Bee attacks trigger safety concerns in Southwest Georgia

Bee attack

Many in Southwest Georgia are asking how they can protect themselves from a bee attack?

Run â" that's basic, best advice if you're confronted by a swarm of bees, Africanized or not.

Chuck Mitchell is the commander of the Albany-Dougherty Search and Rescue Team.

"Just run away from them," said Mitchell. "Try to protect your head, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth. Keep running as far away as you can."

Do not swat at the bees and if possible, try and cover with yourself with clothing or a blanket until it's safe.

And jumping in water does not work â" the bees will wait for you to come up for air.

Unfortunately, because of the aggressive nature of most bees, there isn't much you can do for someone else that is under attack.

The bees will only turn on you because they can sense when someone has already been stung, which is a signal for other bees to attack.

The chances of actually dying from a bee sting are very remote. A child can typically withstand over 500 stings and a healthy adult can handle over 1,000. So we came to the Allergy and Asthma Clinics of Georgia to find out just how dangerous a bee sting can be.

Nancy McKemie says that those with an allergy to a bee's venom are most at risk â" just one sting is enough to cause death â" so everyone needs to be aware of an abnormal reaction.

"You may be stung on your arm or on your leg and your face may swell or you may develop difficulty breathing or even changes in your heartbeat," said McKemie.

But everyone faces some risk if attacked by a swarm.

"When you get multiple bee stings, even in patients who are not allergic, they can have a toxic reaction, just from the large amount of venom that has been injected into the body," said McKemie.

Apply ice to the stung area and, of course, call 9-1-1 if your symptoms multiply or get worse.