Saturday, October 1, 2011

Man dumps gasoline on beehive, sets explosion heard throughout neighborhoood

Man avenges bee-stung friend, sets hive on fire

(AP)  LYNDEN, Wash. - A Washington state fire chief says a man dumped gasoline on a beehive in a tree in retaliation for a bee sting, then ignited the hive, causing an explosion heard throughout his suburban neighborhood just a few miles south of the Canadian border.
Lynden chief Gary Baar tells the Bellingham Herald that the Sunday night fire caused a large "whoosh," singed the tree and killed the bees but no people were hurt.
Baar says the man's friend had been stung earlier in the day.
The fire chief says, "The correct way to do that is to call a beekeeper."
Firefighters explained that to the homeowner, and the newspaper says it doesn't appear that that the man will be cited.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ft. Worth, TX: Bee Stings shorten Men’s golf tournament

The final round of the UTA/Waterchase Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas, was canceled last Tuesday for one of the more bizarre reasons you will ever hear about. Less than two hours after the K-State golfers had started play, a tree limb holding a beehive fell to the ground near the 18th green, sending more than 7,000 bees into a frenzy. At least a dozen different competitors were stung by the bees, and after a lengthy delay in which a beekeeper was summoned to evaluate the situation, the continuing threat caused officials to cancel the final round and reduce the tournament to the 36 holes played on Monday.
"It was very unfortunate because each of our guys had played five or six holes and our top four scorers were around even par," said head coach Tim Norris. "This is my first experience of something like this happening, but I know our guys are excited to get back out on the course in a couple of weeks at our home tournament."
As for the bee-shortened tournament results, the Wildcats carded a 36-hole score of 19-over-par 595, which gave them a seventh place finish out of 19 schools competing in the tournament. For the second consecutive week, the Wichita State Shockers came out on top, this time with a 36-hole score of 6-under-par 570. They finished four strokes ahead of second-place Sam Houston State.
Individually, the Wildcats were led by freshman Kyle Weldon, who was making his debut on the five-man scoring roster. Weldon recorded a score of 1-under-par 143 in the two rounds on Monday, leaving him in fifth place and only four strokes behind 1st-place finisher Rafael Becker of Wichita State. The fifth-place finish is the highest for a K-State golfer so far in the young season.
Other Wildcats competing in the tournament included junior Curtis Yonke, who finished 4-strokes-over-par 148, tying him for 24th place overall. Finishing two strokes behind him, and tied for 36th place individually, was senior Kyle Smell. Ben Juffer, junior, tied for 70th place with a 12-over-par finish. Fellow junior Chase Chamberlin rounded out the scoring for the Wildcats by carding a 36-hole score of 15-over-par 159. He tied

Read the rest of the story here

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Malaysia: Preschooler dies after feral honey bee attack

Pre-school pupil dies after bee attack

BESUT, Malaysia - A five-year-old kindergarten pupil died after he was stung by bees while on his way home to Kampung Pengkalan Nyireh here.
The victim, Tengku Hafizul Hafiq Tengku Anuar, was riding pillion when the incident occurred at about 1pm on Sunday.
It is learnt that as he and his mother neared their house, a beehive suddenly fell from a nearby tree onto their motorcycle.
Rakiah Ismail, 31, said she had to stop the motorcyle after they were attacked by the bees.
"I told Hafizul to run as fast as he could to a neighbour's house.
"However, he was already stung by more than 50 bees," she said adding that Hafizul died four hours after the incident at Besut Hospital.
"His whole face was swollen and he lost consciousness soon after the attack.
"I never thought I would lose him like this," she said.

Read the rest of the story here

Roselle Illinois: Man dies after attempting bee removal in his house

A Roselle man died after being stung by a swarm of bees while removing a hive at his northwest suburban home.
Officials say Bruce Madiar, 62, collapsed on the front stoop of his home Monday night as he was using repellant on a beehive lodged under the overhang. The Roselle Fire Department, assisted by Itasca paramedics, were called and found him unconscious, but breathing. The medical examiner's office is still working on an exact cause of death.
"From what I understand, they did some CPR and advanced life procedures with the paramedic, rendering care and drug therapy," Roselle Fire Chief Bob Tinucci said.
"I did see them bring Bruce out administering CPR and oxygen, so I knew it was something pretty serious," said Mike Weflan, neighbor.
Weflan was at home Monday evening when he says the large response of fire trucks and ambulances blocked off the street. Attempts to resuscitate Madiar were unsuccessful and he was taken to Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village, where he was pronounced dead.
Weflan says he knew Madiar casually, but that he was a long time resident of the neighborhood.

