Bee Safety Information
Warmer weather and increased outdoor activity boosts the possibility of people encountering bees in Southern Nevada. Bees tend to be most active from the spring to the fall, when they are colonizing and looking to set up hives, according to the Nevada Department of Agriculture. A swarm of bees is generally not harmful unless disturbed. They are moving from place to place to colonize new hives. Bee hives can be dangerous and should be removed by a professional exterminator using appropriate safety gear and clothing, especially if found in a residential area or area frequented by the public. If a hive is found on private property, it is the responsibility of the property owner to hire a pest control company to exterminate the bees. For your safety, do not try to destroy a hive yourself.
- The Nevada Pest Management Association maintains a list of licensed removal services on its Bee Hotline at (702) 385-5853 and via its website at www.nevadapca.org.
- The Nevada Department of Agriculture website also offers lists of licensed pest control companies professional beekeepers:
- Bees on public property should be reported to the respective government agency for control. Bee hives in County parks or on County property can be reported to our Dept. of Real Property Management: (702) 455-4616.
Bee Safety Tips:
- If you accidentally encounter bees, do not disturb them. Remain calm and quietly move away until bees are out of sight.
- If bees attack, run away in a straight line and take shelter inside a car or building as soon as possible.
- If under attack, use your arms and hands or shirt to shield your face and eyes from stings. (Bees will attack the eyes, nose and mouth.) Do not try to fight the bees. They have the advantage of numbers and gift of flight. Do not scream. Do not swat at bees or wave your arms. The more you flail your arms, the madder the bees will get.
- Do not jump into water or thick brush, which do not provide adequate protection. If you jump into water, bees will attack you when you come up for air.
- After an attack, bees will continue to be agitated by loud or humming noises such as barking dogs, lawnmowers, weed eaters and flashing lights.
- If you are stung, remove the stinger by scraping it out and washing the area with soap and water and applying a cold pack to the sting site. When a bee stings, it leaves a stinger in the skin. This kills the bee so it can’t sting again but the venom remains.
- If someone is stung by a bee and becomes dizzy, nauseated or has difficulty breathing, an allergic reaction to the sting may be occurring. This is a serious medical emergency and 9-1-1 should be called for immediate medical treatment.
- If you are stung more than 10 times, you should seek medical attention as a precaution. Reaction to bee venom takes several hours, which may cause you to feel sick later.
Preventing bee sting incidents
- The best way to avoid a stinging incident is to avoid bee colonies and prevent them from establishing a hive in your yard. Listen for buzzing indicating a nest or swarm of bees.
- If you find a swarm or colony, leave it alone and keep your family and pets away. Contact a professional pest control company to remove the bees.
- Check around your house and yard every four to six months for any signs of bees taking up residence.
- Wear light-colored clothing when you are outdoors. Dark colors can attract bees.
- If you are sensitive to bee stings, check with your doctor about bee sting kits and proper procedures, or if you start having a reaction to stings such as difficulty breathing call 9-1-1.
- When you are outdoors or in a wilderness area, be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for bees the way you would watch out for snakes and other natural dangers. But don't panic at the sight of a few bees foraging in the flowers. Bees are generally very docile as they go about their work. Unless you do something to irritate or threaten bees, they generally will not bother you.
- When working or hiking outdoors, consider carrying a small hand kerchief or mosquito net device that fits over the head and can be carried in a pocket. People who have been attacked say the worst part is having the bees sting your face and eyes. Any impairment to your vision makes escape more difficult. A blanket, coat, towel or similar item placed over your head can give you momentary relief as you run away as fast as possible.