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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
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    257

    Question Beesting Deaths...Urban Myth??

    My neighbour, a bit rattled by a swarm, stated emphatically to me that bee sting deaths are the leading cause of accidental deaths in the USA.

    Is this true, a complete myth, or a statistic that only applies to the bee-allergic?

    Puzzled.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    oconto county, WI
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Beesting Deaths...Urban Myth??

    Bee stings are far from the leading cause of accidental death. It can happen, but is not common. Swarms are typically pretty gentle as they do not have a home to defend. Your neighbor just needs a little bit of education.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
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    548

    Default Re: Beesting Deaths...Urban Myth??

    Complete utter myth. I don't think beestings would even make the top fifty.

    Depending on who you ask and the age group its either drug overdose, falls or car wrecks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,401

    Default Re: Beesting Deaths...Urban Myth??

    Sounds like your neighbor is afflicted with what would be called, a "phobia".
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,335

    Default Re: Beesting Deaths...Urban Myth??

    The US kills 30,000+ people each year in car accidents, and almost that many are poisoned. Bees, hornets and wasps are lumped together, and at 61 deaths are 1/10 that of heatstroke victims.

    The snippet below is total US deaths in 2006
    Contact with hornets, wasps and bees, 61
    Exposure to excessive natural heat, 622
    Accidental poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances, 27,531
    Transport Accidents, 48,412
    This includes pedestrian, motorcycle,etc

    http://www.nsc.org/news_resources/in...of%20Dying.pdf
    Graham
    --- Practical reality trumps philosophy!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
    Posts
    407

    Default Re: Beesting Deaths...Urban Myth??

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    Sounds like your neighbor is afflicted with what would be called, a "phobia".
    Joseph,I believe you are wrong in this case.I think that famous quote from Ron White applies;"you can't fix stupid".

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,215

    Default Re: Beesting Deaths...Urban Myth??

    Of those I bet Africanized bees have the greatest impact

    The best way to keep AHB at bay is to have lots European honeybees

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Amityville NY
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Beesting Deaths...Urban Myth??

    I believe Rader is correct, i've read in more than one publication that approximately 50 people are killed annually from " insect Bites" in the US. Even if they were all from Honey bees it would still be insignificant with 300+ million people in the US, far from leading cause, try to educate but remember what gone2seed says.....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Elizabethtown, KY
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Beesting Deaths...Urban Myth??

    I read on this site a while back that more people die from bee stings than snake bites. That one made me raise my eyebrows... Don't know if it's true or not, but it's a startling statistic if so.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    257

    Default Re: Beesting Deaths...Urban Myth??

    I think I saw a source that stated that of envenomation deaths, the leading cause was bee venom...which makes sense as one likely runs into a lot more bees than rattlesnakes in life. But that envenomation deaths are way down the list of causes of accidental deaths.

    Meanwhile, I will just get an EpiPen next time I am in to the doc...nice to be able to reassure the bee-phobics that I am beekeeping responsibly.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: Beesting Deaths...Urban Myth??

    Consider this: "in the real world, around your house in the summertime," there are many venomous flying insects that you can encounter ... wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and (oh yes...) honeybees. In the American west you can also encounter several varieties of scorpions.

    Any of those venomous encounters could provoke a severe systemic reaction, e.g. "anaphylactic shock."

    Any of those encounters could also result in multiple stings. (I had the very unfortunate experience of getting twenty yellow-jacket stings when I was using a weed-eater a few weeks ago. Ouch.) The more stings you have, the more severe your body's reaction m-i-g-h-t be.

    So... where is reality in all of this? Reality is that human beings have been creating favorable colony situations, specifically for honeybees (and the honey they produce) for thousands of years.

    They must have been on to something. These ancestors didn't exterminate the honeybee (as they surely would have, if presented with a deathly threat). They solicited them.

    If you (might) have a severe reaction to (any...) insect stings, see your doctor. Right now!! ("We have the technology.")

    Otherwise ... enjoy the bee colonies that have consented to place themselves under your stewardship. With due respect, yes, but not fear. And, enjoy the honey.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    santa monica, ca
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Beesting Deaths...Urban Myth??

    Leading cause of accidental death is drugs, and not those sold by your neighborhood pusher (unless your neighborhood pusher is a pharmacist).
    The accidental category would have to include autos.
    If the statement had been that bees/wasps are the leading cause of death caused by an animal he would be closer to correct.
    Worldwide, the mosquito is the leading cause of death by animal.

    Edit: just read that 25% of the stings that occur in the US are by honey bees, the rest wasps, hornets,scorpion, et al, which puts honey bee stings in a tie with dog attacks as the number 2 and 3 killers in the animal world (US).
    Last edited by buzz abbott; 08-01-2012 at 08:49 PM.
    Buzz Abbott
    USDA zone 11a, Western Garden zone 24 (75 ft elev. n34.0w118.47)

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