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Safety Precautions for School
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SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR SCHOOLS

Safety Precautions for Schools: Africanized honey bees are present in Arizona.
Schools may want to take a few safety precautions to help protect their students. The
following are guidelines to plan for Africanized honey bee safety on and around
campus. 

1. Designate a school monitor to walk around school grounds during high
swarming season (spring - summer) to look for honey bee colonies or swarms.
The monitor should be trained to recognize honey bees and wear proper protection
such as a bee veil. They should look for sites that may be attractive to bees for nesting
(hollows in block walls, overturned flower pots, utility boxes, water or irrigation valve
boxes, playground equipment, and drainage pipes) and request that maintenance
remove, cover or repair them. Private property around the school may need to be
examined as well, particularly lots or vacant buildings in the school’s immediate vicinity.

To prevent honey bees from nesting, keep holes in the ground filled and cover water
valve boxes, rain spouts, etc. with #7 mesh or finer screen. Fill or caulk holes that may
give bees access to an internal cavity. Bees may enter a hole as small as a pencil
eraser (3/16" in diameter).

2. If the monitor finds a honey bee swarm or colony, he or she should notify all
teachers to keep everyone away from the area.
Arrange to have swarms or colonies removed and/or destroyed immediately, even if they haven't been a problem in the past.
A list of local Southern Arizona resources for removal may be found here Otherwise, contact your local beekeeping club or university extension office.

Do not allow anyone to try to remove an established colony or swarm unless they are a
licensed professional pest control operator or beekeeper. Do not allow untrained
individuals to spray the colony with pesticides, dump kerosene, or spray water on the
bees. This will agitate the bees and make them defensive.

3. Plan to use noisy equipment, such as lawn mowers, when students are indoors
or away from campus.
Bees are alarmed by vibrations or loud noises produced by equipment such as weed
eaters, chainsaws, or electric generators. Honey bees may also be disturbed by strong
odors, such as the odor of newly-mown grass. Accordingly, bees are often agitated
during landscape maintenance operations.

4. Establish a plan of action for a stinging incident.
Teach students to leave bees alone. In absolutely no circumstances shall they throw
rocks at or otherwise disturb a hive or swarm. If students accidentally arouse a honey
bee colony while at school, they should know what to do.

Encourage the students to cover their face and run indoors if stung. A few bees may
follow them indoors. However, if they run to a well-lit area, the bees will tend to become
confused and fly to windows.

Designate an area away from classrooms (preferably a large, well-lit room with high
ceilings, such as the cafeteria or gym) where students should go. Have a trained person
available there or nearby with a vacuum cleaner hose on hand to immediately remove
any bees that remain. If no hose is available, bees may be killed with soap and water
solution (3% to 6% soap) in a spray bottle.

Both the school nurse and teachers should be trained in the proper method of removing
stingers. Honey bees leave their stinger in the skin when they sting. This kills the honey
bee, so it can't sting again, but it also means that venom continues to be pumped into
the wound for a short time. Do not pull stingers out with tweezers or fingers, because it
will squeeze more venom into the wound. Instead, scrape them out using a fingernail,
the edge of a credit card, a dull knife blade or other straight-edge object.

5. Make sure the school nurse is ready.
The school nurse should know the proper way to remove bee stingers and train others.
He or she should also know the signs of allergic reactions, because even one bee sting
may be fatal if the victim is allergic. If possible have an anaphylactic kit, bee suit and
bee veil available for emergencies.

6. Educate the students and faculty about what is being done, and reassure them
that most people will never encounter Africanized honey bees and those that do are
rarely seriously injured. Have "bee drills" so students know where to go and what to do.

7. Call 911 or local emergency service personnel. They have been trained to
respond to Africanized honey bee emergencies.