Bug Blog

A Green Valley Man Sustains 300 Africanized Bee Stings While Removing A Nest, And How You Can Protect Yourself When Encountering Bee Swarms

Tucson, AZ Bee Removal Experts

A couple of weeks ago, a green valley bee removal employee sustained 300 Africanized bee stings while removing a nest from a property. According to officials with the Green Valley Fire Department, the bees managed to enter the employees suit where they inflicted numerous stings all over his body. Of the more than 300 stings that the employee sustained, 40 were found on his head, neck and face. The man was promptly transported to the nearest hospital to be evaluated, and he has since recovered. Authorities in Green Valley strongly urged residents to remain indoors, as the Africanized bees remained loose in the town. Not long after the sting incident, authorities spotted a large swarm of aggressive honey bees on Green Valley Road, which led to the roads temporarily closing. The bee removal company claimed that they would complete the removal of the bee nest from the property at a later date.

It is best to avoid wild honey bees when they are encountered, but in some cases, Africanized honey bee swarms manage to find humans. There is no obvious way to protect oneself from stings when faced with an aggressive honey bee swarm, but many people insist that taking refuge below water will prevent envenomation. However, this is not the case, as honey bees are likely to remain waiting at the surface before resuming their attack, and this is especially the case when it comes to Africanized honey bees due to their remarkable ability to track mammalian prey. According to entomologist Justin Schmidt, who studied Africanized bee predation on mammals at the University of Arizona, the odors emitted by the breath of humans alert honey bees as to the location of all nearby humans. The ability to detect mammalian breath odors is particularly acute in Africanized honey bees. Therefore, when faced with a honey bee swarm, hold your breath while slowly walking away from a swarm or an active hive. When you need to take a breath, slowly turn your head away from the bees and exhale. While no method is guaranteed to protect a person from an aggressive bee swarm or an active hive, this breathing method is the best that scientists have come up with.

Do you know anyone who has sustained Africanized honey bee stings?