See the rest of the story here

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How Careless can we get about feral Honey Bee colonies?

How careless can we get?

September 22, 2011 | By | Filed Under Editorial 
Africanised bees have struck again and they have claimed yet another human life. These were bees that came into this country from neighbouring Brazil and have corrupted the hives of the ordinary honey bees we once had.
As their name suggests, they came from Africa either by human hand or by way of experimentation. Some Brazilian beekeeper allowed one hive to escape and Guyana is now their home. These bees have spread all over the country contaminating hives and making their own hives.
The movement of animals and insects is nothing unusual. What is unusual is that people through their uncaring ways have allowed these insects to prosper. People must have seen them trying to invade some lodging or some clump of bush or even some old discarded vehicle, and did nothing.
In the case of the recent Eccles incident in which a man died, people saw the bees setting up residence in four different locations and did nothing. In the end the bees set themselves up in a fashionable house in the neighbourhood, expanding their hive and when things got out of hand, moving to other locations nearby.
This speaks a lot for people in a community. There have been warnings from the outset that should people see bees swarming in a community they should call the Ministry of Agriculture. However, the attitude that if something is in no way affecting us at this time then we do nothing.
This was the case on the Essequibo Coast in some villages where the bees eventually struck with deadly effect. The same thing happened in the residential community of Queenstown, Georgetown. The bees were seen entering the community and installing themselves in an old car. When a man, after some time, decided to week the area he angered them with fatal consequences for some dogs. Human beings were also attacked but they managed to survive.
We have reported on numerous incidents of these bee attacks. In another East Bank Demerara community a man and a horse died.
The cold hard fact is that we contribute to the disaster because through our selfish actions we condemn a community to disaster, in this case, attacks from the bees.  Similar selfish actions actually saw armed gangs attacking homes, safe in the knowledge that people would remain ensconced in their homes while their neighbours are being terrorized.
In those communities where people respond en masse criminals tend to stay away. People do what was always the case, “Look out for each other.”
Sparking electric wires trigger some response because a fire may not be confined to a single home in the area but this community-minded action is not often transferred to other cases.
But there is more to this. The Ministry of Agriculture has no one who can respond and deal with cases of bee invasion. People needing help must call private individuals. True, the Agriculture Ministry would provide the numbers but since these are private individuals there is no guarantee that a bee control worker would respond in a timely manner.
Within the past few years, six of these people have been killed. There was no compensation from the government because the conclusion was that the operator went there in his private capacity.
Given that bees have been no stranger to Guyana for decades one would have expected that the Ministry of Agriculture would have had a section that could have been dealing with bees. And the people of Guyana, cognizant that the government offers assistance to the public at no cost, expect the same when it comes to protection from insects such as the Africanised bees.
In this case the private operator who arrived there was accosted, threatened and even chased with an implement for taking too long to arrive. No one paid him and the expectation is that he would always be there to respond to a bee crisis. This may not be the case.
The onus is therefore for the people to be vigilant for their own survival. There will be other instances of the Africanised bees entering other communities and there are those communities in which they have already set up hives. People need to take action, even if for their own safety.

Read the rest of the article here

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fatal Africanized Honey Bee attack in Guyana leaves one dead

Killer bees exterminated after stung Eccles mechanic dies

Written by Whitney Persaud   
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 02:38
SHEIK Iman Hassan, the 48-year-old mechanic who was attacked by a swarm of killer bees, at his Lot 238 Anaida Avenue, Eccles, East Bank Demerara address, on Friday has died.
He and his co-worker were attending to a customer’s vehicle at the time of the attack and Hassan’s wife, Savatri, said he was left lying on the road for about five minutes before being transported to the Balwant Singh Hospital, in East Street, Georgetown, where he succumbed later the same afternoon.
DEAD: Sheikh Imran Hassan, 48

The woman said the two men tried to fight off the insects. He put his head in a barrel of water and the other man hid in the car on which they were working.
Savatri said she went to assist them but, in fear of her own life, she abandoned the effort, noting that the bees were there for between half an hour to 45 minutes,  during which no one else intervened.
“The carpenters in the areas tried their best to help; they even lit a fire to try and smoke them out but their efforts were unsuccessful,” the grieving woman said.
The widowed woman said it was the first time that such an incident occurred in the area.  She is left to mourn with three children.
The neighbouring house where the bees hive was

Meanwhile, the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) said, following the occurrence, immediate action was taken to exterminate the killer bees in the area.
The agency said it contacted a private beekeeper, Mr. Carl Persaud, who responded to the scene and did what was necessary, including rescuing two dogs.
He said, based on the number of bees that were exterminated, he believes there are other colonies of them within the area.
The GLDA is advising that the bees are hostile and should be reported immediately to telephone numbers 220-6556/7.
It extended its sympathy to the family of the dead man and those persons who were stung and injured in the process.

