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Yea, I'm scared of bees. Bees, spiders, snakes, basically stuff with venom. They make me do girly little dances where I run, fling my hands, and squeal. Yes I'm a grown man.

But I'm also scared of heights and like to rock climb. I'm a big believer in conquering your fears. I like my first experiences of keeping bees, I liked the additional comfort that the veil and gloves gives me, the focus and attention to detail that comes from holding 1k stinging insects on a frame between your hands, even though my wife laughs at my reaction if just 1-2 of the girls decide to bump me.

I guess it can't be a phobia level of fear if I can be a beekeeper, but I was curious if anyone else shared that dynamic of fascination and fear of the very things they willingly keep and care for.
 

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My brother stepped on a wasp nest when we were fishing in Canada a few years ago. I was waiting in the boat and he came running back and was pretty obviously frightened. We wear veils when we work our bees, but otherwise I wear shorts and tshirts. I always remain calm around them, even if I'm stung (and I have pretty bad reactions to the stings (bad local swelling). My brother is a loose cannon starts swatting when he hears buzzing and gets antsy. He claims it is that run in with the wasps (he wasn't even stung). I think he's just a bit scared of them truthfully. He acts the same way when he sees garder snakes, so...
 

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I got stung about 20 times this spring while trying to requeen an aggressive hive. It was my first major sting event and freaked me out a bit. For weeks, whenever a bee buzzed me out in the yard, I would duck and run for the house and I would get quite anxious - short of breath and increased heart rate - when I had to open a hive. I finally had to give myself a lecture about beekeepers not being afraid of bees, stings not really hurting that much anyway, and to get over it already. The next time I got buzzed, I made myself stand there and be inspected. I still don't like being thumped or stung, but at least I'm not afraid of it.
 

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I am quite brave with my bee suit on...not so much in tank top,shorts and a guard bee buzzing in my hair:)
 

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work the girls ( bees ) ANY WAY your comfortable ,,, wear a suit ,, gloves ,, vail ,,any thing that makes YOU comfortable ,and DO NOT worry what any one thinks and wears .. tis is the only way you will enjoy bees ,, if your not comfortable you will not enjoy them ,, after you work them a few times you may feel comfortable not wearing some of the things ,, then try it with out wearing one or more of the things , if you still feel uncomfortable ,, put it back on ,, if your comfortable not wearing it ,, fine ,,, but wear what YOU need to be comfortable ,,, yes I do say ''''' comfortable ''' a lot ,, because thats the only way you are going to ENJOY BEES ...
my self I have 3 full suits ( paid very , very little for them ,, around 60 for all three to gether)) but in 7 years only put one on 2 times..... but thats me ,,, wear what you need to , to enjoy bees ,,
 

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I started doing some apitherapy and half the time don't bother icing so needless to say I am no longer afraid of stings, but when I'm working the bees a.d a bee is buzzing my bare skin or crawling on me it gives me the heebie jeebies and ill shake them off violently. Lol. It's ok go ahead and laugh I know its weird
 

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I love working the bees, but I do have one hive that I am going to requeen. That hive attacks my veil with a hundred or more bees. All you can hear is that angry buzz and bee are crawling all over you. Yes, I live in West Texas and we have the AH bees. I don't know if this is one of their hives, but it could be. This hive takes the fun from beekeeping, and to some extent I am afraid of them. Before working this hive I double down of checking my bee suit, gloves and the bottom of my pant's. If these gals were to find a hole in your armor it would mean many, many stings. They will requeened shortly.
 

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I've been a rock climber for a decade but I gave up since 2008. It's been a nice experience and I sometimes long for it. I'm left with ski touring and hiking for now. I can say that rock climbing makes you adrenaline addictive. I had little fear of bees when I started. If one man can do it, another can do :)

Greetings,
Cristian
 

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I'm not afraid of them, I'm just very aware of how aggressive my bees are so I suit up. Even then they still get me through the suit and shirt in hot weather due to wet fabric stretching. With a T-shirt and a shirt + the suit I'm stingproof and slowly developing resistance to heat exhaustion...
 

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I don't like being stung, but I am not scared of it. The weird thing is that every once in a while (rarely) the buzzing sound gets to me and the hair on the back of my neck stands up. It's not really scary, it's just creepy. Not sure why it happens.
 

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I think you get accustomed to the slight fear that I think we all have hardwired into us. I remember helping out a beekeeper once while he re-queened a hive. He was having trouble getting finding the old queen and I was holding the new, caged queen in my hands without gloves. I was focused on helping him locate the old queen and I didn't notice that my right hand (the one holding the queen) was covered with bees. He finally noticed and said something and we both got a kick out of it. If that had happened a few years ago, I think I would have noticed it right away.
 

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Fear versus phobia: I adore bees, but have been stung often enough to have a respect based on a sensible amount of fear. I have a phobia of roaches, even though they're relatively harmless, I don't scream like a girl and run away from roaches any more, but the underlying feeling is still there.

I also like spiders and snakes. I'm "comfortable" around pit vipers ... I've hooked rattlesnakes and copperheads, capturing them without harm in order to get them away from the house. But I don't pick them up with my hands. I'm acutely aware of their danger, though you're unlikely to be bitten by the snake you know is there. It is the one you don't know about that will get you. I can identify non-venomous North American species and will handle them.

I've been known to let spiders and bees crawl on my bare skin.
 

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I got stung about 20 times this spring while trying to requeen an aggressive hive. It was my first major sting event and freaked me out a bit. For weeks, whenever a bee buzzed me out in the yard, I would duck and run for the house and I would get quite anxious - short of breath and increased heart rate - when I had to open a hive. I finally had to give myself a lecture about beekeepers not being afraid of bees, stings not really hurting that much anyway, and to get over it already. The next time I got buzzed, I made myself stand there and be inspected. I still don't like being thumped or stung, but at least I'm not afraid of it.
I had the same thing with 2 aggressive hives. It was a little scary pulling up deep frames for the first time. I just got used to it and told myself in 21 days it would start to get better!
 

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>I've been known to let spiders and bees crawl on my bare skin.

I used to. One day a little spider was crawling across my skin when it stopped suddenly and bit me. I killed it. I quit doing that... I don't know what it was thinking... I fished a drowning bee out of the water with my finger one day (I've done it hundreds of times) and it stung me... I didn't do that again either...
 
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