Recently an article was written in The Orlando Sentinel about killer bees invading the Southeast. As if we didn’t have enough pests that we have to worry about here, now we have to be fearful of coming in contact with a hive of killer bees!
The reason why the Africanized honey bee is known as a “killer bee” is because these hives are much more aggressive than the well known European honey bee that has been around for as long as I can remember. When an Africanized honey bee hive is disturbed, these bees come out and attack in numbers. So it’s not the sting that is necessarily dangerous (unless you’re allergic of course – then any sting is dangerous) but it’s the fact that there are hundreds of these angry bees that want to sting at the same time!
Here are a few tips of what you can do if you are under attack or see someone else in trouble:
- Run away in a straight line, protecting your
face as bees will target the head.
- Avoid other people and animals or they will
be attacked as well.
- Do not try to hide underwater; the swarm
will wait for you to come up for air.
- Remove the stinger by scraping with a credit
card or a blunt knife and wash with soap and
water & apply ice.
- Seek medical attention immediately even if
you have never had an allergic reaction.
And, if someone else is being attacked, take refuge
and call 911. Inform the operator of the
situation and advise them that sirens and flashing
lights will threaten the colony further.