Read the rest of the story here

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"I was afraid they were going to kill me":Modesto Ca: Bees attack 70 year old man walking his dog

MODESTO -- African honey bees attacked a 70-year-old man walking his dogs near Modesto in the first known documented "killer bees" assault north of Madera.
Agricultural officials believe African bees have not colonized north of Tulare County and suspect that the July 5 attack, though savage, was isolated.

"It felt like my head was on fire," Jack McBride said Saturday, a day after learning that a state laboratory confirmed the identity of the aggressive insects that stung him more than 50 times.

"They zeroed in on my head," McBride said. "I couldn't see anything but bees. I was spitting them out, then gritted my teeth so they wouldn't get in. I was afraid they were going to kill me."

McBride was stung inside his nose and on his eyelids, face, neck, armpits and torso.
He fell, lost his glasses, tried rolling and finally ran, half-blinded, about one-eighth of a mile to take shelter in a house -- bees chasing him the whole way.

European honey bees, crucial for pollinating many California crops, "just don't overdo it like that," said Eric Mussen, a University of California at Davis apiculturist, or bee expert.

Mussen and Gary Caseri, Stanislaus County's agriculture commissioner, said African bees likely swarmed, or escaped a hive to repopulate elsewhere, after being trucked in to pollinate almonds around Modesto.

It's unlikely that African bees moved that far north on their own without confrontations reported in other counties such as Fresno and Merced, Mussen said.

African bees are similar to their European cousins in size, venom and honey production, but are much more defensive of territory, sending many more attackers and chasing victims up to a quarter-mile.
Ambulance workers administered antihistamine and an IV before rushing McBride to the hospital, where he was given morphine for pain.

"I was bitten so many times. It felt like the worst sunburn you've ever had," he said.
He felt better in about 24 hours and eventually retrieved his glasses.

One of his dogs was stung in the eye and another vomited, so he took both to a veterinarian. They seemed to recover more quickly, McBride said.

The property owner hired an exterminator who destroyed four nests, using a crane to reach some in trees.

See the rest of the story here

Entomologist's Comment:

This event is becoming ever more common... A resident, out doing his or her thing, becomes a victim of a Killer Bee Attack. 
Sadly, attacks by Africanized Honey Bees, (AHB or Killer Bees), will only become more commonplace, as these invasive insects continue to exploit available areas. Here in Florida, our official AHB slogan is " Bee Aware: Look, Listen, Run!, which at first sounds silly, but in fact is quite helpful. Take a look at our Dept. of Agriculture's, Apiary Section AHB Poster

Bee Aware: Look, Listen, Run poster

Richard Martyniak, M.Sc., Entomologist
The Buzzkillers, LLC

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tuscon AZ: Friends remember man killed in bee attack

Friends remember man killed in bee attack

Posted: Jul 14, 2011 2:11 AM EDT Updated: Jul 14, 2011 2:11 AM EDT
Friends expressed shock and sadness after hearing about the tragic death of 46-year old Oscar Navarro, a man attacked by a big swarm of killer bees last Friday.
Neighbors who shared the property with Navarro described him as a very friendly man, who would always bring candy for their kids, and greet them with a kind word.

Lewis Urling was not only good friends with Navarro, he was also his landlord.  Urling said Navarro was a former pilot, who was on disability.  He was diabetic.
Urling said with his health and condition, there was no way Navarro would have been able to out-run or fight off the hundreds of bees, that attacked him.
 Neighbors were horrified to hear about the death.
"I just burst out crying.  You would expect that.  He was the sweetest man you would ever meet.  I can't imagine his pain.  Nobody should die like that,"  said Navarro's neighbor Dulce Pena.
Tucson city crews found a bee-hive buried in a Mesquite tree in a wash, just a few hundred yards away from the boys and girls club, at Joaquin Murietta Park, on N. Silverbell Road.
The city called the Northwest Exterminating company to get rid of the hive.
Crews put on bee suits and protective masks, and attacked the hive with rakes, and nozzles filled with a soap solution.  They also left behind sticky traps to catch the bees that were still alive.
By Wednesday evening, crews said they had killed off most of the Africanized honey bees, including the Queen of the colony.
Dena Berg, the manager of Northwest Exterminators said Africanized Honey Bees were the most prevalent species in Tucson.  They typically came out during the monsoon, when plants started to flower.  They were also considered the most aggressive and deadly bees out there.
This was the first bee death in Pima County this year.
Friends say Navarro, who did not have a car, was walking by the park towards Blockbuster video to return some movies, when the bees attacked him.
Witnesses said he was covered with bees from head to toe, and was stung hundreds of times.
Pima County officials said an autopsy showed that Navarro died from "mass envenomation."

