Training session to deal with "killer" bees - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Training session to deal with "killer" bees

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Dougherty County is the only place in Georgia where killer bees have been confirmed.  Emergency workers want to make sure they're equipped to handle them.

In October, 73-year old Curtis Davis died after being stung hundreds of times by a swarm of the angry Africanized bees. 

There are things you can do to avoid being a victim.  That's information water, gas and light employees, as well as other public workers and emergency responders need to know. 

The discovery of Africanized bees in Dougherty County last fall surprised many bee experts.  They've worked ever since to educate people about the aggressive bees.  Bee Expert Dale Richter said, "If you come upon one, leave it alone.  Try to contact a beekeeper or the extension service or even a local law enforcement official and let someone know it's there."

That someone is likely to be a firefighter, paramedic or police officer, and that's why they will soon be trained on how to deal with them.  Richter said, "Of course the emergency responders.  We want them to know how to react and how to use the equipment they already have and how to use it to get into if there is an incident."

But what if you run across them?  Before help arrives, what do you do?  EMA Deputy Director Jim Vaught said, "The easiest thing to do is avoid them, stay away from them and if they come after you, the best thing you can do is run and keep on running."

Richter agrees.  "Run, run and run some more."  And while your running, cover your face, Africanized bees like to sting the face, targeting the eyes, nose and mouth.  And once they start, they won't stop.

Richter said, "One of the analogies that I do is if you're at home and somebody knocks on your door, you're going to go to the door and see who is there.  With Africanized bees, if you're home and you have guests, everybody there is going to go to the door with the intent of killing whatever is on the other side of the door.  That's the difference."

And that's why emergency workers want to be prepared to help defend you.  As many as 200 people are expected to attend the training session.  It's February 8th from 9 am until noon at the Albany Civic Center.  The session is free, but you must register.  Call 229-431-2155 for more information.

 

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