PANAMA CANAL COMMISSION
Gift of the Panama canal' Museum
THE HANDLING OF THE AFRICANIZED
HONEYBEE BY THE PANAMA CANAL COMMISSION
FARM BUREAU RESEARCH
"AFRICANIZED HONEYBEE SYMPOSIUM"
ATLANTA, GEORGIA FEBRUARY 11-12, 1986
ERNESTO CORDOVEZ D.
SANITATION AND GROUNDS MANAGEMENT DIVISION
PANAMA CANAL COMMISSION
APO MIAMI 34011-5000
THE HANDLING OF THE AFRICANIZED
HONEYBEE BY THE PANAMA CANAL COMMISSION
1. The Isthmus of Panama is a narrow strip of land situated in an east-west direction and is bordered by Costa Rica to the west and Colombia to the east.
2. The Panama Canal Commission, an agency of. the Executive Branch of the United States Government, was established by the Panama Canal Treaty of 1977. The Commission functions under the Panama Canal Act of 1979. The Commission's mission is to manage, operate and maintain the Panama Canal, its complementary works, installations, and equipment, for the safe, efficient and orderly transit of vessels in the service of international maritime trade.
3. The Canal is a lock-type waterway and runs in a northwest-southeast direction for approximately 51 miles with the Atlantic Ocean at the north and the Pacific Ocean at the south. The city of Colon with a population of 70,000 inhabitants, is located adjacent to the Atlantic entrance. Panama City, the capital of the Republic of Panama with 700,000 inhabitants, is near the southern entrance of the Canal and is located at 9 north of the Equator and 79.60 west longitude, almost due south of Miami, Florida.
The Canal is in operation 24 hours per day. In Fiscal year 1984 an average of 31.2 vessels transited the Canal daily, for a total of 11,384 transits during the year.
4. The Panama Canal Commission has three operating bureaus (Marine,
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Engineering and Construction, and the General Services) and a number of management and administrative offices. I am the Assistant Chief of Sanitation and Grounds Management Division, a division of the General Services Bureau, responsible for environmental sanitation within the Panama Canal area. The Sanitation and Grounds Management Division is also responsible for the insect and rodent control programs, the maintenance of grounds, the landscaping of areas, the operation of-two sanitary landfills and monitors all refuse collected within the Canal housing and operating areas.
B. AREA, POPULATION AND PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PANAMA CANAL AREA
1. Population and Work Force:
The population of the Panama Canal Area consists of approximately 40,000+ residents. The Panama Canal Commission population consists of approximately 4,700 residents, and the everyday civilian work force of the Commission consists of 7,561 full-time employees.
2. Housing and Industrial Areas:
There are nine residential areas under the management of the Panama Canal Commission. On the Pacific side of the Isthmus are Ancon, Balboa, Diablo Heights, Los Rios/Corozal -and Gamboa, and located on the Atlantic side of the Isthmus are Cristobal, Margarita and Gatun.
Most of the employee housing units are either one story duplexes or two story multi-family apartment units. Some office buildings consist of one to three story units.
The industrial areas associated with the waterway are located in the 'immediate vicinity of the canal., These units are responsible for the
maintenance and improvements of the waterway, including dredging, aquatic weed and pollution control, aids to navigation, emergency rescue and salvage service, the operation of a shipyard and a dry dock for maintenance of Commission floating equipment. Public utilities include water purification and electric power, sewage plants and communications systems.
As a cooperative effort, with the Panama Bomberos, control has been
carried out in former Panama Canal townsites which have reverted to Panama as a condition of the treaty such as Paraiso, Pedro Miguel on the Pacific side and Coco Solo, France Field, Mt. Hope, Mindi and Rainbow City on the Atlantic side. U.S. military entomologists and engineering pest control units and their bee control personnel have handled all cases within the various Panama Canal Area Defense Sites which include Fort Clayton, Fort Kobbe, Fort Amador, Albrook Air Force Station, Howard Air Force Base, Rodman Naval Station, Fort Davis, Fort Espinar, Fort Sherman and their military residential areas on both sides of the Isthmus.
