginning when I was interacting with them. After working of few days with them they came to know about me. So, they identified me as a safe thing. As bees can remember human face.

They started ignoring me and considering me as not a threat to the colony. So, I also started working with them without any protective gear.

The main thing is if you try to be friendly with this teeny creature they will also be friendly. So, don’t show any harmful activities around them.




Will A Bee Sting If It Lands On You?

No landing bee on you doesn’t mean she tries to sting you. If you stand still she won’t sting you. If you try to swat she will sting you within less than a second.


Bees Lands On Human


If you see a bee land on you and you have done nothing to her this can be for various reasons.

  • She might be taking a break during a flight.
  • She might want to thank you for inviting her into your garden or feeding them sugar syrup.

Landing a bee on you doesn’t mean she tries to sting you. So, don’t be panicked.




Will A Bee Sting You If You Stay Still?

No, bees won’t sting you if you stay still. Bees usually sting someone when they get threatened by humans. They consider fast-moving things as a harmful alarm. So, whenever bees fly around you or land on you staying still will reduce the chance of getting stung.




What To Do If A Bee Lands On You?

When a bee lands on you or flies around you it doesn’t mean she is trying to sting you. So, don’t be panicked. Here is what you can do.

  1. Stand still.
  2. Don’t move or swat.
  3. Try to blow slowly the bee toward the direction it is going. This is to help her to take the flight in the direction it was about to go.

So, never be panicked next time when a bee lands on you. Be nice to them they won’t sting you.




Some Tips For Beekeepers About Removing Fear Of Bees

Hopefully, your concern about the fact that are bees afraid of humans is clear. Now I would like to share with you some tips about treating bees.

You might also think do beekeepers get stung during hive inspection? Also, you might see expert beekeepers don’t use protective gear during hive inspections. I also don’t use protective gear nowadays. Then why do bees don’t sting beekeepers?

This is exactly what I am going to tell you now. These will help you on removing the fear of your bees fast.

  • Don’t use any hard-smelling perfume during a hive inspection.
  • If you want to use smell then try sweet smells like beeswax or rosemary smell.
  • Never swat your bees.
  • Don’t try to interrupt the path of bees that are coming to the hive after collecting pollen.
  • Feed them sugar syrup on a routine basis. Never left the feeder empty.
  • Be gentle with them whatever you are doing.
  • If you even get stung don’t be panicked keep calm yourself.
  • During winter and fall inspect less.

The last point is very important. Because during winter bees really goes through tough times. Lack of food sources and excessive cold outside make them angry. So, if possible try to ignore inspecting the hive during this season.

If your region is very cold during winter you have to place a quilt box or a beehive moisture board in your beehives.

During falls bees are more aggressive. The reason is simply a lack of flowers, and overpopulation drives them more angry.

Also, when the hive is in the breeding season they don’t like interruption. So, if you try to inspect the hive during this situation it is common to see them aggressive.

Under these situations, your colony might need your help. So, you might have to inspect the hive sometimes during winter and fall too. So, wear protective gear during hive inspections during these seasons.

Also, sometimes a beehive can become queenless. It becomes more worse for them. Because no honey bee colony is able to survive without a queen. So, you have to try anyway to requeen the queenless hive as soon as possible.

So, if you can keep the following things in your mind your bees might not be afraid anymore about you. Also, learning about their behavior is never-ending.

Spend more time with your bees. You will automatically learn when and what to do to help your bees.

Hopefully, very soon your bees won’t be afraid of you anymore. Instead, they will be loving you around them. Happy apiary!


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