What to Do if Stung
• First, go quickly to a safe area.
• Scrape – do not pull – stingers from skin as
soon as possible. The stinger pumps out most
of the venom during the first minute. Pulling
the stinger out will likely cause more venom to
be injected into the skin.
• Wash sting area with soap and water like any
• Apply ice pack for a few minutes to relieve Honey Bee Facts
pain and swelling.
• Seek medical attention if breathing is troubled,
if stung numerous times or if allergic to bee
Hives of European honeybees managed by bee-
keepers play an important role in our lives. These
bees are necessary for the pollination of many
crops. One-third of our diet relies on honeybee
If European honeybees were eliminated in an area,
Africanized honeybees would quickly fill the gap.
Finally, people can coexist with the Africanized
honeybee by learning about the bee and its habits,
supporting beekeeping efforts and taking a few pre-
Remember, exercise caution around any stinging in-
sect. Honeybees are not the only stinging insects peo-
ple may encounter. Here are a few found in Georgia:
Georgia Department of Agriculture
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Here are some tips to remember: General Precautions
Be Prepared Africanized Honeybees • Be careful wherever bees may be found.
• Are very defensive of their nest. • Listen for buzzing – indicating a nest or
swarm of bees.
Africanized honeybees (AHB) – sometimes called “killer • Respond quickly and sting in large numbers.
bees” – became established in Texas in 1990 and are • Use care when entering sheds or out-
spreading to other states including Georgia. • Can sense a threat from people or animals buildings where bees may nest.
50 feet or more from nest.
• Examine work area before using lawn
The Africanized honeybee is related to our state’s familiar • Sense vibrations from power equipment 100 mowers and other power equipment.
honeybee (the European honeybee) that produces honey feet or more from nest.
• Examine areas before penning pets or
and pollinates our crops. The two types of bees look the
same and their behavior is similar in many respects. Each
• Will pursue an enemy ¼ mile or more. livestock.
bee can sting only once, and there is no difference be- •
• Swarm frequently to establish new nests. Be alert when participating in all outdoor
tween Africanized honeybee venom and that of a Euro- sports and activities.
pean honeybee. However, Africanized honeybees are • Nest in small cavities and sheltered areas.
less predictable and more defensive than European hon- • Don’t disturb a nest or swarm – contact a
eybees. They are more likely to defend a greater area pest control company or your county Co-
around their nest and respond faster and in greater num- operative Extension office.
bers than European honeybees.
• Teach children to respect all bees.
In other words, Africanized honeybees are more likely to
• Check with a doctor about bee sting kits
sting than European ones, but learning about AHB and and procedures if sensitive to bee stings.
taking certain precautions can lower your risk of injury. • Remove possible nest sites around home
and seal openings larger than 1/8” in
walls and around chimneys and plumbing.
As a general rule, stay away from all honeybee
swarms and colonies. If bees are encountered,
get away quickly. If you are stung, try to protect
your face and eyes as much as possible and run
Nest sites include empty boxes, cans, buckets, or away from the area. Take shelter in a car or build-
other containers; old tires; infrequently used vehicles; ing. Hiding in water or thick brush does not offer
lumber piles; holes and cavities in fences, trees, or enough protection. Do not stand and swat at the
the ground; sheds, garages and other outbuildings; bees; this will only cause them to sting.
and low decks or spaces under buildings.