See the rest of the story here

Entomologist's Comment:

Sadly, attacks by Africanized Honey Bees, (AHB or Killer Bees), will only become more commonplace, as these invasive insects continue to exploit available areas. Here in Florida, our official AHB slogan is " Bee Aware: Look, Listen, Run!, which at first sounds silly, but in fact is quite helpful. Take a look at our Dept. of Agriculture's, Apiary Section AHB Poster

Bee Aware: Look, Listen, Run poster

Richard Martyniak, M.Sc., Entomologist
The Buzzkillers, LLC

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Truck loaded with bees closes Wyoming highway

Associated Press CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - An accident involving a truck loaded with honey bees temporarily forced the closure of a highway in central Wyoming.
Wyoming Highway 220 southwest of Casper was closed in both directions from midmorning Monday until shortly after 2 p.m.
Trooper Marshall Wyatt of the Wyoming Highway Patrol says the accident happened when a westbound pickup truck drifted across the centerline and sideswiped an eastbound semitrailer hauling hundreds of hives of bees.
Wyatt says between 150 to 200 hives broke open and spread along about 400 feet of highway.
Wyatt says a few people got stung. He says the pickup driver was treated and released from a hospital.
Workers wearing protective suits piled the hives on the side of the road and burned them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bees attack and kill South Texas Elderly Couple

Bees sting elderly couple to death in south Texas (Reuters)

By Jared Taylor

MCALLEN, Texas | Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:16pm EDT

MCALLEN, Texas (Reuters) - An elderly South Texas couple died and their son was injured after a swarm of bees attacked them on their remote ranch, authorities said on Wednesday.

William Steele, 95, and his wife, Myrtle, 92, died and their son, Richard, 67, was injured after bees attacked them as they tried to clean a hunting cabin on their ranch near Hebbronville on Monday, an investigator with the Jim Hogg County Sheriff's Office said.

"It was a terrible thing," Investigator Reyes Espinoza told Reuters. "You don't prepare for something like that."

Richard Steele told investigators he and his parents were attacked after they moved a wood stove in the cabin and exposed a hive of bees, Espinoza said.

The son immediately drove about 15 miles to the nearest road, where he managed to call for help on a cell phone.

William Steele tried to escape the bees by running from the cabin, but he fell and succumbed to hundreds of bee stings, Espinoza said.

Myrtle Steele was airlifted to a Corpus Christi hospital, where she died on Tuesday. Her son was transported to a Laredo hospital and released, Espinoza said.

Espinoza said the bees swarmed deputies when they arrived at the scene on Monday.

"By the grace of God, we didn't get stung," he said. "You could literally scoop them off of us."

Espinoza said they were likely Africanized honey bees -- often called "killer bees" for their aggression -- which are common in south Texas.

The bees are hybrids from swarms originally introduced to Brazil from Africa, which absconded in the 1950s. They spread north through South and Central America, crossing into south Texas in 1990, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The bees swarm more frequently than native bees, and are extremely defensive. The USDA advises untrained individuals against trying to remove swarms. If attacked, individuals should run away quickly and not stop to help others.

Read the rest of the article Here 

Entomologist's Comment:

This is such a tragic event, as with just a bit of care and caution, it's likely that these deaths could have been prevented. When I'm called in to offer an assessment of feral bees nesting in a home or home landscape, I always stress the dangers to nearby pets, children, handicapped and elderly folks, as these are the groups at significant risk from defensive bee attacks. Please, don't allow a feral colony to exist near or in your home, call us for expert removal services at 1-800-343-5317.

