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Apiphobia - fear of wasps and bees

It is estimated that there are around 300 different types of phobias and that around 10% of the population of the planet suffers from a phobia. Apiphobia is one of the most common phobias and is at the top of all phobia lists. Explained in a simple way, apiphobia (from the Latin apis (bee) and from the ancient Greek phobos (fear)) is the fear of bees, wasps, bumblebees or hornets. It is a specific phobia, which can arise spontaneously, or after a confrontation experienced as traumatic with the object of the phobia (insect bite, concerning the subject himself, or of which he was a spectator).

The individual suffering from this phobia especially fears pain, but also suffocation in the event of a sting in the throat. This same individual is sometimes, at the same time, afraid of injections in general (eg: blood tests, vaccines, etc.).

The symptoms of this phobia consist of a set of strategies for avoiding feared insects (flight, avoiding meals outside, or places that the subject identifies as "at risk"), and panic reactions during confrontations. . In general, humans have a natural tendency to avoid the risk of insect bites. The problem is the extent of fear and avoidance, and the importance of this concern in everyday life.

The word "wasp" has a different meaning in different people. There are more than a thousand species of Vespidae (vespidae, also called hymenoptera), wasps, a group that contains all categories of social wasps (about 800 species) and other species of solitary wasps that do not form a colonies.

Among social wasps, worker bees (sterile females) have a life expectancy of around 12 to 22 days, drones (fertile males) have a slightly higher life expectancy compared to workers and queens (fertile females). ) have an average life expectancy of 12 months.

On average, a wasp nest produces about 11,000 to 13,000 workers and 1,000 to 2,000 queens per season.

Wasps secrete an alert pheromone which causes a general state of alarm within the colony which results in aggressive behavior towards intruders. Rapid wing beats act as a wake-up call by encouraging the rest of the wasps to defend the nest at all costs.

The main component of venom is protein - the latter being the one that causes allergic reactions in people.

Wasps especially need foods with a high energy intake such as carbohydrates and therefore they favor nectar and a wide variety of sweet substances such as fresh or well-processed fruits.

BBC researchers claimed in 2018 that wasps have the same positive impact on the environment as bees. Despised by hikers, feared because of their very painful stings, wasps are among the least loved insects according to the new study recently published

The purpose of the sting of wasps is to inject venom into their victim to defend themselves or to defend their nest, or to neutralize it when they are hunting. Unlike the Honey Bee, the wasp's sting is not equipped with a harpoon, so it does not leave its sting stuck in the sting. She can therefore attack her victim at will, several times in a row, without fear of losing her life by losing part of her abdomen with the sting.

Depending on the individual, the effect can be mild or severe, depending on the number of bites and the presence of sensitizing substances in the composition of the venom. A wasp injects about two to ten micrograms of venom, so about 20 wasps can send an adult human to the hospital or even kill a dog. Most of the time, people will only have localized redness, swelling which can be very painful, and some itching. There are around fifteen deaths from hymenoptera bites per year in France, mainly in people with allergies. Wasp stings can be very dangerous with allergies.

A recent CDC report in the United States said that twice as many people die from wasp, hornet and bee stings than from attacks from bears, sharks, snakes and spiders combined!

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