3. Climate Rainfall
The year is divided into a well-defined dry and wet season. The dry
season extends from January through April when only small amounts of rainfall occur. The wet season occurs during the remaining months from May to Dicember with an occasional sunny day scattered within. The monthly distribution of mean annual rainfall in Cristobal (Atlantic coast) Madden Dam (mid-distance) and Balboa Heights (Pacific coast) areas, in inches, based upon past records is as follows:
Cristobal Madden Dam Balboa Heights
Mean Annual 129.43 96.69 70.24
Maximum Year 183.41 152.04 96.37
Minimum Year 86.54 57.08 45.58
4. Climate Temperature
The air temperature variations in the Panama Canal Area throughout the year are moderate, with the highest mean monthly temperature occurring in April when the sun is directly overhead (latitude 9* North) and the cooling effect of the wet season is absent. The lowest temperatures are found during the month of November, due principally to the occurrence of daily rains. Comparative mean monthly air temperatures in *F found in the Cristobal, Madden Dam, and Balboa Heights, areas are as follows: Cristobal Madden Dam Balboa Heithts
Mean Annual 80.5 79.3 80.4
Maximum Year 84.0 82.8 8 4.7
Minimum Year 76.5 75.6 77.0
5. Climate Relative Humidity
The,maximulm relative humidity levels are found during the wet season in
the month of November, and the minimum levels in March, during the dry season. The mean annual relative humidity is 83 percent and the mean monthly relative humidity is the- region ranges from a minimum of 75 percent to a maximum of 90 percent.
6. Climate -Winds
The dry season (January through April) is the season of strong winds.
During this period, trade winds blow from the North and Northeast 90 percent of the time and have an average velocity of 15 miles per hour. Other dry season winds, locally called "northers" average 30 miles per hour and have attained at times a maximum velocity of 59 miles per hour.
The Panama Canal Area is bordered by patches of tropical rain forest. As in a typical tropical rain forest, trees in the area number more than 100 species per 2j a cres at-times. Along both coasts, extensive mangrove swamp areas are present near the mouths of the principal rivers and streams.
C. AFRICANIZED BEE CONTROL PANAMA CANAL COMMISSION
1. A plan for handling Africanized. beeas within the Panama Canal Commission areas was developed by the Sanitation and Grounds Management Division in early 1982. The plan was coordinated with the U.S. armed forces and was primarily designed to protect the health and welfare of the human and animal population in the Panama Canal area and within military posts, and also of personnel operating transiting vessels within Canal waters. It was hoped that such control would assist in slowing the spread of African bees and would aid in the quarantine of international shipping. All bees found on board ships were to be eliminated to keep these insects from being carried from the Canal to other ports of call.
Actions of all Panama Canal Commiss ion units were aimed at the control of the bee population within the areas under its responsibility to protect the
public health and welfare of their employees and their families. This included orientation of all employees and residents, training of specialized bee control teams, implementation of an "action plan" by all Commission units,
the establishment of a reliable laboratory identification system, and a functioning centralized reporting system for all bee sightings. Recomendations also were developed to advise the public of what to do in case of bee stings and massive attacks by disturbed colonies of these aggressive
2. The Sanitation and Grounds Management Division has a professional staff that include a sanitary engineer, a medical entomologist, agronomists and environmental health technicians, who, along with a trained labor force have
extensive experience in controlling mosquitoes, bees, wasps and other insects. Division resources include trucks with hydraulic boom baskets, power sprayers
and a variety of grounds care and landscaping equipment plus a variety of EPA approved chemicals to provide efficient and effective insect control.
3. In February of 1982, a beekeeper in the small town of Santa Fe in Panama's Darien province, first detected that bees in his hives were more aggressive than normal. Laboratory examination showed that the bees were undoubtedly Africanized. The bees invaded Panama by crossing the border from the Republic of Colombia. The Commission's plan to deal with this new public health threat was developed by the staff of the Sanitation and Grounds Management Division and the detailed procedures were written in final form by Mr. E. Cordovez D., who was the Chief of the Grounds Management Branch. Thus a Commission-wide bee reporting network was established and special procedures were outlined for the control of all honey bee swarms and nests both during and after regular working hours. Specific reporting procedures were given to all Panma Canal shipping agents to assure all shipboard bee incidents were immediately reported and that all bees were promptly eliminated before the vessels departed Canal waters.
4. Precautionary instructions were issued to all Commission employees and residents and orientation briefings on Africanized bees were given to both
Canal employees on the job and to the general public beginning in April 1982. Dr. David W. Roubik, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute expert on Africanized honey bees, Dr. Melvin M. Boreham, our entomologist, several staff agronomists, including myself, U.S. Army entomologists, and officials of the Government of Panama's Ministry of Agriculture of Panama, participated in many of these public presentations to community and civic groups.
