the southwestern US (Arizona, Southern California, New
Mexico, Nevada, Texas) confronting the infamous killer
bees on the hiking trail appears unlikely. Nevertheless, their arrival
to the US has been well publicized making one wonder what
to do if the improbable happens. Though disruptive, only
seven Americans have been killed by these bees, which look
and sting exactly like the common honeybee.
- Be aware of culverts or drainage
pipes that may be harboring a colony, and junk piles
of dense shrubbery that may be shielding a hive from
- If bees start flying around you,
run away. Don't swat them--it will only make more bees
want to sting you. And don't "freeze" in place--you
will still get stung if you do.
- If you get stung or hear bees
buzzing, run away fast. Most healthy people can
outrun a swarm, since the bees often quit the chase after
a few hundred yards. If
there is no shelter, run through bushes or high weeds.
- A honeybee will leave its stinger
in your skin if it stings you. Get the stinger out by
raking your fingernail across it. Don't pinch or pull
the stinger out.