Africanized Bees Stake A Claim In Florida Territory
According to a 2005 public advisory from the Florida Department of Agriculture, Africanized Honey Bees (AHB) have been present in the Tampa Bay area since 2002. They probably arrived through ports, on ships from Guatemala.
Over the last several years, numerous attacks on humans and animals have been reported in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Emergency response agencies in these states have implemented first responder training programs as well as public education efforts. While there have been no attacks on humans reported in Florida, farm animals have been attacked.
Future encounters between Africanized Honey Bees and humans is considered inevitable, so the best course of action is the education of the public, especially as we move into warmer weather when outside activities are more frequent.
Bee Alert- What To Watch Out For
Here are some Africanized Honey Bees safety precautions suggested by the Florida Department of Agriculture.
- Be attuned and alert to buzzing in your environment – this may indicate a nest or swarm of bees.
- Use care when entering sheds or outbuildings where bees may nest.
- Examine work areas before using power equipment such as lawn mowers, weed cutters, and chain saws – the noise excites bees.
- Be alert when engaged in all outdoor activities.
- Do not disturb a nest or swarm of bees, leave the area immediately, and contact Nuisance Wildlife Removal Inc., or your county extension agent.
- If attacked by aggressive bees, run as fast as possible to a safe area. Aggressive Africanized Honey Bees may pursue for up to ¼ of a mile.
If Stung By Africanized Bees
Takes these precautionary steps.
- Go quickly to a safe area.
- Remove stingers by scraping – use a flicking action with a finger nail or credit card. Do not squeeze or the stinger may stay in and get infected.
- Apply ice.
- Seek medical attention immediately if breathing becomes labored.
If a large volume of bees are present on your property the wise course of action may be to have them removed. If for no other reason that that fact the hive will continue to expand and could become a danger to children in the area. If that is the case call Nuisance Wildlife Trapper for a free evaluation of removing the hive.
CALL 866-263-WILD (9453)