Vol 8., No. 5, July 2007
THOUGHTS & QUOTES
In the past, the media has given the AHB a bad name, labeling it the 'killer bee,' over-dramatizing incidents, and focusing only on the insect's negative characteristics. In turn, the public has adopted an unbalanced attitude toward the AHB, afraid that the 'killer bees' could hunt someone down at any time. However, this view is unfounded and unnecessary. Honey bees are one of the most beneficial pollinators in the world; they ensure the production of about one-third of our food! Also, they are responsible for all the delicious honey and honey-based products that we enjoy.
The AHB is not much different from the European honey bee that American beekeepers use; it's almost the same size (a little smaller, actually), it does the same job of pollinating various flowers, and its sting is not any more potent. So why all of the attention? The AHB characteristic that concerns the public most is its defensiveness. All honey bees are defensive; that means if a colony is disturbed, bees will come out of the hive to defend against the possible intruder. European honey bees will send out 5-10 bees to defend an area about 20 feet around the colony, but if an AHB colony is disturbed, it may send out several hundred bees to defend an area up to 40 yards around the colony. If you ever find yourself in the midst of defensive bees, it's best to leave the area of the colony as soon as possible.
Another AHB characteristic that concerns the public is its ability to nest anywhere. Most properties located in rural areas house many potential nesting sites for feral (wild) honey bee colonies. These colonies could be AHBs or not (one can not tell for sure without laboratory testing), but it is not worth the risk to residents or others who may be on the property to allow a feral colony to remain. If a honey bee nest is found, contact a pest control operator (PCO) to remove the nest. (List of state-approved PCOs)
In addition to removing feral colonies, some precautions can be taken to lower the number of potential nesting sites and therefore eliminate the risk of an AHB incident. These steps include bee-proofing property (figure 1), monitoring areas frequented by humans or pets (figure 2), and educating family and community members (figure 3).
In review, AHBs from colonies that are disturbed (loud noises, physical contact, or vibrations can agitate a colony) will defend themselves with large numbers of bees for large areas (up to a quarter-mile). If you are caught in such a situation -- RUN -- get away from the area of the colony. Take steps to eliminate potential nesting sites, and inspect property regularly for bee activity. If a nest is found, contact a PCO. Proper education and reliable information will prevent any Africanized honey bee incidents from occurring this summer and ensure a safe and memorable outdoor season. Read more about the AHB and its effect on Floridians at the Solutions for Your Life Web site.
Water meters are a favorite nesting site for feral honey bees.
Close off openings that are 1/8 of an inch or larger using screen.
Bees love to nest in holes in trees, such the one pictured here.
The holes can also be closed off using screen or mesh.
MedlinePlus is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. This site contains a wealth of health and safety related materials.
One summer hazard MedlinePlus addresses is that posed by contact with poisonous plants including poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac.
On May 1, 2007, the new national Call Before You Dig 811 number was connected. Created to eliminate the confusion of multiple "Call Before You Dig" numbers across the country and to be an easy-to-remember resource, 811 will make it easier for Americans to call before attempting any digging project, whether it be something small like planting a tree or installing a mailbox or a larger project like building an addition or deck. This quick and efficient one-call service notifies the appropriate local utilities, which then send locators or locate technicians to the requested site to mark the approximate location of underground lines. This is to encourage contractors as well as homeowner DYIs to call before they dig.
More information at: http://www.call811.com/
511 is Americas new, easy-to-remember travel information telephone number. 511 will replace and consolidate a proliferation of travel information telephone numbers around the country, estimated at more than 300. It was developed as a way to deliver the real-time information collected by Intelligent Transportation Systems to travelers and commuters to help them with their trip decisions.
Check 511 telephone services and travel information Web sites for updates on traffic jams, road construction, lane closures, severe weather and travel times on interstates and major highways.
More information at the Federal Highway Administration Web site for 511
A brochure Getting There Safely: Transporting Tots to Teens produced by the Chicago Area Transportation Study has many useful suggestions and reminders for keeping kids safer. Modes of transport included are pedestrian, skating, biking, cars, trucks, buses, trains, boats, and airplanes.
Information about the Childhood Agricultural safety Network Campaign can be found at www.childagsafety.org. Their Its Easier to Bury a Tradition than a Child campaign was mentioned in a previous issue of SN&N. The campaign continues to be updated. Recently added to the campaign site is a 30-second television PSA featuring country music artist Michael Peterson.
The Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) provides information about National Preparedness Month in September. The materials have an Extension focus. Because others may want to brand these pieces with their own name, they are flexible enough for an identity to be placed within the context of the information or design.
This year, the campaign has been divided into four themes, one for each week of the month:
The EDEN NPM Web page has a number of resources that are specific to each weeks theme. In addition, there are suggested activities for each week in which Extension can participate.
NIOSH has developed a Noise and Hearing Loss Prevention Workplace Solutions Web site on noise and hearing loss. One of the many items included is an informational database on commonly used power tools in occupational settings. The database is particularly helpful in determining the "real-world" noise level of power tools as they are used on the job.
Information on noise levels and hearing loss for agricultural producers and workers can be found on NASD at: http://www.nasdonline.org/browse/201/hearing-conservation.html.
A hearing conservation fact sheet from Kentuckys AgDare program
Of special interest is the two-arm rule. If you need to raise your voice to be heard when you are two arm-lengths from the other person, the noise level is probably high enough that you need to protect your hearing. The AgDare video, Sound Advice for Farming, can be viewed at: http://www.nasdonline.org/videos/v000001-v000100/v000001.html.
"Safety for Fish Farm Workers" video, produced by Catfish Farmers of America and the Arkansas State University, covers hazards posed by many kinds of equipment and environments encountered by fish farm workers, including tractors, PTO shafts, electrical hazards, night operations, seine reels, boom trucks, handling boats, handling catfish, batteries, cooling systems, and hydraulics.
"Spawn, Spat, and Sprains" is a production of Alaska Sea Grant College Program. It is the only book on the market that describes the dangers faced by shellfish farmers and salmon hatchery workers at the aquaculture worksite, and tells how to reduce the chance of injury. Marine safety experts wrote the manual in response to numerous requests from the industry. Chapters include physical and chemical hazards, proper lifting techniques, airplane and boat safety, basic first aid, electrical hazards, fire fighting, cold water survival, and coping with bears. Although written for Alaskan aquaculture, many of the problems addressed are the same regardless of type of fish or area of the country.
Training materials developed for Floridas State Agricultural Response Team (SART) program include:
for Dairy Producers