The Bees of Bridgerton

Once again, bees are getting big screen time on the popular television series, Bridgerton. Some claim the appearance of bees in the first season, at intentional times, are what they call easter eggs. Easter eggs are clues in scenes that give deeper meaning to the story. In this case, bees have played an integral part in one of the main character’s backstories. As is written in the books, the character Anthony is terrified of bees because his father was stung and had an adverse reaction that caused his death. Therefore, anytime a bee shows up in the episodes, it is a focus of attention to Anthony’s tormented life of duty over anything else.

To Fear or Not to Fear

Apiphobia is the fear of bees. As with other phobias, apiphobia is an anxiety disorder that can be caused by an event, as in the character Anthony’s case or the fear of bees may be irrational. When triggered by an event, especially in childhood, the fear continues into adulthood. Some people have terrible and dangerous reactions to bee stings, but this is not the case more often than not. Being stung doesn’t feel good, and the itching can be intense. Depending on each circumstance, the itching can last for hours or days. If someone is highly allergic to bee stings, they often have a medical pen, called an epi-pen, which can be administered immediately to help the person recover from the sting. If not adversely allergic, several home remedies people have shared can help provide some relief and make it less uncomfortable.

Treating Moderate Bee Stings

In reaction to the sting being moderate, the Mayo Clinic suggests a list of things to do to help. First, remove the stinger from the skin as soon as possible. There are different ideas of how to remove the stinger best. Some claim to use whatever it takes to get it out, and others firmly disagree and say you should not use tweezers but a dull-sided object, such as a credit card, but not everybody has one at the ready. It is thought that using tweezers may break the sack of the stinger, causing more release of the toxin. You may have to use your fingernail or whatever you can to remove it, but everyone agrees that the sooner you can get it removed, the better.

Second, use a cold compress to keep swelling down. Ice will also help with the pain. Be careful when using ice not to cause further damage with frostbite, so monitor and be diligent about how long you keep the ice on the sting area. A bee sting will leave a bump, starting to itch almost immediately after the stinger is removed. Taking some over-the-counter antihistamine can help tremendously with the itching. As we have all been told since we were small – itching something itchy makes it much worse! Itching can spread the swelling and cause infections that may require antibiotics. The best advice is to keep your hands away and find ways to minimize the temptation to itch the area.

If someone does not know if they are allergic to bees and are stung, it is critical to watch closely for signs that may show an anaphylactic reaction. Suppose there are any signs of shortness of breath, swelling in the mouth or tongue,  loss of consciousness, dizziness, and disorientation. In that case, it is best to get to a medical professional as soon as possible. In extreme cases, waiting can have serious consequences.

What Attracts Bees?

Bees have incredible olfactory senses and can pick up on sweet and pleasant smells. Bees also do find an attraction to bright colors. If one aims to avoid them as much as possible, not wearing strongly scented perfumes and flower scents like rose, vanilla-based perfumes and not wearing bright pinks and yellows may deter bees from following you around. Once a bee is near you, swatting only upsets them, so if you can walk away calmly, you will likely avoid any interaction.

It is also important to know that bees do seek out water sources, so areas with water will have some bee activity as summer heats up. Unless you are an experienced beekeeper or remover, the obvious thing to avoid is disrupting a hive. It is not recommended to remove a beehive on your own but to contact a reputable bee removal company that safely and thoroughly removes the beehive.

So, will bees continue to make an appearance in the new season of Bridgerton? If they do, viewers now have insight into why these little buzzers are showing up on windowsills in camera shots set in London during the Regency era. Regardless of the continued development of Anthony’s angst around bees, the show is sure to plant some new “easter eggs” for viewers to ponder.