Public safety message from Facilities and Safety Services

This notice appeared in the Weekly Phoenix between September 24, 2019 and September 30, 2019.

September 24, 2019

A swarm of honeybees was recently discovered at the northwest exterior terrace exit stairway of the IST Building. The hive has since been safely removed according to Florida State Statutes. For future reference, we are providing this service announcement to the university community so that we can all avoid an unpleasant encounter with bees.

Here are a few simple suggestions to ensure safety in areas where bees are likely present:

  • Bees dislike dark-colored clothing. Honeybees have evolved to recognize threats from predators like bears, honey badgers, and other dark-furred mammals. Also avoid bees when wearing the color red, which appears black to bees and may exacerbate them.

    Swarm of honeybees at the IST Building.
  • Never approach or disturb a nest. If you notice bees entering or exiting a crevice, a hole in the ground or a tree cavity, assume there’s a nest present and leave the area immediately.
  • Pay attention to bee behavior. If bees fly into you or begin to swarm over or around you, they are probably trying to warn you off. Remember: don’t swat at the bees, just leave.
  • If you inadvertently disturb a nest, run immediately. Try to get to an enclosed shelter (such as a car) or run until the bees stop following. It may be necessary to go one-quarter of a mile or more away from where the attack began. Cover your face with whatever is handy, if you can do so without impairing your vision.
  • Never jump into a body of water to escape bees. They will likely wait for you to surface.

Fortunately, avoiding potentially dangerous interactions with bees is straightforward… just be sensible.

Pay attention to posted warnings; avoid approaching in dark colors; and, if you see bees, get away from them as quickly as possible. 

For more information, please do not hesitate to email Safety Services, or call 863-874-8722.