5. A Commission-wide notice to all employees, directed that they should report all sightings of bees encountered on the job and during non-duty hours. Letters were sent to all residents within Commission housing areas advising them how and where to report sightings of Africanized bee nests or swarms. The local Department of Defense school system also made similar requests for reporting sightings of bees during special audiovisual presentations on Africanized bees given to their students.
6. Panama Canal area residents and employees and the military personnel and the civilian component were involved in a massive "citizen awareness" plan through extensive and concentrated information put out by the local radio and television stations and by the respective agency newspapers. The Panamanian news media also provided an avenue for the dissemination of information concerning Africanized bee reporting and control procedures to PCC employees and the public. In retrospect, I believe that this was one of the most effective measures we used in this program.
7. Working in collaboration with Dr. Roubik, Dr. M. Boreham, implemented a new simplified and accurate method to discriminate Africanized bees from European honey bees. All bees killed during Commission control operations
were submitted to the Entomology Unit lab where they were dissected and measured by specially equipped microscopes. These data along with other pertinent information wereentered by Dr. Boreham into a computer database to keep track of each incident for ongoing and future data analysis. This system
has allowed us to document all cases of Africanized bee control within Commission areas and on posts under the control of the U.S. Army and Air Force since bee swarms were first sighted on the Atlantic side Army base of Ft. Davis on March 25, 1982. This analysis has been written into a scientific paper by Dr. Boreham and Dr. Roubik and this manuscript will soon be submitted to the Entomological Society of America for publication.
8. Our Division staff also developed improved bee control techniques and trained several specialized bee control teams with special emphasis on how to handle aggressive nests in residential areas and on what procedures should be used on transiting vessels in order to eliminate swarms on ships in Canal waters. These "SWAT" teams have been a very effective fast-response measure when the bees have become immediate threats in residential areas, office buildings and on transiting ships.
9. The Commission's response to this new public health problem has been a complete success. Credit must be given to the foresight and support of top management who provided adequate resources. To date, although several
stinging incidents have occurred in outlying areas, the overall effect upon our Commission employees, their families and the U.S. military stationed on defense sites near the Panama Canal, has been greatly lessened due to our timely and intensive 24 hour of Africanized bee control within the Panama Canal area. A critical component to our success though, was the complete
cooperation of our employees, the general public and Canal shipping customers in promptly reporting sightings and the prompt response time of our control teams in the safe and efficient destruction of every Africanized bee swarm and colony encountered.
D. CHRONOLOGICAL EVENTS
1. March 12, 1982: the Sanitation and Grounds Management Division proposes a basic action plan for the reporting and control of the Africanized bee in residential and industrial sites under the administration of the Panama Canal
2. March 19, 1982: Panama Canal Commission and the U.S. military establish specific procedures for the handling of the Africanized honeybee in the Panama Canal Area.
3. April 28, 1982: staff and operational units of the Sanitation and Grounds Management Division receive operational procedures and instructions on the handling of the Africanized bees.
4. May 5, 1982: PCC Division Supervisors, Office of Ombudsman, and U.S. military receive copies of our recommendations on the handling of Africanized
5. May 1982: "Citizen Awareness" information was released by local radios, television and respective agency newspaper, to alert the public of the imminent arrival of Africanized bees.
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6. May 25, 1982: our division field units receive internal written procedures for the destruction of Africanized bees in the Panama Canal Commission.
7. May 1982: Residents Advisory Committee Atlantic and Pacific receive first hand information on the imminent arrival of Africanized bees in the Canal Area.
8. June 10, 1982: the Panama Canal Commission appoints a representative to Panama's "National Committee for the Control and Handling of the Africanized Honeybee in Panama".
9. August 12, 1982: Standard Operational Procedures for the Panama Canal Commission were approved.
1. February 1982: Africanized bees were first reported by a beekeeper in a small town of Santa Fe, Province of Darien bordering Colombia. Santa Fe is located some 250 kms. from Panama City.
2. March 3, 1982: an Africanized honey bee swarm was destroyed in the Estadio Revolucion, Panama City.
3. March 25, 1982: Military control teams destroyed an Africanized honey bee swarm in Fort Davis.
4. April 24, 1982: PCC control teams destroyed an Africanized bee swarm in Coco Solo (former PCC town).
5. August 18, 1982: PCC control teams destroyed two swarms on a transiting
ship on the Pacific entrance of the Canal.
