Irrational fear of bees?

I’m assuming what the other poster was talking about is that if you swallowed a bee or wasp it could sting the inside of your throat. Then the inside of your throat would swell and possibly swell enough to cut off your windpipe/trachea and you’d suffocate.

Your weirder ones sound interesting and poetic, in a way.

What are clustered holes? Like in Albert Hall?

Think lotus seed pods.

As for bees and the OP: I really don’t see this phobia as being different from any other. Phobias are defined as being irrational. If the OP sees it more often than other phobias, it might be because bees and wasps commonly invade our space without giving us a way to avoid contact. (For example, if you’re afraid of heights, you can minimize the problem by staying away from cliff edges. It’s really hard to stay away from bees.)

Both of my brothers are very allergic, so I assume I am , too.

Just for the record (and because this IS The Dope), the term for a phobia of bees is Apiphobia or Melissophobia.

Apiphobia makes sense. A beekeeper is also called an apiarist.

In contrast, I can only assume that the psychologist who created the term ‘Melissophobia’ had a problem with a woman named Melissa and just wanted to mess with her.

If a person sees a bee in the vicinity – not threatening her, not on her, just merely in the area close enough for her to see it – and she quite literally jumps up, begins screaming like someone is stabbing her, flails at herself over and over as if she were covered in bees, and swipes the air repeatedly as she looks around wildly for the bee, would you say that is A) normal and expected behavior, or B) exaggerated and irrational?

I choose B, but perhaps you have different thresholds for freaking out.

This person (a relative) says she is not allergic and has never had a traumatic bee experience, and she was not in the process of swallowing a bee. She’s just “scared of bees.” But for the record, I’d think it’s exaggerated and irrational even if she had some bad bee experience in her past or were allergic.

I guess that makes it a phobia or whatever, but I’m still surprised that it elicits such a reaction with so little stimuli. Now if a bee phobic person walked up on a swarming bee hive, that I could understand.

It’s possible, but I don’t think heredity factors into it much.

That might frighten a lot of people. Again, a phobia is by definition irrational. How little the stimuli is is irrelevant if the phobia is severe enough. To give the example of a common phobia, some people with arachnophobia won’t be able to look at a drawing of a spider (let alone a live one on TV). I used to know such a woman who had her boyfriend checking up and “censoring” the material she was reviewing for a living. Obviously a drawing presents zero danger.

Just assume that people with a phobia of bees feel the same as you would if an angry swarm of wasps was heading towards you, or that people with a phobia of birds are as likely to enter a room where a trapped bird is flying around as you would be willing to enter a room with a tiger roaming after being told the tiger is tame.

The fear is irrational, but completely real. There’s nothing else to explain or understand.

The first time I was stung by a bee, I was six. I stepped on it. I hobbled into the house screaming and my mom removed it with Tweezers. My foot was uncomfortable and had a large bump on it.

The second time, I was twelve. It was on my arm. My arm swelled like a damned golf ball and got super hot. It hurt like hell and was itchy.

I really don’t want to know what happens the third time.

To answer the OP: You didn’t see My Girl? Or one of those movies where everyone is attacked by killer bees? HELLO.

Yeah, but, but, I have a phobia, that trumps everything and I get whatever I want, is BS

When you’re on the rifle range and a woman starts running around in circles waving a loaded M-16 frantically at a bee, it’s safe to call it exaggerated and irrational.
Those of us that were ducking for cover, and the rangemaster who landed on her lik a ton of bricks were being proportionate and rational. We were all in the military, so I’d guess she wasn’t anaphylactic, but even if she was, it’s irrational to wave a loaded weapon at a bee.

Getting stung by a bee in the back of your throat is likely to put even a non-allergic person at risk of a badly compromised airway, getting a bee in your stomach I’d guess not. Would a bee even sting you if it got swallowed quickly? I dunno.

