If you spray a bee nest from a far distance with a hose, how do the bees know to find you and not string the hose itself

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Do they just assume the nearest person is responsible for the magical stream of water?

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If they are upset they swarm out of the nest. Some bees can see darker colors like a bear and will sting that. Some bees can detect carbon dioxide from our breath and will sting that. Some bees will just sting anything that moves. Some bees memorize what it looks like outside their hive and sting anything new.

The “stinging frenzy” that you are thinking about does not happen until one or more bees has already stung someone and released the pharamones that activate the aggressive reaction from other bees. The Killer Bee is the exception to this rule. They have evolved a more proactive reaction to threats and water is not needed to start it. Still pharamones are the key factor with them as well.

So a single bee needs to be directly attacked or hurt or threatened and it will sting, usually killing itself in the process. When the stinging sac is activated pharamones from sac are released into the air and it’s the GO light for any other bees in the area to attack the object nearest the sting sac of pharamones. If one were to place pharamones on a tree, they’d try to sting a tree. Do it on a car, they would try to sting a car. Bees are not smart and don’t decern things like you or I

If you spray them with a hose they release a pharamone as well, but its more like a search and destroy any moving thing, from this post on Now see top of my post