Stay Bee-Free: Keep Bees Out of Our Schools
As summer fun and vacations come to an end, students phase out the nocturnal schedules and start getting into a normal routine. Students head to the malls and stores for school supplies and clothing and teachers put out their decorations and review lesson plans for the school year. The hallways and cafeteria will be filled with conversations and laughter. The video games turn into homework assignments, the vacations turn into field trips, and the summer camps turn into classrooms.
This seems like the perfect recipe for great school year but some areas may have been overlooked in regards to safety and protection to students and staff.
Over the summer honey bees could have started a colony on or near the school building, so it is important for someone to inspect the school grounds for any signs of bees before the first bell of the school year rings. Below are some precautions to review to make the school year a success!
- First inspect the building for areas that accommodate bee nests including utility boxes, water or irrigation valve boxes, playground equipment, and drainage pipes. Also, properties and vacant lots should be inspected since any loud noises can disturb the bees and put them in attack mode.
- Be sure to fill all cracks or holes with caulk or wire mesh with gaps smaller than ¼” thick since bee can squeeze into any bigger gap.
- If a bee hive or colony is spotted, have all faculty and students stay indoors until the bees are removed. Call a certified bee removal company; do not try to remove yourself since the attempt may be unsuccessful resulting in the bees to become aggressive.
- Machinery that produces loud noises should be used only when classes are in session or when no one is on campus.
- Teach students a plan of action if they find a bee nest and stress not to disturb the hive. Also, inform students how to escape a bee attack and procedures for removing a bee sting. When bees attack, they will follow the victim for up to a quarter mile. Designate a large room for students to run to if they are under a bee attack.
- Prepare the school nurse for procedures on removing bee stings. Stingers should always be scraped out with a fingernail or flat edge. Squeezing or pulling the stinger out can inject more venom into the victim.
- An anaphylactic kit should be kept on site to use for anybody who is allergic to bee stings.
Bees are usually not aggressive and will not harm anybody unless they feel threatened. Taking these precautions can eliminate any cases of bee attacks and make for a safe school year. Enjoy the rest of the summer!