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Imagine driving down the highway when, suddenly, a bee appears in your vehicle. Would you panic? Many people would. In the interest of car safety, MotorBiscuit is pleased to present a four-step plan if a bee buzzes into your vehicle.

A fly is an annoyance; a bee in your car can be a hazardous distraction

bee in car
A honey bee | Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Most insects that find their way into vehicles are harmless, but a bee can be dangerous, especially if you or your passengers are allergic to the sting. Commit the following to memory, and avoid panicking if a bee makes its presence known while you’re driving:

  1. Be prepared. If you’ve had a moderate to severe allergic reaction to a bee sting, keep an epinephrine injector, such as an EpiPen, in your car’s emergency kit. Even if you carry an allergy pen in your purse or pocket, it’s a good idea to store an injector in your glovebox.
  2. Stay focused on driving. Drivers of a certain age might recall the Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues” and the lyric “keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel.” The 1970 radio hit gave good advice then, and it still applies if a bee flies into your car. The last thing you want to do is swat at the winged intruder. Any sudden movement could irritate the bee and cause you to swerve dangerously, Erie Insurance warns.
  3. Decelerate gradually. Remain calm, and resist the urge to slam on the brakes. Instead, flip on your car’s hazard lights and slow gradually pace. Don’t stop in the middle of the road. Move into the right lane if possible.
  4. Pull over safely and stop. As soon as you can do so safely, find a place to pull over. Engage the parking brake, shift the gear selector to park, turn off the engine, exit the car, and leave the doors open. Chances are, the bee will find its way out without too much fuss. If not, provide gentle persuasion with a shoe or rolled-up newspaper. Avoid smacking the bee because that could get you stung. Have patience, and the situation should resolve.

If all else fails

If you find a bee in your car, it probably got there through an open window. If you rolled up a window before you noticed the bee, reopen it, and the critter might get the idea and fly out.

Also, if the bee stings you and you have a severe allergic reaction, call 911 immediately.

Prevent bees from building a hive in your car

It’s one thing to find a bee in your car while driving. But finding a swarm inside your parked vehicle is another thing altogether.

If your garage or carport is near sweet-smelling fruit trees, bees might get the idea to build a hive inside your vehicle, especially if you leave it parked for a while. If that’s your only place to park, a few preventative measures should dissuade insects from taking up residence, Off-Roading Pro explains.

Wipe down your car door seals and hatches with almond oil. And spritz upholstery and carpets with diluted eucalyptus, clove, geranium, or peppermint oil. Bees can’t stand those scents and will avoid anything that smells like them. By the way, avoid using essential oils of banana, citrus, or lavender because bees are naturally attracted to them.

In addition, don’t leave candy wrappers in your car, and drive with the windows closed. Doing so will boost your’s vehicle’s chances of remaining bee-free.