ASSE Issues Alert, Tips Following Deadly Bee Attacks in Florida

The American Society of Safety Engineers is urging employers, employees, and residents to be aware of the danger of aggressive Africanized honey bees following an attack on a woman and her dogs in a South Florida neighborhood. Published reports say a 70-year-old woman was injured recently and her dogs were killed after a swarm of bees attacked them. Later, the bees attacked two other neighborhood dogs killing one. To increase workplace safety for outdoor workers and prevent further attacks, ASSE has reissued a safety tip sheet it developed and a list of resources on bee safety.

"These bees are very dangerous," said ASSE President Warren K. Brown, CSP, ARM, CSHM. "They multiply quickly, and people should have wild bee hives removed by an authorized pest control vendor or risk injury."

Recommendations in ASSE's "Bee Safe Quick Guide," listing tips from the Texas A&M University honey bee information site, include actions to take if you find bees on your property:

  • Stay away from all honey bee swarms and colonies.
  • Get away from bees as quickly as possible.
  • While running away, protect your face and eyes as much as possible.
  • Take shelter in an enclosed area, such as a car, truck, or building.
  • Call a local beekeeper, pest control company, or local cooperative extension agent for assistance.
  • Do not hide in water or thick brush.
  • Do not stand still and swat at bees; rapid movements will cause them to sting.

The site also has tips for what to do should you get stung. More information on bee safety is available at www.asse.org/newsroom/safetytips/honeybeetips.php.

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