April Showers Bring May Flowers. What do May Flowers bring? Bees!

Spring is the perfect time of year. Flowers blooming. Leaves on trees. Warm sunny days. Birds singing. Gardens being planted. Animals awakening from winter slumber. People and pets getting outside to enjoy the new growth.

And then there are bees. Wasps. Hornets. Yellow jackets. Paper wasps. Carpenter bees. Bumble bees. Cicada killer wasps. Although all are very important to Mother Nature’s springtime pollination program, a run-in with one can be painful to both humans and pets.

Although both are pollinators, bees and wasps are different in many ways.

Long, slender bodies.
No hair
Feeds on other insects
Stingers not barbed, allowing them to sting multiple times
Stings tend to have increased pain


Shorter and plumper bodies
Hairy bodies
Feed on plant nectar and pollen
Barbed stingers become lodged in the skin resulting in the death of most bee species

Most bees and wasps tend to stay away from pets but the occasional mishap happens. Pets are most commonly stung on the face due to sniffing the grass and flowers. The paws are another common area where stings occur due to accidentally stepping on either a bee or wasp. Most stings are just irritating and painful due to the poisons released from the stinger. The pain that the pet experiences, is related to the amount of poison injected. Repeated stings will cause more pain and can make a reaction more severe. The most dangerous time is when a pet tries to catch, eat and/or swallow a bee or wasp. Stings inside the mouth or throat can cause swelling that can potentially block the airway.

Signs of allergic reaction –

Weakness  •  Difficulty breathing  •  Swelling  •  Hives  •  Panting  •  Anxious behavior

Seek immediate veterinarian attention!

Springtime is a marvelous time to get out and be out with our four-legged loves. The Animal Hospital of Waynesville wants to keep your pet safe because we think they are the “bee’s knees!”