Fear and Phobia of Bees: How to Get Over the Fear of Bees
We all know that bees aren’t exactly harmless. Everyone knows to be careful of them and that is fine.
What I am talking about here is an unnatural fear of bees – the kind in which merely thinking of them makes your skin crawl. This unnatural fear of bees is called Melissophobia.
I had Melissophobia since my childhood without realizing that it should be a cause for concern.
I thought that I was scared of bees like any other person. I found out about my phobia when I went on this hike during my college life and refused to go any further because I heard the faint buzzing of bees. None of my companions showed much concern about the bees. This is when I realized that my fear of bees was unnatural.
I looked it up on the internet. After months of research and active effort, I was able to overcome my phobia. I did not seek professional treatment, but if you feel like you need it, do not hesitate. Back in my college days, mental health was still a taboo topic. So, I hesitated to seek help from a therapist because of the stigma.
Read the next sections to know all about Melissophobia, its symptoms and how you can avoid it.
What Causes Melissophobia?
The reason behind a phobia differs from person to person. But based on my research, I have narrowed down three factors which seem the most prominent. Identifying the cause of your fear means that you are one step closer to overcoming it.
- Prior Encounters
If you’ve ever been stung by a bee, the incident could instil a long-lasting fear within you.
Have you ever read about people dying from bee-stings? In many cases, people read stories and overestimate the severity of a bee-sting, and are therefore scared of bees.
- Innate Fear
This means that you can have Melissophobia without any specific reason. Everybody feels fear or anxiousness and has different factors which trigger them. For you, it is bees.
Symptoms Of Melissophobia
If you have melissophobia, you can easily identify it by checking if you have the following symptoms.
- Feelings of extreme fear or anxiety when close to bees.
- Having no control over the fear or anxiety you face.
- Going out of your way to avoid encounters with bees.
- Experiencing physical distress like shortness of breath, quickening heartbeat, sweaty palms, nausea, trembling, fainting or dizziness.
How To Get Over The Fear Of Bees?
Now that you know what causes a phobia of bees and how to identify it, you can try to overcome your fear by taking small, baby steps. God knows that it is not easy. I am not saying that you would be able to overcome it in a day. I can’t promise that it will be completely gone either. However, you can follow these methods to slowly diminish your fear of bees.
If you read up more, you will find out that there are thousands of species of bees. Among these, the bees we commonly see are honey bees. Honeybees are generally mild and will not attack you unless they feel threatened. Even if you get stung by a honeybee, the sting will only hurt you for a day or two.
- Do Your Research
As I mentioned before, fear of bees is often deep-rooted in misinformation. The best way to overcome your fear of bees is by learning more about them. Think about it this way. Many insects are capable of stinging. Some of them are deadlier than bees. Why do you fear bees specifically?
Consider this. Have you used beeswax on your lips? Beeswax contains enzymes from the body of the bees. If you can use it in your products daily, how harmful can they be?
If you see a bee nearby, relax. I know, it is hard. But, if you stop panicking and think about it rationally, you are capable of doing more harm to the bee than vice versa. Bees are intelligent creatures. They won’t pick a fight with you unless you threaten them.
The next time you notice a bee buzzing around in your room, do not panic and run. Instead, try opening your window. You will see that it will fly out without harming you.
- Visit A Beekeeper
If you have followed the last two steps successfully, you can try something a bit more daring. Visit a beekeeper and notice how he works. Does it appear scary?
It should not. The bees on a farm are already tamed. They are used to human interaction and know better than to harm one. One of my friends, upon learning of my fear of bees, asked me to try this out. Needless to mention, I freaked out. However, I thought it over and decided to test the method.
Once I entered the farm, I was scared out of my wits. I explained my situation to the beekeeper. He was amused and helped me out. He started by showing his favorite bee to me. To be honest, I will never understand how someone can have a favorite bee, but the sight was endearing. Next, he showed me how he handles the hives of bees. It was terrifying but oddly therapeutic.
After that experience, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. The sheer knowledge that I had spent a day near thousands of bees immensely boosted my confidence.
Overcoming Melissophobia – The Final Word
After all, a phobia is a mental health condition. Symptoms and experiences vary from person to person. I am only a survivor and not an expert. However, based on my experience, I jotted down the methods which helped me. I would suggest you give these methods a try and see how it goes. You can start by something as simple as looking at photos or videos of bees.
Although, always keep this in mind that self-help may not always work. In that case, do not hesitate to see a professional.
There is nothing trivial about a phobia. It is as capable of disrupting your life as a physical illness. Seeking professional help is a normal, rational and sensible thing to do.