NANFA-L-- perils of Fla collecting
Thu, 27 Jul 2006 15:50:50 EDT

I was out collecting fish this past Tuesday about 7 miles south of South
Bay, Florida. It was off Rt 27 sugar cane country. There are irrigation ditches
alongside the fields of sugar cane. Driving along the ditches looked weedy and
I thought a good collecting opportunity.
I pulled off the highway got out my net and some breathing bags just in case
I caught something interesting.
I began dipping and caught a few Mayan cichlids, Lucania goodei and
gambusia. Up ahead the ditch looked better so I began to move up the bank. There
was an old rubber truck tire that I hit with my foot. Almost immediately a
swarm of bees came up out of the tire targeting my ears and neck. I scrambled up
the bank screaming all the way, got to my car which of course I had locked. I
fumbled for my keys and got in. Lots of bees in the car and plenty more
outside. I scraped what I could off and drove a ways away and opened the windows
to let out most of the bees. I kept finding one in my shirt one in my shorts
Almost-in-once my lips and ears began to swell. I had some water in the car
and washed off where most of the stings were. I also had some Aleve with me
and took a couple. I picked stings out of me for about 20 miles down the road.
I'm not allergic but was thankful I survived the attack.
All in all a pretty horrific event. I looked-in-some bee sites on the
Internet and am sure that these were africanized honey bees.
Andy Borgia
Key West, Fl
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