6. March 1983; a soldier was hospitalized for 11 days after suffering
approximately 600 stings during an attack by Africanized bees at Empire Range
while on military maneuvers.
E. TOTAL AFRICAN BEES HANDLED IN PANAMA AND THE PANAMA CANAL AREA
1. Panama Canal Area (PCC U.S. Military)
Period: March 1982 December 1985
Bee swarms/nests Total 19881
2. Republic of Panama (swarms)2
1982 1983 1984 1985
January 385 353 406
February 18 556 504 474
March 32 767 839 623
April 70 533 363 703
May 119 584 513 275
June 103 688 725 272
July 83 818 340 362
August 232 1,095 346 418
September 179 1,153 310 399
October 195 1,318 316 316
November 207 259 205 314
December 226 170 184 392
Total 1,464 8,326 4,998 4,983
1Entomology Laboratory, Sanitation and Grounds Management Division; Total transiting ships: 44 (does not include bees handling in PCC
2Ministry of Agriculture (MIDA)
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3. Panama City Bomberos (Fire Department) (swarms)3
January February March April May June July
August September October November December Total
45 49 81 96
52 206 376 119
104 149 223
449 333 170 92 83
1984 143 266 537 116 203 272 77
148 176 108 132 105 2,283
140 147 187 223 101 70 90
190 92 87 8o 1,518
From July 1982 through December 1985 a total of 157 firemen received
medical treatment due to multiple bee stings.
4. Bee hives and honey production in the Republic of Panama4 1983 1984
Bee hives (units) 21,680 13,969
Honey production (gallons) 172,440 55,876
Z Drop since the arrival of the African honeybee:
Bee hives: 35.5% Honey: 67.5%
3Cuerpo de Bomberos de Panama (Panama City Fire Department) 4Ministry of Agriculture (MIDA)
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I thank Dr. Melvin M. Boreham, for editorial input, and Mr. Timothy
Corrigan and Mr. Pedro Arenas, for their assistance in the preparation of this paper.
Ernesto Cordovez D., Assistant Chief Sanitation and Grounds Management Division January 1986
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PANAMA CANAL COMMISSION
I PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE SECiRRYOFTH WARMY 1
I BOARD OF DIRECTORS
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATION EXECUTIVE PLANNING PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATION GENERAL COUNSEL
PUBLIC AFFAIRS/INFORMATION INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS EQUAL OPPORTUNITY OMBUDSMAN GENERAL AUDITOR
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ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION BUREAU
LOCKS NAVIGATION BOARD OF LOCAL INSPECTORS
GENERAL SERVICES BUREAU
MOTOR TRANSPORTATION FIRE
CANAL PROTECTION COMMUNITY SERVICES SANITATION AND GROUNDS
The Sanitation and Grounds Management Division is responsible for environmental sanitation, insect and rodent control, sanitation and sanitary engineering the general care of grounds, landscape maintenance, operation of sanitary landfills, and the monitoring of refuse collection within the Commission housing and Canal operating areas.
GROUNDS MANAGEMENT BRANCH CHIEF. L. PEREZ
eM gees cimn eUm adipslciesa etlin copp r tin rait operaton, mos.itrn and
aupedd d rose cakcaie amd EchNdcal aiace ma maten ral agnemy.
SANITATION MANAGEMENT BRANCH CHIEF, D. LARACUENTE
Respnsble fr enwronmental sanilteies in th Ceulparatig ar s an emole heling areas including mosqe and dmiet control, ood saumniatmon, and moatmrg drimi ater quait.
MED. ENTOMOLOGIST, DR. M. M. BOREHAM
Repemhlef hesrvednceimsct oseldiseaesdtechnasldaeselaedipreeementelcalruaWmaneI plnt pls ad nMsects of pu healh imedam t
CHIEF, W. S. SWEENEY
ASST. CHIEF, E. COROVEZ D.
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
DAgZ March 12, 1982
ATTNOP, Chief, Grounds Management Branch
GUBzJr, Africanized Honey Bee Action Plan
T, General Services Director
Through: Director, Logistric Services
Chief, Sanitation and Grounds Management Division
Migratory swarms of the africanized honey bee were first sighted in Santa Fe,
Province of Darien, Republic of Panama in February 1982, and again on March 3, 1982,
in the Estadio Revolucion in Panama City.
