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Living with Africanized Honey Bees

Do's and Don'ts

As a general rule, stay away from ALL honey bee swarms and colonies.

All bees in Southern California are now considered Africanized.
To be safe when outdoors, remember to "Bee Alert", "Bee Aware" of your surroundings and "Bee Smart"  when you see bees, and follow the guidelines below:

listen for humming of a bee colony or swarm when outdoors, and avoid areas with unusually high number of bees, there may be a nest nearbyprovoke ANY bees that you may encounter
look for bees flying in and out of holes (e.g. tree hole, trash, water meter boxes, etc.)throw rocks or squirt water at a bee hive or a swarm
check area for bee activity before you operate power tools, prune trees or bushes, have a picnic, etcswat at bees, if they attack; rapid movements will aggravate them and cause them to sting
check area for bee activity before you pen or tie up any animals.

Homeowners should:

  • periodically inspect their property for potential AHB colonies and remove possible nesting sites around the house and yard
  • seal any opening larger than 1/8 inch, such as pipe entrances to avoid the bees establishing a colony inside the house
  • install screens (1/8") over tops of rain spots, vents, and openings in water meter/utility boxes

Living with Africanized Honey Bees

If you are being chased by bees, you should:

  • Quickly run away, covering your face and neck
  • Seek shelter inside a car or a building

If you are stung, you should:

  • quickly go to a safe area
  • remove stingers quickly by scraping them with fingernail, knife blade, or credit card
  • wash sting area with soap and water
  • apply ice pack for a few minutes to help relieve the pain and swelling
  • seek medical attention if breathing is troubled, if stung numerous times or if allergic to bee venom
  • In case of a multiple stinging emergency, please CALL 911!