Can Killer Bees Kill You?
Killer Bees: A Brief History
Before going any further, we’re going to give you a brief history on the facts of killer bees.
- The “Killer Bee” is actually the informal term for the Africanised Bee.
- They are a hybrid species, and are a cross – breed between the African Honey Bee and the Western Honey Bee.
- Their name simply derives from the fact that they are easily provoked, and extremely defensive.
- They attack in big swarms, which is what makes them dangerous.
- Although their venom is no stronger than that of the average European honey bee, in large quantities of dosage, their venom can be dangerous. Given that they attack in swarms, we would say that should be exercised with caution.
- Although very dangerous, their attacks tend to be rare.
- It’s usually not advisable to use generic products like Raid on killer bees as you would with the average bee, because of the danger of swarm attacks and their defensive attitude.
How to Spot a Killer Bee
So, you might be left wondering how to spot a killer bee from their less harmful counterparts. Unfortunately, they do look very similar, so it can be difficult to spot them apart.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, attempting to characterise the killer bee can be dangerous. However, there are a few key differences between killer bees and the average bee. These include:
- Their levels of aggression.
- Their physical characteristics, as they tend to be smaller.
- How long it takes them to calm down.
- Whether they are found foraging alone, or in a group.
- Where they choose to nest.
- Their reproduction levels.
How Dangerous Are Killer Bees to Humans? Can Killer Bees Really Kill You?
So, we now know a little more about killer bees, their history, and how you can distinguish them from the average, less harmful bee.
But how dangerous are they? Do killer bees really adhere to the behaviour of their namesake?
- They are mostly dangerous because of their heightened levels of defensiveness.
- The people who are at most risk of being harmed by killer bees are children, the elderly, and those with disabilities. This is because it’s physically more difficult for them to escape an attack.
- The number of deaths caused by killer bees, however, is not high at current, with only around 1,000 deaths being recorded.
- Their nesting location makes them a higher risk to humans because they do tend to create their homes near to us.
- One of their key provocations tends to be vibrations and loud noise – so, for example, strimmer’s and lawnmowers.
- Many of the recorded attacks in the USA have actually occurred in scenarios where home owners have known there is a nest in their midst, but haven’t called anyone to get rid of it.
- You can prevent their number of attacks by getting rid of the places they choose to nest. For example, closing any halls in walls, sealing cracks, and removing outdoor debris.
- If you do have these areas in and around your property, then it’s always a good idea to check them regularly. Just to be on the safe side.
What Should I Do if I Encounter Killer Bees?
Last of all, but by no means least, we’re going to be providing you with some advice on what you should do if you are unlucky enough to encounter a swarm of killer bees.
- First of all, be careful not to provoke them – as this is when things tend to turn nasty. If you do see a bee hive, don’t disturb it!
- Equally, don’t make loud noises, or wear anything that might attract them, such as strong smells and shiny jewellery.
- If you do end up being attacked by killer bees, then really, there is only one way out. You have to
- Killer bees are slow fliers, so the average, healthy person will be able to outrun them – hence why elderly, children, and the disabled are most at risk.
- Running into the wind can help, and protecting the eyes and face is crucial.
- If you do end up being stung at all, then it’s always a good idea to seek medical attention. It’s better to be safe, than it is to be sorry.
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