The bEee is expected to be in Panama Canal Commission towns within weeks. Its
numbers cannot be estimated at this time but at the minimum rate of travel, 40 km
in a single trip, and their rapid proliferation, will no doubt result in having swarms
of bees in natural habitat of forests hollowt rees, holes in the ground) and cities
(discarded containers, caves of roofs). This problem is not expected to become
chronic at this time, nonetheless, the PCC authorities must recognize a potential
danger and should be prepared to deal effectively with it in order to protect the population.
1. The Sanitation and Grounds Management Division is the only PCC unit capable
of handling the removal or destruction of the africanized swarms which may be found in the PCC towns and adjacent forests since the division has the specialized personnel in
the professional field (agronomists,.entomologists) and a trained labor force (pest
controllers, tree maintenance workers, and gardeners) who deal with wasp nests routine-ly. In addition, this unit has special equipment such as forestry trucks with telescopic boom, foggers, sprayers, etc., that is essential to the proposed action plan.
2. Train employees at all levels, professional and worker employees in the management of the domesticated (italn) bee ( a more gentle type of bee). This will be accomplished by showing films, and providing training with bee hives that will be
furnished by apiarists in the City. The purpose of this training is to expose employees
to the routine handling of the domesticated bee, therefore, creating confidence and.
assurance. This will help when handling the more aggressive africanized bee. At the
same time, it will allow employees to know the physical characteristics of the italian
bee (queen, drones, workers) and will be able in the future to differentiate this bee
from the africanized bee.
3. All employees participating will have to take an allergy test to assure he is
not allergic to bee poisoth Those employees proven to be allergic will not participate nor will they deal with the africanized bee.
4. Training will be made to small groups at a time and an expert apiarist will
perform the training. (The undersigned will obtain the apiarist, bee hives, and will
participate in the training).
5. The Division will purchase adequate equipment such as Bee Veils, cotton gloves,
helmets,. Bee smokers, from either Sears Roebuck or the Walter T. Kelly & Company in the
OPTiONAL. PM0M NO. 10
UA PPMR (41 CPR) 101-11.4
* CPO 3 1964 0 421-52i (223)
SUBJECT; Africanized Honey Bee Action Plan
United States, and the coveralls in the Storehouse,
I am attaching Dr. David W. Roubik's report on the africanized bee for your information. As suggested, the PCC should educate the public through the news media.
The Health Bureau should identify and locate all residents allergic to bee
poisoning. Future identifications could be made through the Housing census or at the in-time of arrival. The data should be kept up-to-date and the residents' home dwelling list should be furnished to this Division so that immediate response be made whenever bee swarms are sighted near their homes.
Based on the aforementioned, I recommend that this Division's.Grounds Management Branch be the organization responsible to deal with.this imminent problem. If approved, a detailed action plan will be made to implement suggested plan.
(1) I am an apiarist, and as such, have.a video tape on the Apis mellifera (italian bee) in English and part of a tape on the africanized bee in Spanish.
Ernesto Cordovez D.
F. A. Cotton
General Services Director
Date: March 12, 1982
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
May 25, 1982 memorandum
A'NW, Chief, Grounds Management Branch
Through: Chief, GSAN
Gu8=51 Procedure for the destruction of Africanized bees
Tog All Units, GSAN
1. Trained employees from either Grounds or Sanitation Branches will
handle all Africanized swarms/colonies reported during working days. Bee
swarms will be destroyed the same day. Bee nests and colonies will be
destroyed only at night, except in special cases.
2. Trained employees from the Sanitation Branch will handle all
Africanized swarms/colonies reported during non-work days (Saturdays, Sundays,.
and holidays). In case of a swarm located in a highrise area, the Fire
Department will be notified (telephone #119 or dial 0) with a request for
necessary equipment to perform destruction.
3. Division supervisors in charge are:
a. Grounds Management Branch (Pacific) L. F. Perez (252-3319) (Atlantic) R. May (243-5253)
b. Sanitation Management Branch (Pacific) D. Laracuente (252-3243) (Atlantic) J. Corrigan (246-7279)
4. Each responsible supervisor will have a second in command to replace
him and supervise bee destruction in his absence.