That has nothing to do with phobias, though: that sort of entitlement could be based on anything or nothing, from “My ancestors experienced very real and horrific oppression, that trumps everything and I get whatever I want” to “I’m a special little snowflake, that trumps everything and I get whatever I want” (I teach so I see a lot of the latter).

Living with a phobia is not particularly nice. Would you like knowing that a common and basically harmless creature can turn you into an irrational adrenaline-filled flailing idiot? I assure you, it is neither dignified nor enjoyable.

So where is Coveredinbees when we need him?

Well, sure, and it’s BS then too.


I’d say that many people who have a fear of “bees” (as I do) are really more afraid of wasps and hornets, i.e. we’re lumping together several different types of buzzing nasties.

From everything I’ve heard, unlike bees which are rarely provoked into stinging, just looking at a hornet the wrong way will send it into a stinging frenzy (and keep in mind that wasps/hornets can, and will, sting repeatedly :eek:)

Not all people who fear bees are melodramatic.

If I can see it’s a bee (fur, wider body and lack of hornet-ness) I’m fine being near a bee. I don’t like it, because I’m less tense if I don’t have to watch where I put my hand/ass/foot, but I’m going to act normally unless the bee lands on my skin. I know that bees are pretty chill, and I’m mostly cool with them.

But if I can only see the vague shape and/or stripes, I’m going to err on the side of caution, assume it’s a hornet or wasp, and stay the hell away. I’m not going to flail, scream, or jump, but you cannot pay me to walk past something a wasp is sitting on. Not going to happen.

When something I’ve clearly identified as a wasp or hornet flies in my general direction, I walk away at a normal pace (but my nerves are jangling like crazy). If it gets too close (say, within arm’s reach) I freeze and cannot move. If it lands on me, I probably can’t move either- I’ll start shaking, possibly say "Um, people… help… " but if no one comes to the rescue and it decides to sting me, I’m fucked.

So I really prefer to get away before it gets too close. If I’m in a room where I’ve heard a wasp and can’t see one, I can’t relax until either it keaves the room or I do (I’m a little uncomfortable around newly dead ones too- hard to tell if they’re really dead). Want to see me go 72 hours without sleep? Lock me in a room with a single hornet.

I’m not sure what’s more annoying, people whose fear reaction risks pissing off the striped visitor, or people who complain about apiphobes like the shriek pierced their eardrums or something.

Same here. I have no concept of how much it hurts due to having no experience of it, so in my head it is the worst pain imaginable.

Probably something to do with the fact that mel or something of the sort is Latin for honey. It’s the root word for the name Melissa, possibly for the name Pamela, related to the French miel (meaning honey), etc.

The drama isn’t the main problem. The sudden, exaggerated movements, flailing arms, running, shouting, squealing are counterintuitive, counterproductive, and damn near antisocial. Unless you disturb a nest, humans are not on bees’ menus or radars. Bees are generally searching for food, nesting materials or sites, or water. Sometimes those things are found in and around human built structures, the presence of humans at those sites is non-threatening and incidental.
That is, until one of those humans flips out and starts squealing, flailing, running, and waving arms around. Then, that human and every human in the vicinity becomes a THREAT to the bee. All the drama has accomplished is to turn every human in the region into a target. And that’s a problem for the rest of us we don’t appreciate.
At 5, I was stung numerous times by a bumblebee my sister smacked under my dress. At 11: 27 stings when I disturbed a nest of yellow jackets. 7 stings a few years back when my dog disturbed a nest. More wasp, honeybee, and sweat bee stings that I can count because I’m a gardener who prefers the outdoors more than in. In the absence of allergies, a childhood sting does not excuse or guarantee an unreasonable fear of bees. For those with known allergies: calmly, quietly walk away or go indoors. That’s it. There’s no need to endanger the rest of us. No screaming, shouting, yelling, flailing, running, crying, or peeing. Just remove yourself calmly from the bee’s presence. It’s the only way to guarantee your safety.

Bees aren’t the worst.

The worst is the Robotic Richard Simmons. :eek: