How to stay safe from increase in bee swarms

WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - On Wednesday, three construction workers were attacked in western Wichita County by Africanized bees after accidentally hitting a hive. All three had to be rushed to the hospital for treatment.

It is just one of many bee attacks this year in the county. In June, a Wichita Falls man was stung close to 100 times while mowing his yard. There are things you should, and should not do if you find yourself in an encounter with a swarm of bees.

"Save yourself," Beekeeper, Douglas Hill said. "People not knowing if they're allergic too bee stings, they could end up in the emergency room with a whole bunch of stings."

Hill is a local beekeeper who spends his days keeping the public safe from bees. He's seen more of them than normal this year. He said a lot of attacks happen while people are working because bees don't like vibrations.

"They don't like weed eaters, they don't like lawn mowers, and they don't like beekeepers," Hill said.

What should you do if you encounter a hive? You can address the problem if you are careful, but proper clothing is required for safety.

"It's just like a fireman," Hill said. "You can't send a fireman to a fire without the proper equipment."

But if you don't know how, Hill urges you to call a beekeeper so you are not attacked.

"It's usually better to get a beekeeper to come out there and to work your house," he said. "To get rid of it."

Hill wants people to know the bees are just protecting their home like you would yours.

"Whether it be Africanized, or them just not knowing exactly what to do, they are just trying to protect themselves," Hill said.

He said when you are around bees, do not swat at them because they will release pheromones that can stick to you. It's a distress signal that will attract other bees.

Hill said one way to tell Africanized bees from Honey bees is the way they interact with you. Africanized bees will immediately start stinging you. Honey bees will fly around your head because they are attracted to carbon dioxide.

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