5. When a bee call is received, the following action will take place:
a. The area will be inspected by a supervisor to determine whether it
is a bee swarm/colony or wasp nest.
b. The supervisor will prepare the "swat team" and equipment for
daylight control only in cases of swarms.
c. Residents srid/or office personnel will be warned by the supervisor
of the activity which will take place. In residential areas, a 200-meter (500 feet) perimeter warning area will be formed; in a public building, the entire
d. Residents/employees will be requested to remain inside their
residence/office and advised when the action has ended.
e. Warning signs will be posted, using as a guide the perimeter area
distances (paragraph 5c above).
f. The swat team will perform destruction of the swarm as soon as
@PrMAL PcoM NO. Io
G8A PPMR (41 CFR) M-101A
* GPO I 1S4 0 421-S26 (223)
May 25, 1982
Subject: Procedure for the destruction of Africanized bees
g. A minimum of 10-30 dead bees will be collected and forwarded with pertinent information reporting the action to the Entomology Laboratory, Coco Solo, for identification.
h. Supervisors will follow up and recheck the area in which the bees were destroyed. Supervisors will report destruction if warranted.
6. In case of a bee sighting reported after working hours, the same procedure will be followed with regard to warning signs, destruction procedures, specimen collection, etc.
7. The Division Entomologist, Dr. Melvin Boreham, (tel. # 252-7984) will be kept informed by district supervisors of all activities in relation to the destruction of Africanized bees or colonies. District supervisors should, at all times, consult him fdr professional advice in these activities.
E. Cordovez D.
GSAG, Northern District (Mr. May) GSAG, Southern District (Mr. Perez) GSAS, Northern District (Mr. Corrigan) GSAS, Southern District (Mr. Laracuente) Entomologist (Dr. Boreham) GSAN RF
BASIC : SOP on Africanized Bee from GSAN dated 8/11/82 SUBJECT : Proceedure for dealing with Africanized Bees in Commission
(3) General Services Director
Through: Chief, Sanitation and Grounds Management Division
1. Changes to the original SOP have been incorporated, and are reflected on page 2 of the SOP attachment.
2. I agree with the Director, Office of Health and Safety in his comments.
3. I would like to suggest though that the PIO advise residents by means of an article that if in doubt as to allergy on bee, wasp, hornest venom, he/she should consult a physician.
Ernesto Cordovez D. Chief, Grounds Mgmt. Branch Sanitation & Grounds Management Division August 12, 1982
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
DAM August 27, 1982 memorandum
Armer, Acting General Services Director
su-r, SOP for dealing with Africanized bees in Commission areas
Tos Heads of Bureaus, Divisions and Independent Units
The following SOP for handling Africanized bees within Panama Canal
Commission areas is forwarded for your information and dissemination as
The Africanized honeybee arrived in Panama in February 1982. To date,
cases of bee swarms have been reported and eradicated in.the Atlantic area
of the Panama Canal Commission. As the Africanized bee .reproduces and
migrates, it is expected that in the near future (summer of 1983) swarms and colonies will multiply to the extent that they will become a serious nuisance or hazard to residents and employees of the Canal operating and housing areas, and to crews of the floating support vessels and equipment
and vessels transiting the Canal.
These standard operating: procedures are designed to protect the health
and welfare of the human and animal population in the Panama Canal area,
the health and welfare of the personnel operating. transiting vessels, and
to slow down or prevent the fast spread of the bee if detected and not
controlled in vessels.
The procedures cover the concerted actions of all Panama Canal Commission units aimed at the control of the bee population within the
aforementioned areas with its concomitant protection of the health and welfare of the population. These actions include, but are not limited
to, the orientation of PCC employees and residents, training of specialized
control teams, establishment of the responsibilities of concerned units,
the establishment of a detection and reporting system, and'indications as
to initial and, when necessary, subsequent actions in case of bee stings.
For the purpose of these operating procedures, the following definitions
1. Africanized bee. Pure orhybridizedstrain of honeybee characterized by its indiscriminated aggressiveness towards humans and animals without
apparent provocation or when disturbed.
OPTIONAL PORM NO. to
(REV. 140) .
Q"A PMR (41 CPR) 10*1.A
* GPO 1984 0 421-526 (223)
August 27, 1982
Subject: SOP for dealing with Africanized bees in Commission areas
2. Protective equipment. Special headgear, footwear, gloves, and clothing designed for the handling of bees.
3. Eradication team. A group of personnel especially trained
in the use of equipment and pesticides necessary for the elimination of bee swarms and c.oloniesunder any condition known or unforeseen.
4. First aid. Initial measures taken to alleviated the pain and discomfort caused by a bee sting. Normally taken on site or at the closest first aid station according to the person's reaction to the. venom.
