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Is being afraid of bees (as an adult) normal?

By September 28, 2008 - 1:07pm
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I am wondering when a fear becomes a phobia? How do I know if I should seek help or not?

I am very afraid of bees, much more so than my friends (I am in my 40s). My reactions used by funny when I was younger, as I quickly jump from a table or move to the other side of the park or swimming pool if there is any type of bee nearby. If I am inside the house, and a bee is in another room, I need to be a few rooms away with the door shut until my husband kills it, before I can come back out.

I've noticed that most other adults can just shoo the bee away and/or barely notice it. I notice them if they are 10 feet away, become very "on guard", and have trouble concentrating on what I was previously doing or saying.

Bees do not prevent me from going outside, I have just been stung a half-dozen times and prefer for this not to happen again! Do other people have the same types of reactions that I do?

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EmpowHER Guest

I am 14 years old. I can Catch Reptiles, I can catch a snake if i want.
I can even hold it in my hand. im a Very "Outdoor" interested type.
I like shooting with a bow. When im walking Outside and i hear a bee theres nothing much. if i See it im like. "Hmm Other way!"
Well I regret im afraied of them because i love the outdoors.
As a kid i catched them in Glasses. also If they were stuck in Windows i took NOTHING MORE THAN A piece of paper and a Glass!"
Thats not more than a FEW "CM" Close toit!!
Now i am terrified.
What i think Cures the fear is being STUNG.
Because my fear is. "STUNG"
so if i face my fear and getting stung I could say "oh well" its not THAT bad.
But its hard oFc

May 6, 2010 - 3:12am

Free2BeMe, it sounds like you have a good reason to be frightened, having been stung so many times!

But your question is a good one. When does a fear become a phobia?

I am not a happy camper when I am on an airplane that is going through turbulence. It makes me anxious and sometimes afraid, and I don't like the feeling of being so out of control. However, I continue to fly. If my fear of turbulence was strong enough to make me stop flying, I think it's closer to being a phobia. It would have changed my behavior and would be affecting my life in a negative way.

Here's a link to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Click on the Anxiety Disorders button and select "Specific Phobias" from the drop down menu:


Here's a quote from the website:

"Having phobias can disrupt daily routines, limit work efficiency, reduce self-esteem, and place a strain on relationships because people will do whatever they can to avoid the uncomfortable and often-terrifying feelings of phobic anxiety. While some phobias develop in childhood, most seem to arise unexpectedly, usually during adolescence or early adulthood. Their onset is usually sudden, and they may occur in situations that previously did not cause any discomfort or anxiety. Specific phobias commonly focus on animals, insects, heights, thunder, driving, public transportation, flying, dental or medical procedures, and elevators. Although people with phobias realize that their fear is irrational, even thinking about it can often cause extreme anxiety. "

They also offer a self-test that you could fill out and share with a professional. It might help you just to see what questions would be asked when attempting to diagnose a phobia:


Good luck with this. And no more stings!

September 29, 2008 - 9:06am
EmpowHER Guest

Oh yes, same reaction here although, I am deathly allergic. I am the crazy person doing the “get away from me" dance every time a bee comes close.

Is it maybe because we associate pain with a sting? Maybe it is psychological with the buzzing noise that creates fear.

I work in downtown Cleveland and we have a very nice eatery that is outside and is cluttered with shrubbery in the midst of the city and tall buildings. Within this mastery of luscious greens, tends to be the 'hive central' of the city limits.

Not even a week ago, I went to lunch with the girls from work and sat at the famous luncheon spot. Late August and early September, the bees are so aggressive that I was making such a fool of myself, swatting, yelling and running that I left after 10 minutes of attacks.

You are not alone. Most of the people I know, create a situation of pure embarrassment when it comes to the buzzing pests.

September 28, 2008 - 3:00pm
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