Killer Bees - Bee Suits Will Help

Here are some common sense tips to help you avoid having to deal with an angry swarm of killer bees:

Africanized Honey Bees: Do's and Don'ts

  • DO check around your house regularly for bee colonies. Check storage sheds, dog houses, meter boxes, flower pots, trees, shrubs, and crevices. Seal cavities and crevices.
  • DO keep pets and children inside when using lawn mowers, clippers, blowers, or any other equipment that makes noise or could inadvertently disturb a bee hive.
  • DO be careful moving or cleaning up debris or items that have been lying around outside the house.
  • DO install a cover over the chimney when not in use.
  • DO notice if you see a few bees coming in and out of cracks in walls, utility boxes or other enclosed places.
  • DO have an escape plan in mind if a bee attack occurs.
  • DO wear light-colored clothing. Not only around your home, but when hiking or visiting unknown areas.
  • DO NOT pen or tether animals near bee hives.
  • DO NOT wear floral or citrus perfumes or after shave lotion when doing yard work or hiking.
  • DO NOT try to remove bee hives without professional help. To get assistance, check your Yellow Pages for Beekeepers, Bee Removal Services, Bee Supplies or Pest Control Services.
  • DO NOT panic every time you see a few bees in some flowers. Bees are very important and productive insects (when they are not attacking!) which is why there is no wholesale program for destruction of bees.

If A Bee Attack Occurs

Even if you follow all the above mentioned tips, a bee attack can still occur. Here is what you should do:

  • Quickly get into a house, car, tent or other enclosure. Close any doors or windows.
  • Do not jump into the pool. The bees will wait until you surface for air to attack.
  • If you are attacked by bees, run away. Don't play dead or swat at the bees. Most people can outrun the bees, but you might have to run a few blocks.
  • Protect your face to prevent stings to the eyes, nose and in the mouth. Bees attack where carbon dioxide is expelled. Facial stings are much more dangerous than stings to the body. Pull your shirt over your head if no other protection is available.
  • Once you are away from the bees, evaluate. If you have been stung, follow these tips:
    How To Treat Stings From Africanized Honey Bees.

People in Arizona have much to worry about if they so choose. Scorpion bites, rattlesnake bites, pollution...all of you who are prone to worrying can add the Africanized Honey Bee, or "killer" bee, to the list. But let's try to keep this in perspective. As an official in New Mexico said, there is no need to panic. Even though there are some significant AHB colonies, you still have a much greater chance of being killed by a drunk driver than being killed by Africanized Honey Bees.