Can Bees Get Rabies?

At some point, you’ve spent most of your life terrified of bees. Sure they can be helpful pollinators, but when they’re swarming and trying to sting you? That’s another story. 

If you’re having a wild thought whether these occasionally aggressive creatures can give you rabies, don’t overthink. Bees can’t give you any traces of the rabies virus because they’re insects, not mammals.

However, if you’re like most people, you probably don’t know much about rabies in bees or how it might affect humans. So let’s go ahead and clear up some misconceptions about this terrifying disease.

Is there a possibility that bees can get rabies?

That’s right: no.

Bees don’t have a central nervous system, so they can’t get rabies. They also lack a brain, mouth, stomach and liver—a few of the parts that are necessary for rabies to grow in an animal’s body. 

In fact, bees don’t even have hearts! (Or bones.) So if you’re worried about getting rabies from being bitten by a bee or stung by one (if you could catch it), relax: bees cannot give you the disease because they lack all of its required components.

But what about other insects? Can they give you rabies? Yes, but only if they’re a bat-eating insect. For example: in 2018, two people in Thailand died of rabies after being bitten by bats. They were also infected by the rabid bats’ saliva when they ate them as part of a local tradition known as “rat soup.”

Why don’t bees get rabies

Bees have a very different anatomy than humans. They do not have a central nervous system, or even any brain or spinal column for that matter. Bees are not mammals, so they don’t have the lymphatic system that humans do either.

Bees are also not capable of feeling pain in the same way that humans do because they lack nerves in their extremities (i.e., arms and legs). This means that when you pinch or cut off one of their limbs, it doesn’t hurt them at all—they can just walk around with no problem!

The only way to determine whether or not a bee is suffering from pain is by looking at its behavior. Bees that have been handled roughly, for example, tend to rub off the wax from their bodies and groom themselves extensively after being released into their colony. This means that they may be trying to clean themselves, which could indicate pain or stress.

Other chronic disease you should worry about

There are other chronic diseases that you should worry about as well. Though these insect-borne illnesses aren’t as common, they can be just as dangerous if not treated quickly and correctly. If you believe that you have been exposed to any of these diseases, seek immediate medical attention from a doctor or licensed professional immediately. 

The following is a list of other chronic diseases that could potentially affect your health if not properly cared for:

  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF)
  • Lyme disease (LD)
  • West Nile virus (WNV)

What happens if you bite a bee?

If you have ever been stung by a bee, you know that it is not something you want to repeat. It hurts and can be very painful for quite some time. You should immediately flush the area with water and get to the doctor as soon as possible if you think you have been stung in your mouth or eye. If it is your skin that has been stung, wash off all of the bee’s venom first with soap and then cool water so that any further irritation can be avoided.

You might also notice redness around where the bee bit you—this is a normal reaction to getting bit by an insect or animal such as a dog or snake (and yes: bees are considered insects!).

The redness will go away once the body has flushed the area with blood flow. If you notice swelling and pain in any part of your body after getting stung by a bee, it is best to seek medical attention right away.

Do bees have venom?

Bees, wasps, and other stinging insects are capable of stinging humans. While many people are afraid of being stung by a bee or wasp, it’s important to know that bees’ venom is not dangerous to humans. Bees use their venom as a tool for paralyzing insects so they can inject them with eggs. The pain from a bee sting can last up to 24 hours but it’s usually not serious unless you have an allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). If you do get stung by a bee and your skin starts to swell or turn red then you should call 911 immediately because this could be an allergic reaction that could lead to death if untreated!

Is a bee sting as dangerous as rabies?

It is important to note that bees are not known to carry rabies, or any other major diseases. 

They also do not have venom and do not possess the aggressive behavior of most animals that do. For example, if you see a dog running towards you on a busy street, it is probably out of fear or aggression. However, if you see a bee flying towards you on a busy street (and this has happened) it may be because the bee was attracted to something in your clothing or food (or possibly just your body lotion). In this case it would be best not to swat at the bee because they tend to sting when they feel threatened by humans—which kind of defeats the purpose of staying calm in such situations!

Bees are also not aggressive towards humans. They do not intentionally go after people, nor do they want to hurt you. If a bee stings you, it has probably been provoked in one way or another (usually by swatting at it).


Bees are not a danger to the human race whrn it comes to transmission of rabies, however there is always a risk. It’s best to be careful when you see one or have an encounter with them. You never know what could happen if you get stung by one of them.