14 Apr 2011

Bee season is here!

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The correct name for the “killer” bee is the Africanized Honey Bee and is abbreviated AHB. The AHB is a resident in the United States in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. The problem with the AHB is that they are much more aggressive than a typical honeybee when protecting their hives. If you get to close to an AHB hive hundreds if not thousands of workers will fly out of the hive and attack anyone or anything they perceive as a threat to their hive. When a worker stings someone, it leaves behind an odor that draws more bees to you. It is not uncommon for the bees to chase someone up to a quarter of a mile or further as they attempt to run away. The sting from a AHB is no worse than the sting from any other honeybee, the problem is the fact that they come in such large numbers.  If attacked, running as far from the hive as possible is the best response. Do not jump into a pool thinking that the water will save you, the bees will continue to gather at the water’s surface and attack you again when you come up for air. Some other activities that can trigger the defensive reaction of the AHB can include loud noises and vibrations near their nests. Many people have been attacked while operating a lawn mower or leaf blower near an AHB hive. Just a couple of weeks ago near 3rd Ave and Bell Rd, two people were attacked while walking down the street. They were covered with hundreds of bees and were hospitalized.  It is not known why they were attacked, but the AHB is known to be drawn to many odors including perfumes. Generally, if someone had 15 or more stings it would require medical attention.  This time of year it is common for honeybees to migrate with a queen leaving the hive along with many workers to move to a new location and set up a new hive. If you see bees flying in and out of a hole or gap on the outside of a structure or a tree, stay away. In the areas where the AHB is known to reside it must be assumed that they could be Africanized.  It is very important to keep them out of your home, once inside the walls of a home they will immediately begin to build their wax hives and start to fill it with honey. Once a hive has been killed, the remaining wax and honey can cause may other problems. If the hive is not removed, there is a high likelihood that another swarm of bees will re-enter and try to set up a hive and as the temperatures rise the honey left behind can melt and be very inviting for a host of other insects. For more information visit us at www.apcopest.com



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