Here are some links with helpful info:

Our African Bee info page

Killer Bees in Orlando during a 6 hour removal process:


University of Florida's African Honey Bee Extension & Education Program

The African Honey Bee FAQ

Frequently asked questions about African honey bees, from FDACS - Division of Plant Industry
Bee Removal information and regulations from University of Florida's African Honey Bee Extension & Education Program

Honey Bee Research & Extension Lab

University of Florida's Honey Bee Research & Extension Lab

Richard Martyniak, M.Sc., Entomologist

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rabbi attacked by African killer bees

Rabbi attacked by African killer bees in Zimbabwe

JOHANNESBURG (JTA) -- A rabbi handing out matzah and wine for Passover to Jews in Zimbabwe was attacked by a swarm of African killer bees.
Moshe Silberhaft, the spiritual leader and executive director of the African Jewish Congress known as "The Traveling Rabbi," was making a pre-Passover visit to the 190 Jews left in the beleaguered capital of Harare when he was attacked by the bees while walking from the Ashkenazi synagogue to the Sephardi synagogue on the Shabbat of April 2.
The rabbi was being accompanied by the Ashkenazi synagogue's Torah reader, Yosi Kably.   
“They suddenly swarmed on us from nowhere, buzzing around our heads and in our ears," Silberhaft said of the bees from the hive located under a wooden pole. "We didn’t even hear them coming.”
After being stung repeatedly the two men ran into traffic, pounding on car windows, but no one would risk opening their windows for fear of letting in the bees. Passers-by attempted to help by spraying the bees with a poison and setting a tire alight to smoke them out.
Silberhaft and Kably called for help and were taken to a private doctor’s clinic, where they received adrenaline, oxygen, antihistamines, cortisone and painkillers. Some of the stingers were pulled out one by one by the doctor and assistants.
The rabbi returned to Johannesburg with stingers still on his head, nose and hands, as well as in his ears.
Silberhaft, a regular visitor to Zimbabwe and other sub-Saharan African countries, was visibly upset at missing the service and was saddened that the incident occurred on Shabbat.
“Africa is not for sissies,” he said.

Read the rest of the article here: Rabbi attacked by African killer bees

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Millions of bees swarm after Mississippi wreck

Published Saturday, March 19, 2011

NATCHEZ — You would be ticked, too, if you and 44 million of your buddies were stuffed in an 18-wheeler when it flopped over like a dead daisy in the middle of pollination season.
Truck driver Mike Johnson had almost reached his South Adams County destination to put 448 honeybees to bed Thursday night, when the truck’s back axle fell in a ditch on the passenger side and pulled the hulking truck with a swarming cargo flat to its side.
The bees were coming from California to a plot of land near Sibley in order to catch Mississippi’s warm weather and early pollination season before being hauled off to South Dakota to get busy making money, Ken Ensminger said.
Bees swarm around their boxes after the accident.
Photo by Eric Shelton
Bees swarm around their boxes after the accident.
Bees swarm around their boxes after the accident.
Photo by Eric Shelton
Bees swarm around their boxes after the accident.
Ensminger is a coordinator stationed in Vidalia for A.H. Meyer & Sons Inc., a family-owned beekeeping company.
The truck fell over at approximately 9 p.m. Thursday when it was on its way up to the field from the highway. It did not get turned upright until 3:30 p.m. Friday, after all of the bee hives were rescued and laid out on the property in their customary white boxes.
Ensminger said the bee hives were covered with a net inside the truck, so they did not escape and were not harmed. It took from 5 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Friday to cut each box containing a hive out of the netting on the back of the truck and stack them in the field, Ensminger said.
Crews with Curtis Wrecker Services, who arrived to pull the 18-wheeler right side up, were decked out in white bee suits and netted hats, which Ensminger lent to them.
“They’re ticked off,” Ensminger said of the bees. “But they’ll (calm down) and then you can control them like anything else.”
Ensminger, whose only protection was a netted mask that attached to his Louisiana State University straw hat, said he had not been stung Thursday night or all of Friday even though he surrendered his suit to the towing employees.
“But I get stung all the time,” he said.
A crew member from Curtis said he was stung three times before he was able to put on his suit.
Ensminger said the men were able to clean up the mess much faster than he anticipated and that it could have been much worse.
He said the property owner, who trades the use of his property for three cases of honey, was very understanding about the mishap in his field, Ensminger said.
By 3 p.m., many of the bees had already settled down from the “trauma” of the car wreck. But the ones who were most recently rattled by the move from the truck made the sky and white boxes where their hives are kept look black from their swarming.
“They’re just confused,” Ensminger said. “By morning they’ll decide which box is theirs, and they’ll home-up.”
Ensminger said the worker bees who swarmed were looking for their queens.

For more of this article go to Natchez Democrat