Killer Bees: A Deadly Reality!
The Africanised honey bee (Apis mellifera scutellata), more popularly known as the "Killer Bee" will attack unprovoked, and, although their venom is not quite as potent as that of the European Honey Bee, can kill grown humans because they respond in larger numbers and will pursue for longer distances. When they sting, both the stinger and the venom sack are ripped from the bee's body, killing it instantly. The venom enters the bloodstream, but is so small in amount only repeated stings will do much harm. When the stinger is ripped out, high concentrations of a pheromone known as iso-pentyl acetate are deposited. This acts like a beacon for other bees and communicates to them to sting. More bees sting: more pheromone is released. More pheromone is released: more bees sting....
Attacks are usually triggered by high pitch in sound, vibration, strong smell of vapours like detergents, car exhausts, petrol and electric lawnmowers, animals close by and fast movement.
Most of the above attacks could result in fatality, depending on how allergic you are! Care should be taken when approaching the area.
It is best to get someone to come and remove the swarm of bees before disaster strikes!
Have you noticed swarming of bees on your property?
Swarming starts in early spring and peaks in mid summer when food is abundant. Within a few days they'll start to defend their home which could be anything, from empty card boxes, old tyres, water meters, playground equipment, cracks and crevices, etc!
Good advice is to often walk around in your property to look and listen for abundant bee activity. Never disturb the swarm!
When you are being attacked, try to find shelter as quickly as possible. Do not jump into water as always been advised because the bees will stay in the vicinity and repeat their attack. Many people and especially kids have drowned trying to escape a bee swarm attack.
During winter, honey bees feed on the honey they collected during the warmer months. They form a tight cluster in their hive to keep the queen and themselves warm.
What should you do when a swarm of bees nest on your property?