Why Do Bees Follow Me?

Is there a bee following you everywhere you go? Seemingly attracted to you like a bee to, err, honey? Don’t worry, it’s most likely nothing to worry about!

If a single bee is following you, it’s probably because they’re attracted to your clothes, scent or something sugary you are eating. They will eventually leave you alone if you don’t try to hurt them.

However, if there is more than one bee following you, it could because they view you as a threat to their hive. If that’s the case, you should exit the area immediately.

Cartoon picture of a bee following a woman

Reasons Bees Follow You Around:

If a bee follows you, there will be a good reason. Here are the most common reasons a bee might be following you:

Your Clothes Look Like Flowers

Vision is important to bees, because they need to find flowers to collect nectar and pollen. Like humans, bees have the abilities to see different colors. Experiments have shown that they remember certain colors and associate them with different things.

For example, bees associate dark colors such as black with predators, because most of animals which pose a danger for bees have dark fur (which is why beekeepers wear white).

Similarly, bees can remember and associate different colors and patterns with flowers. If a bee is following you and you’re wearing bright clothing with patterns on it, it could be because they mistake your clothes for flowers.

They’re Attracted To Your Scent

Bees have an incredible sense of smell that enables them to pick up different scents mid-flight. They use this sense of smell to differentiate between flowers when foraging for food.

If a bee follows you, it might be because of your scent. Perhaps you are wearing a perfume or deodorant that reminds them of a flower. That’s why it’s a good idea not to wear any fragrances when inspecting a hive.

You Have Something Sweet

Worker bees forage for nectar, which is made up of different sugars. Because of this, they’re attracted to sweet substances.

If a bee is following you and you have a soft drink, chocolate bar or piece of fruit, there’s a chance the bee is following that sweet scent. Unless you cover or get rid of the sugary substance, they’ll continue to follow you.

They View You As A Threat

Bees are typically friendly creatures. However, if they view you as a threat to their hive, they may attack you.

In you see a single bee following you, it’s highly unlikely they’re dangerous. However, if there is more than one bee following you, and you are close to their hive, it could be a sign they view you as a threat.

When bees feel threatened, they release alarm pheromones as a signal to the colony. This draws other bees to the area to defend the hive. If the bees do think you’re a threat, there’s a high probability they will sting you.

What To Do If A Bee Is Chasing You

Honey bee mid-flight with blurred green background

If a stray bee is chasing you, it’s important to know how to act to reduce your chances of being stung. Here’s what you should do:

Don’t Make Sudden Movements Or Swat The Bee Away

Bees are covered in tiny hairs which are sensitive to vibrations. If they detect an unfamiliar vibration frequency – such as a sudden movement – bees become alarmed.

That’s why you need to remain calm if a bee is following you. Don’t make sudden movements or try to swat it away. It will only cause the bee to feel threatened, and they might sting you.

Cover Your Mouth And Nose

Bees can detect carbon dioxide. That’s why they tend to sting more around your mouth and nose.

Getting stung on your face can be very painful and lead to significant swelling. So, if bees are following you and you’re afraid they might sting, it’s a good idea to cover your face.

Don’t Try And Kill It Or More Bees Might Come

If you try to kill a bee, it’s highly likely more will come. That’s because bees release alarm pheromones when they’re under distress. This sends a signal to other bees that there is a threat nearby.

Bees also release the alarm pheromone when they sting you. So, if you get stung, you should remove the stinger and move away from the beehive quickly.

This is especially true if you suspect the bees are Africanized honeybees, which are more relentless with their attack. They’ll chase you for longer distances than a European honeybee will and can be very dangerous.

Go Indoors To Hide From The Bee

If a bee is persistent in following you and it makes you feel uncomfortable, try going inside. Look for an enclosed space where you can simply shut the bee out. You can always wait until it leaves before going back outside again.

Do Bees Chase You When You Run?

If a bee is chasing you and has a good reason to do so, they will continue even if you run away. To make matters worse, breaking into a sprint is a sudden movement… and sudden movements could be viewed by bees as a threat. If so, the bee will likely continue to follow you and try to sting.

What To Do If A Bee Lands On You

If a stray bee lands on you, it’s most likely a worker bee out foraging for pollen or nectar who has stopped to rest. They might also be attracted by something sweet you are eating or drinking – or they might think your bright clothing is a flower.

Either way, if bee does land on you, all you need to do is to remain calm. They’re highly unlikely to sting you. They will soon realize you are not a flower and have no pollen or nectar, and leave. 

If you jump up and down, wave your hands or try to squash it and fail, the bee could see you as a threat and sting you. If you simply do nothing, though, they’ll eventually fly away and go back to foraging.

What To Do If A Bee Bumps Into You

If you get too close to their hive and bees view you as a threat, they will send guards out that head-butt or bump into you. They don’t really want to sting you at this point – it’s simply their way of warning you for getting too close.

If a bee bumps into you, don’t run away. This is kind of sudden movement can raise the alarm in bees and cause them to attack. Instead, you should slowly walk away from the hive until they leave you alone.

Some people believe that, when a bee bumps into you, they are also marking you with an alarm pheromones that signals to the rest of the hive you are a threat. If you don’t walk away after a bee head-butts you, it’s likely more bees will gather and being an attack.

Summing Up… Why Bees Are Attracted To You

Bees are attracted to sugary substances, as well as floral patterns and scents. If a single bee is attracted to you, it could be because you’re eating something sweet or have on a piece of clothing or perfume that reminds them of a flower.

Stay calm and don’t make any sudden movements. The bee will eventually get bored and move on.

If there are many bees following you, though, you should leave the area. It could be a sign they view you as a threat to their hive, and you don’t want to get stung!

Click here to read this article in Spanish.

Scroll to Top