Saturday, January 22, 2022

It’s the Buzz – Bee Aware



According to City of Marco Island’s environmental expert Nancy Richie, you can discourage aggressive Africanized honey bees (AHBs) from building a hive on your property. Recent correspondence from Scott Krueger, (Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, Bureau of Plant Inspection) contains the following information.

The population of Africanized honey bees continues to grow in Florida
because of ineffective methods of eradication. The bees were originally taken to Brazil in the 1950s because of their reputation for being hardy in tropical environments and efficient pollinators. Some were released accidentally and have spread throughout South and Central America, Mexico and the southern US.

Here is some information to help you prevent wild hives:

First: invite a beekeeper to place gentle domesticated honey bee hives on your property. When there is too much competition for food, the wild Africanized honey bees will move on to the next neighborhood.

Secondly: plug up or remove small cavities where they can build a hive such as holes in walls or trash piles or loosely stacked containers or lumber. They will also build hives in underground cavities.

Most important: if you already have a wild honey bee hive on your property, you should always assume it is Africanized. Even if it is not, it could change at any time when a new queen emerges. Rope off the area and warn people of the danger until you can get a professional exterminator to destroy the hive. You could save someone’s life.

If you get just one sting, you have been marked with a scent that tells all bees to keep stinging that spot. Take a shower and wash your clothes to get rid of the scent.

When under attack, if you can’t get inside a car or house, cover your face, and be prepared to run four football fields very quickly.

Never hide from an attack underwater, they will sting you every time you come up for air.

They hate loud noise and vibrations near their hive such as lawn mowers and tractors.

Be aware of your surroundings when you work outdoors.

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