Florida agricultural officials issued a state-wide alert to be on guard against Africanized killer bees this week after two dogs were reportedly killed by swarms of the ultra-aggressive insects, including one in Miami. (United Press).
The notoriously volatile insects have killed over 1,000 people since their predecessors first escaped from Brazilian laboratories in 1957 including 14 in America, though no-one in Florida has yet been killed.
The bees are known to attack in massive swarms if disturbed even slightly, such as by loud noises and vibrations, which could pose problems if any turn up at the upcoming Winter Music Conference which features scores of outdoor parties throughout Miami Beach.
People unlucky enough to be attacked by the killer bees should seek shelter indoors or run for their lives, bee expert Joan Mulcare advised last year after 11 people were attacked by a swarm near a lake in Newbury Springs, California.
"You should run in a straight line as fast as you can as they may chase you for a quarter-mile," Ms Mulcare told the Desert Dispatch, "And you should never jump in the water, because you have to come up for air, she addd.
OSU entomology Professor Russell Wright offered similar advice on Eyewitness news in 2004, after seven people were attacked in Oklahoma City, warning that the killer bees relentlessly pursue targets with a zeal not possessed by regular bees.
"They will literally chase you down to sting you, and instead of one
European honeybee stinging you, you may have hundreds of Africanized honeybees stinging you," Professor Wright warned.
"They will chase you farther, And there will be more of them; they'll be more persistent trying to sting you, he stressed.
Paul Van Dyk, DJ Hell, Paul Oakenfold and The Prodigy headline this years Ultra Music Festival in Miami, which takes places on March 25 at Bicentennial Park in downtown Miami.
Miami/ Bee Links:
http://www.wintermusicconference.com (Winter Music Conference: March 24-28)
http://www.desertusa.com/mag98/sep/stories/kbees.html (Africanized bees acquired the name "killer bees" because they will viciously attack people and animals who unwittingly stray into their territory, often resulting in serious injury or death. DO NOT JUMP INTO WATER! Bees will wait for you to come up for air)
http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/wildlife/bees.htm (Bee string treatment: when the sting is caused by a honeybee, the stinger usually remains in the skin when the insect leaves because the stinger is barbed. Remove the stinger as quickly as possible, because venom continues to enter the skin from the stinger for 45 to 60 seconds following a sting. Much has been written about the proper way to remove a bee stinger, but new information indicates that it doesnt matter how you get it out as long as it is removed as soon as possible. If removed within 15 seconds of the sting, the severity of the sting is reduced . . .)
Jonty Skrufff (JontySkrufff.com)