Africanized Honey Bees strike out in anger and sting a city worker 1,000 times for mowing the grounds in Wichita Falls, Texas near a walking trail and golf course. Perhaps the humming sound of the mower signaled to the bees that there was danger, as usually these swarms are responding to a perceived danger to the queen and they will protect her and the hive at all costs. The area and golf course was closed to the public until the bees could be safely removed.
Two of this man’s co-workers came to his rescue only to endure a little of the same. We are often asked, “What do you do if a swarm of bees is after you?” Although you may have heard it said to jump into a nearby water source like a lake, river or pool if available, but the reality is these bees will hover over you for long time waiting for you to emerge or to take a quick breath! By this time the pheromones are high and these flying insects are really angry. The Africanized Honey Bee will chase someone for a quarter of a mile! Swatting at them, which would be a natural response, is pointless and even increases the danger as it just manages to make them angrier. Survival handbooks suggest running straight to the nearest indoor shelter and getting in as quickly as possible. No zigzag running; this just slows you down and the bees are far better at it that you are.
The name ‘Killer Bee’, is actually a little deceiving as their venom is not designed to kill, but is actually an educational tool that they use to drive away a perceived threat. Their message is “Leave and do not return!” The chances that you will be attacked by killer bees is slim, but remember if you are in good health, it will take more than 10 stings per pound of your body weight for the bee stings to kill you, unless of course you have a severe allergy to bee stings in which it could just take one! Stay safe this summer and be aware of your surroundings.