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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center

Reducing the Risk of Bee Attacks

LAS CRUCES -- Fall is not the only thing in the air. A series of bee stingings, both European and Africanized, may have some New Mexicans wondering how to protect themselves.

"There are a number of things that people can do to reduce the risk of being stung," said Mike English, entomologist with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service. "First, you want to reduce the risk of accidentally disturbing a bee hive when doing outdoor activities."

English said people working or playing outdoors, should follow these tips:

* Know potential bee nesting sites. Bees like to nest in the ground, tree hollows, rock piles, old tires, rotten logs, wood stacks, trash cans, park shelters, bird houses, hunting blinds, under picnic tables and other areas that offer shelter.
* Scout the area for bees before choosing a picnic site or setting up camp. Never let children play in an area that has not been checked for bees.
* Do not climb into a hunting blind before checking for bees. Also, watch for bees in and out of the blind.
* Listen and watch for bees when hiking. Never step or turn over logs or rocks where bees can be nesting.
* Be alert when operating heavy machinery in junk yards, salvage yards, fields and other areas that offer nesting places for bees.
* Watch for bees flying around any recreational or work site and listen for buzzing sounds. If bees are seen or heard, leave the area immediately.
* Be prepared in advance in case bees do attack. Have an escape plan to run away and get inside a car or building for protection.

Related Links:

* Africanized Honey Bees Home Page