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Tips for Avoiding Bee Stings

Planting wildflowers is the best way to help save the bees. For some people, the idea of attracting bees to your yard is scary, so we're hear to dispel myths and provide some tips on how to avoid getting stung.

Photo Credit: Eric Mader

While some bees and wasps, such as honey bees, hornets and yellow jackets, can and do sting people (especially when their nest or hive is threatened), most wild bees are extremely unlikely to sting, even when you touch them or brush up against them on flowers. It's also worth noting that yellow jackets (a type of wasp rather than a bee) are the most notorious stinging offenders, and they are typically attracted to sugary drinks such as soda, more than they are to native wildflowers in the garden.

Photo Credit: Joan Clinkston

If you have an allergy to bee stings or are afraid of getting too close,  learn to identify the basic groups of insects so that you know which ones to avoid wherever you are. The Xerces Society's book, Attracting Native Pollinators, can help you recognize which bees and wasps are not going to sting you (most of them!), and which ones you might want to keep your distance from. 

For more information on how you can help save the bees, visit