Africanized Honey Bee

Almost all the bees in Maricopa County are now classified as Africanized honey bees or killer bees. These bees look just like the European honey bees that we have known for so long. The venom injected by the stinger is no different. What is different is the aggressiveness they show in defending their hive or colony. The Africanized honey bee swarm several times during the year changing their home (hive or colony). Having moved, they will defend it extremely aggressively. Do not try to clear out the bees yourself, but instead contact Wagner Pest Solutions.

Once they start to attract, it can last for days. A single sting is no more powerful or painful than a European honey bee. They can sting only once before dying, but it is the number of stings that can be inflicted because of their numbers that can cause illness and even death. It takes over 110 stings per pound of body weight to cause a serious illness.

If attacked, cover your head and run to the nearest place that will enable you to shut out the bees. A car, truck or house will work, but do not dive into water. Some bees will come with you, but the rest will remain outside.

If you choose a car or truck, close the outside vents, and if you have air conditioning, turn it on to calm, the bees.

Signs and symptoms of a bee, ant or wasp sting - The severity of an insect sting reaction varies from person to person. A normal reaction will result in pain, swelling and redness around the sting site. A large local reaction includes swelling and redness beyond the sting site. Although frightening in appearance, these large local reactions will go away over several days.

The most serious reaction to an insect sting is an allergic one. Any of these reactions require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction or “anaphylaxis” may include one or more of the following:

  • Hives, itching or swelling in areas other than the sting site.
  • Tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing.
  • Hoarse voice or swelling of the tongue
  • Dizziness or a sharp drop in blood pressure
  • Unconsciousness or cardiac arrest

This type of reaction can occur within minutes after the sting and may be life-threatening. People who have experienced an allergic reaction to an insect sting have a good chance of a similar or worse reaction if stung again by the same kind of insect. If you have severe allergies to any insect, always carry appropriate medicine prescribed by your physician with you when outdoors.

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