Less than a week after a swarm of bees injured three people and killed a dog in the San Joaquin Valley city of Ceres, a similar incident has occurred in Las Vegas.
Clark County firefighters responded to reports of people being chased down a Las Vegas street by bees Friday, authorities reported. The swarm of bees sent two people to the hospital and killed a dog, according to the Clark County Fire Department.
Several ambulances responded to the scene and firefighters had to wear protective clothing to assist, authorities said.
Some have speculated that the swarms are Africanized bees.
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After last Sunday’s attack in Ceres, an inspector with the Stanislaus County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office worked to collect samples of the bees, The Modesto Bee reported. Those samples will undergo DNA testing to find if they are of the Africanized variety, Steve Logan, a deputy commissioner, told The Modesto Bee.
The bees are a hybrid of the European honeybee and African bees that are more defensive of their territory and they arrived in California in 1994. Africanized bees can attack in large numbers and have been known to chase a victim for up to a quarter-mile.
If you come under attack by a swarm, here are some tips from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
1. Run away. Do not stop to help others. However, small children and the disabled may need some assistance.
2. As you are running, pull your shirt up over your head to protect your face, but make sure it does not slow your progress.
3. Continue to run. Do not stop running until you reach shelter, such as a vehicle or building. A few bees may follow you indoors. However, if you run to a well-lit area, the bees will tend to become confused and fly to windows. Do not jump into water! The bees will wait for you to come up for air. If you are trapped for some reason, cover up with blankets, sleeping bags, clothes, or whatever else is immediately available.
4. Do not swat at the bees or flail your arms. Bees are attracted to movement and crushed bees emit a smell that will attract more bees.
5. Once you have reached shelter or have outrun the bees, remove all stingers. When a honey bee stings, it leaves its stinger in the skin. This kills the honey bee so it can’t sting again, but it also means that venom continues to enter into the wound for a short time.
6. Do not pull stingers out with tweezers or your fingers. This will only squeeze more venom into the wound. Instead, scrape the stinger out sideways using your fingernail, the edge of a credit card, a dull knife blade or other straight-edged object.
7. If you see someone being attacked by bees, encourage them to run away or seek shelter. Do not attempt to rescue them yourself. Call 911 to report a serious stinging attack. The emergency response personnel in your area have probably been trained to handle bee attacks.
8. If you have been stung more than 15 times, or are feeling ill, or if you have any reason to believe you may be allergic to bee stings, seek medical attention immediately. The average person can safely tolerate 10 stings per pound of body weight. This means that although 500 stings can kill a child, the average adult could withstand more than 1100 stings.