by April Reinhardt
(last updated May 25, 2009)
On weekend mornings, I like to sit on my front porch in spring and get fresh air after having been cooped up in the house all winter. There is a flowering tree just inches from the front porch, and you can hear the bees buzzing about it while standing inside of the house. The large blooms attract all sorts of bees who are hunting for nectar. During the two weeks that the tree is in full bloom, I gingerly step outside onto the porch and slowly tiptoe to the chair on the far end of the porch, making sure that I stay as far away from the bees as possible. I've learned not to take a glass of soda with me while I sit on the porch, since the bees are attracted to the sugary-scent of the stuff. Invariably, however, a few bees fly over to check me out. I can hear my Dad's voice in my head, telling me when I was a kid, "The bees are more afraid of you than you are of them. Sit still and they won't bother you." I am allergic to stings, swelling quickly, and heading for the Benadryl at first opportunity. Sometimes I obey that voice telling me to sit still, but most times I run as fast I can back into the safety of the house.
But, if those bees were Killer Bees, I wouldn't heed Dad's advice to sit still. In fact, I wouldn't be on the front porch at all. Killer Bees attack humans without provocation and can become agitated for no apparent reason, swarming in large numbers and viciously attacking their victims, chasing them as far as a quarter mile.
If you suspect that you have Killer Bees, do not attempt to remove them yourself! In fact, if you have a colony or hive of any type of honeybee, do not attempt to remove them yourself, since only an expert can tell the difference between a regular honeybee and a Killer Bee. Here are some common sense tips to follow if you have honeybees and you want them safely removed:
Contact your local county extension agent since they will know of reputable bee removal services in your area. You could also contact the fire department and ask their advice in removing beehives. Always treat bees as if they are Killer Bees. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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