John Gibeau of the Honey Bee Centre is an experienced bee wrangler. Here he is preparing a mini swarm (queen with bees) for a bee beard demonstration. Honey bees that swarm with their queen are docile and rarely sting.
Beekeeper Cheryl calmly wears the bee beard formed by the bees that John has prepared for the event. Bees are clustered around their queen who is in a cage attached to a string around Cheryl's neck. In this situation the bees have been well fed with sugar syrup and they are not anxious so there is very little likelihood of them stinging.
If you see a swarm call a beekeeper. Click here for your nearest beekeeper association.
If a honey bee stings, stay calm and quickly remove the stinger. The faster the stinger is removed the less venom is injected and the less painful the reaction. Unless you have experienced many stings you will probably see redness and swelling around the sting site. This is normal. Expect to feel a little itchy around the site as your body deals with the sting. Ice packs help reduce any pain from inflammation.
What is not normal? Call 911 if any of the following occurs
More than 10 stings
Stings in the nose or mouth as this can lead to shortness of breath
redness beyond the sting site
hives (raised welts)
shortness of breath