A man performing bee removal services in the Southwest Valley was stung over 200 times. Jose Moreno Pacheco of Las Vegas was immediate\ley rushed to a local hospital where he later died as a result of those stings. He was only 49 years old.
Mr. Pacheco was working with another exterminator at the time of the attack. Sadly, Mr. Pacheco was not wearing the appropriate protective clothing when the bees began to swarm. Fire services were immediately called and were able to remove Mr. Pacheco from the attacking bees, but 15 days after the attack, he passed away in the hospital. It is unknown at this time what types of bees attacked him.
Bee Removal & Rehabilitation
In the State of Nevada, handling the removal of bees is classified under 2 categories: Be removal and rehabilitation and be elimination or extermination. According to Nevada law, bee elimination or exterminating requires a licensed professional to conduct. Bee removal or rehabilitation can be performed by an unlicensed individual.
Companies offering bee removal or rehabilitation services are not required to carry any special licensing or require any special training for the individuals performing this service. This is a loophole in the law that places many homeowners and service people at risk.
As seen with the case of Mr. Pacheco, not having the right equipment or training will dealing with the removal of a beehive can lead to serious injury and death. News reports covering this story have noted that for several days after the event took place, bees were swarming in the neighborhood and residents had to remain indoors to remain safe.
Africanized Honey Bees or Killer Bees
Nevada has been identified as one of the areas within the United States to have a population of Africanized Honey Bees. Known as Killer Bees, this is an aggressive strain of bees that aggressively defend their territory and their queen. Although it is unknown if this was the type of bees that attacked Mr. Pacheco, there is a possibility it was a killer bee hive. These types of hives, especially because of the imminent danger, should only be approached by trained and licensed professionals.
Killer bees are very aggressive and they attack in groups. These bees have been known to chase intruders for up to a mile radius of their hive, and have also been shown to “wait” to see if the intruder will return. Once aggravated, these bees will remain “on alert” for at least 24 hours near their hive. This can lead to multiple attacks from the same initial incident possible.
When You Discover A Bee Hive Around Your Home
If you have discovered a bee hive in or near your home, there are specific steps that you should immediately take for safety.
- Do not approach the hive or try to determine what type of bee is living in the hive. Honey bees of all breeds can be aggressive, and other bees will sting when provoked.
- Make sure children and pets do not approach the hive.
- Call a professional, licensed bee removal or bee extermination company.
Using a licensed exterminator will help ensure that the removal or elimination of the bees is done is a safe and professional manner. This helps protect the homeowner, the surrounding neighbors and the exterminators from potentially being harmed by the bees.
If you accidently come upon the hive and they start to swarm, there are several things that you should do:
- Run! In most cases you can outrun the swarming bees or outrun their flight capabilities. Look for indoor shelter or jump into a car.
- Do not jump into water. Killer bees have a long attention span and will hover over water for up to an hour waiting for the intruder to resurface and continue their attack. Other bees may or may not linger when you enter water, but the possibility of drowning is too great.
- Seek medical care for stings if there is a possibility of allergic reaction or if you have received over 10 stings.
- Remove stingers by brushing over them with a credit card or something similar. Never grab them with tweezers or try to pinch them out. The pinching motion will release more of the toxins into your system
- If you see anyone being attacked, dial 911 immediately for help.
Bees are a very important part of the environment and, when possible, should be removed and relocated. However, the potential for harm to people, especially from Africanized Honey Bees, makes it necessary for this removal or elimination to be completed by a professional, licensed exterminator. Never risk your life, or that of someone else, by using a removal company that may not have the equipment or knowledge necessary for a safe removal.