5. Medical treatment. Treatment given or authorized by a physician at the closest medical facility.
1. Sanitation and Grounds Management Division
a. Receives and responds to reports of bees by residents, employees, or units of PCC.
b. Trains specialized teams to eradicate bee swarms or colonies reported within the PCC areas.
c. Trains teams for other PCC units which consider that,"by virtue of their particular function, working hours, or working areas, they are justified.
d. Procures all the protective equipment necessary for GSAN specialized team. Passes on all necessary procurement information to other units when requested.
e.' Establishes,, pesticide(s) and formulations) to be used in eradication of bees. Passes on the information to other units when requested.
f. Makes final identification of the bee species at the
entomology laboratory, Coco Solo Hospital.
2. Office of Health and Safety
Determines the extent of treatment to be administered to an employee or victim of bee sting in distant, isolated work areas and the type of medication that will be part of the first aid kits -for such employees.
August 27, 1982
Subject: SOP for dealing with Africanized bees in Commission areas
1. Bee Swarms or Colonies in PCC Housing and Operating Areas
a. Supervisors of operational units (Electrical, Water and
Lab, Dredging, Industrial, Maintenance, Locks, Navigation Divisions) will be trained by the Sanitation and Grounds Management Division and the Office of Health and Safety bee control experts.
b. The training will consist mainly of protecting the employees when encountering Africanized .bee swarms or colonies in their daily operations.
c. When a bee swarm or bee colony is spotted, the employee should keep away from the area, and the employee's unit should call:
Grounds Management Branch (Pacific) .... 252-3319 or 790b (Atlantic) .... 246-5253 or 5259
Sanitation Management Branch (Pacific)... 252-3464 or 3243 (Atlantic)... 246-7279 or 7466
During working hours, 7'a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
After working hours and weekends and holidays, call:
Emergency Operatdr "0"
For the-purpose of reporting, all bee swarms or colonies should be considered as "Africanized" and reported. Determination as to control will be made by the eradication team supervisor. 'Under no circumstances should the employee molest or attempt to destroy the swarm or colony.
d. What to do if stung by a bee:
(1) Remove bee stinger by gently scraping with fingernail or a blade to prevent further venom injection form the attached venom sac.
(2) Apply ice pack to the wound.
(5) In an employee shows any kind of abnormal reaction to the sting (very itchy, very red, or large swelling) or if the individual has a history of allergic reaction to insect bites or any other allergy, he/she should be rushed to a hospital.
August 27, 1982
Subject: SOP for dealing with Africanized bees in Commission areas
e. If an employee/individual has ever had a reaction to a
bee sting he/she should consult a doctor, who can prescribe a kit with medications which will help to limit the reaction from a sting (venom) until medical assistance can be obtained.
f. When the eradication team arrives, the employee should follow the safety instructions issued by the team supervisor.
2. Swarms on Board Transient Vessels or Other Floating Support
Equipment (May be included in the Marine Bureau Vessel Emergency Reaction Plan if deemed convenient.)
a. PCC floating equipment captains and PCC pilots aboard transiting vessels should report to MTC when a bee swarm is found on a ship or other floating equipment.
b. The Marine Traffic Control should call one of the following units:
Grounds Management Branch (Pacific) .... 252-3319 or 7908 (Atlantic) .... 243-5253 or 5.259 Sanitation Management Branch (Pacific).. 252-3464 or 3243 (Atlantic).. 246-7279 or 7466
During non-work hours, weekends and holidays, call:
Emergency Operator "'0"
c. Shipboard callers should follow these instructions:
(1) Shall not attempt or allow others to attempt to handle the bees
(2) Estimate the size of the swarms in terms of gallon size, i.e., 1, 2, 3 gallons.
(3) Give the location of the swarms and advise if the shp has means to reach the swarm (such as ladders, scaffolding, etc.) or if additional equipment will be required to reach the swarms. d. After receiving a call from MTC,.the Sanitation and Grounds Management Division will:
(1) Prepare the eradication team and equipment.
(2) Transport the team and equipment to the area designated by MTC and back at the completion of the job. Transportation from shore to ship and back will be handled by the Navigation Division.
August 27, 1982 Subject: SOP for dealing with Africanized bees in Commission areas
(3) The team supervisor will issue safety instructions to personnel on board the ship before the start of
(4) After the eradication, the team will collect specimens and return to its regular duties.
M. P. Gordon
OFFICIAL T.':TOR FANAMA CANAL COlilSSON
September 14, 1982
Mr. Jose Sanjur National Committee for the Control and Handling of the Africanized Bee (CAA) Dear Mr. Sanjur:
Enclosed are two documents: "Local Cbmittees," and the second Handling of the Africanized Bee in
the first pertains to the formation of is a "Guideline for the Control and
the Republic of Parnama."
