|Bee Stings / Safety|
1 - Stung by a bee
2 - Attacked by a group of honey bees
3 - Avoiding a stinging incident
4 - Bee proofing your property
5 - Outdoor recreation safety tips
6 - Protecting pets and livestock
7 - Bees at your swimming pool
8 - Why do bees sting?
With the arrival of the Africanized honey bee in Arizona, people need to be more cautious when hiking, hunting, fishing, biking, or horseback riding, etc. out of doors. But remember, there is a variety of venomous creatures here and Africanized honey bees are only one potential hazard. So it pays to always stay alert.
About Africanized and European honey bees:
Do's and Dont's:
1. Look out for honey bee colonies when outdoors. There are estimated to be approximately 250,000 wild bee colonies in Arizona. Honey bees nest in a wide variety of locations, such as pipes, holes, animal burrows or even in cavities within saguaro cacti or trees. Be alert for groups of flying bees entering or leaving an entrance or opening and listen for buzzing sounds. Be especially alert when climbing, because honey bees often nest under rocks or within crevices between rocks. Don't put your hands where you can't see them.
2. If you find a colony of bees, leave them alone and keep others away. Do not shoot, throw rocks at, try to burn or otherwise disturb the bees. If the colony is near a trail or near areas frequently used by humans, notify your local office of the Parks Department, Forest Service, or Arizona Game and Fish even if the bees appear to be docile. Honey bee colonies vary in behavior over time, especially with changes in age and season. Small colonies are less likely to be defensive than large colonies, so you may pass the same colony for weeks and then one day provoke them unexpectedly.
3. Keep your dogs under control. If a dog disturbs a colony when bounding through the bush, it is likely to bring the bees back to you.
4. Wear light colored clothes, including socks. Bees target objects that resemble their natural predators (bears and skunks) when they defend their nests, so they tend to go after dark leathery or furry objects. Keep in mind that bees see the color red as black, so flourescent orange is a better choice when hunting.
5. Avoid wearing scents of any sort when hiking. Africanized honey bees communicate to one another using scents, and tend to be quite sensitive to odors. Avoid strongly scented shampoo, soaps, perfumes, heavily scented gum, etc. If riding, avoid using fly control products on your horse with a "lemony" or citrus odor. Such odors are known to provoke or attract honey bees.
6. Be particularly careful when using hany heavy equipment that produces sound vibrations, such as chainsaws, weed eaters, tractors or generators.
7. Keep escape routes in mind. If at all possible, avoid areas where you cannot escape quickly if attacked.
8. If you know you are allergic to bee stings, always have someone else with you when doing outdoor activities.
What to do if you are attacked by honey bees:
If you are attacked while hiking or hunting, the best action is to run as far and as fast as possible. Pull your shirt up over your head to protect your face, but make sure it does not slow your progress. Run to shelter (vehicle or building) if available. Do not swat at the bees or flail your arms, since they are attracted to movement. Entering water is not recommended. The bees may wait for you to come up for air.
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