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How to Ward off a Killer Bee Attack
Two recent African or Killer Bee attacks occurred in Arizona that left one person dead while injuring more than a dozen and sending another to the emergency room. African bees are a particularly dangerous species that are not native to the United States. However, they have been steadily spreading from Latin America into the Southern United States, and they continue to move farther north every year. Consequently, the threat they pose is placing more and more of the population at risk.
They Are Aggressive
Killer bees are by far more aggressive than most other species, and they attack in huge numbers. This is the main reason that they are so deadly. The attack that sent the Arizona hiker to his death left him with over a thousand stings. It was estimated that a swarm of over 20,000 bees contributed to the other attack on worshipers in an Arizona mosque. While it is unclear what spurred these attacks, the reality is that killer bees come out in force and strike with a vengeance.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Most bee attacks occur if they feel their territory or hive is threatened. The best way to avoid problems is to avoid areas where hives exist or bees are present in groups. Know your surroundings, know where hives may be located and avoid these areas at all costs. Remember that bees like cracks and crevices, hollowed out trees or even things like flag poles that provide cover and shade along with an entry and exit point.
What to do if Attacked
The best thing to do when attacked is to run in a straight line as fast as you can. Keep running until you find some form of shelter, such as your vehicle, building or outhouse. If possible, try to seek shelter in a well-lit room or one with sunny windows. The light will confuse the bees and most likely cause them to gravitate in that direction as opposed to attacking you. If you get into a vehicle, don’t worry if some bees get inside. Drive away and roll down the windows a couple of blocks from the scene of the attack. There’s a good chance that the bees will exit the vehicle in an attempt to re-join the swarm.
You also want to protect your face and eyes as much as possible. Killer bees aim for the face and will try to sting the eyes, mouth, nostrils and ears. Somehow they know our weaknesses, and the fastest way to impair your ability to run is to strike the eyes. Cover your face as much as possible, with just enough space in the fabric to see through. Try to use a handkerchief or spare shirt so you don’t have to remove your shirt and leave your torso unprotected. However, if worse comes to worse, getting stung in the torso is better than getting stung in your eyes.
You may also want to consider keeping an extra piece of fabric or even portable bee netting on hand for your protection. You can put them in your pocket and take them out if necessary.
What Not to do if Attacked
DO NOT jump into water under any circumstances. The bees will wait, and they will attack you as soon as you come up for air. You also may end up getting tired and end up drowning long before the bees will call off the attack. You also want to avoid panicking, dancing or jumping around or flailing your arms. Bees are attracted to movement, and chances are that they will become more aggressive if you get excited.
You also want to avoid trying to swat at the bees. They will see this as a threat and become more defensive and take the attack to another level entirely. Finally, avoid playing dead, otherwise you may end up getting killed during the attack. While you can’t outrun bees, you can get to shelter and minimize the extent of the attack and amount of stings you receive.
After the attack occurs, examine the body to see how many stings are present. If there are more than 15 or so, or if you start to develop swelling in the neck, face or airway, have difficulty breathing or chest pains, seek immediate medical attention. Watch others for symptoms as well. While most bee stings are harmless to humans, with the exception of those who are allergic, the sheer number of stings from killer bee attacks can be fatal.
Remember that African bees are here to stay, and they are moving north. This means that many communities will start to encounter them in large numbers for the first time. Always have good situational awareness, avoid getting close to hives, be mindful of places to seek for shelter and act appropriately if attacked. You should also avoid wearing dark or floral clothing and perfumes that have a sweet, floral or citrus scent.
Following these simple steps can mean the difference between life and death if you or someone you are with is attacked.
Good Medicinal Plants to Grow that Can Also Help Bee Populations
Did you know that bees are responsible for pollinating more than 30% of the food that the world eats? Not only that, but bee populations have been steadily decreasing at about 30% over the past decade as well. While there are a lot of causes for this mass die-off, from genetically modified foods to pesticides and viruses, replacing what has been lost has been a challenge. While some signs point to the stabilization of the rate of decline, we are at a precipitous point in our history as our future may very well hinge on whether or not bees thrive or start dying off again.
One of the best things that we can do to help bring back the bee population is to plant crops that attract them. Not only that, but having bee-friendly plants on your property or homestead can also encourage the growth of your own crops as well. Let’s take a look at a few plants that can be used to attract bees, and some of them are also good to have around for various reasons as well.
Sunflowers make an excellent addition to any yard or homestead not only because they look pretty, but because they are also nutritious. The seeds can provide us with a healthy source of oil, as well as high levels of vitamin E, magnesium, selenium and numerous other compounds that help to boost our immune system, contribute to healthy circulation as well as the management of cholesterol. These are just a few of many benefits associated with sunflowers, and if you live in a climate conducive to their growth, consider planting a row or two that you and the bees can both benefit from.
Lavender is a potent antiseptic and disinfectant as well as a great anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving agent. It has been used for centuries to help alleviate respiratory problems, improve circulation, boost moods and calm the nervous system. Lavender is also very easy to grow and care for, and having your own on hand can provide you with access to a wide-range of medicinal benefits over the course of time.
Believe it or not, bees love the smell of oregano, and oregano is an essential component of any good herb garden. Aside from it’s flavor-enhancing properties, oregano is also a well-known antibiotic and anti-fungal agent, immune booster and anti-inflammatory agent. Oregano is also linked to helping the body to fight various bacterial infections as well, particularly those that affect the upper-respiratory system. These are just a few of many benefits associated with oregano, and it may be worth your while to do a little research and discover why this herb is so important to have on hand.
Yarrow has primarily been used over the years to treat things like colds, fevers as well as minor digestive problems. In fact, remedies date back to more than a thousand years. It has also been used in first aid as a way to stop bleeding by promoting clotting, and yarrow is considered to be an excellent source of nutrients that promote overall blood health.
Sage and Rosemary
Sage and rosemary are closely-related and provide similar medicinal benefits in addition to attracting bees. There are links between taking sage on a regular basis and improvements in memory and cognitive functioning. Sage is also an excellent anti-inflammatory agent as well as a powerful antioxidant. It also doesn’t take a lot of sage to trigger positive responses in the body. It is also known to soothe minor skin conditions as well as helping to strengthen the structural integrity of our bones.
Rosemary is known to help to protect brain cells and regulate brain chemistry, works as an excellent anti-inflammatory and is even linked to slowing the progress of macular degeneration. Combined, rosemary and sage not only provide you with a supply of delicious herbs for food, but incorporating them into your diet on a regular basis can have tremendous medicinal value as well. Best of all, they are easy to grow and can thrive in diverse climates.
Learn more about how you can optimize your herb or flower garden in order to provide you with basic medicines as well as excellent flavors now as well as during a time when you will need to be as self-sufficient as possible. There are literally dozens of other plants that you can grow to enhance nutrition, promote health and well-being and encourage bees to wander through your garden at the same time.