Please make any additions or changes that you or the members of the CAA may deem appropriate to effect in Panama the mechanisms necessary for guaranteeing public health and safety, (in response) to the problem created by the arrival and colonization of the Africanized Bee.
E. Cordovez D.
Chief, Grounds Management Branch Panama Canal Commission Member of the Qnmixttee for the Control and Eandling of the Africanized Bee in Panama
Local Committees for the Control and Handling of the Africanized Bee in the Republic of Panama
Inasmuch as the africanization of beehives in Panama by the African Ybney-Bee, Apis Melifera Adansonii, will continue colonization on a massive scale, the National Committee for the Control and Handling of the Africanized Bee (CAA), the highest Government organization for consultation on such matters, hereby nationally establishes a network of (local) city, community and handet organizations which will assist the (national committee) in its purpose:
The Local Community Committee in each city, community, or haraet shall consist of the following Government and private officials:
1. The mayor of the district, who shall be the Committee Chairman.*
2. The highest-ranking officer of the Guardia Nacional .*
3. The highest-ranking officer of the Fire Department.* (In those cormurdties where a Fire Department does not exist, this requirement is not applicable).
4. The highest-ranking official of the Ministry of Health.*
5. The highest-ranking official of the Ministry of Education.*
The mayor may appoint other organizations anr4/or private or civic entities to the Committee to aid in controlling and/or handling of the africanized bee at the community level.
Mechanism for the formation of C=mittees at local level:
1. The Chairman of the National Committee for the Control and Handling of the Africanized Bee shall request the creation of the committees by means of an official letter.
2. The district mayor shall be responsible for creating the committee and advising the National Cmnittee for the Cbntrol and Handling of the Africanized Bee, no later than one month after receipt of the letter of request, of the names of the members of the local committee. He shall also report any difficulties encountered in the creation of the committee.
*In the major cities, such as Panam&, Coln, Santiago, David, and others, the Ministers of State of these entities shall designate a representative.
GUIDELINE FOR THE CONTROL AND HANDLLW4 OF THE AFRICANIZED BEE IN 7HE
REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
A. General. The Africanized Bee arrived in the Republic of Panama in February 1982. In view of the spread of this insect, on (date) the Government of Panama, through Executive
Decree created the National Cmmnittee for the Omtrol and
Handling of the African ized Bee (CAA).
Mhe responsibilities of the CRA are: (include the Executive Decree)
B. Scp: This guideline covers the actions to be taken by the Local wmiattees for controlling and/or handling colonies or beehives in the towns of the Republic of Panama in order to guarantee public health, the welfare of the citizens, and safeguard the beekeeping industry in the Republic of Panama.
Such action includes, but is not limited to, orientation and
dissemination of information to the public in general, in both urban and rural areas, training specialized extermination and/or collection teams, establishment of a system for detecting and reporting beehives and/or colonies in the communities.
1. Africanized Bee: Pure species of the honey-bee, characterized by indiscriminate aggression towards huran beings and animals, with no parent cause*
2. Protection Equipment: Garments such as a face mask for protection, shoes, gloves and clothing used for the handling of bees.
3. Extermination Crew : A group of employees specially trained in the elimination of beehives and bee colonies, in any type of kr)wn or foreseen situation.
4. Collection Crews: Beekeepers or officials of MIA at the community level who may remove beeh.ives and/or bee colonies which can serve to increase the beekeeping industry inthe Republic of Panama.
5. First Aid: Immediate actions taken to lessen pain caused by bee stings. Generally sudh action is taken on site or at the nearest first aid station, taking into account the individual's reaction to bee poison.
6. Medical Treatment: Treatment given or authorized by a doctor.
7. Education and Dissemination: Actions to be taken by the CMA
together with the Ministry of Education to keep students informed about the national program.
1. Local Coirmittees:
(a) The local committees, chaired by the district mayor,*
shall be the entities for receiving and taking action on any reports of bees made by residents of the community. The mayor shall be responsible for informing the people of the office* and telephone* number for reporting complaints.
(b) The district mayor* shall have at his disposal an
extermination and/or collection crew duly trained by MIDA to perform bee exterminations and/or collections.
(c) After extermination or collection, 20 or 30 bees shall be collected and sent to the MIDA Laboratory at (address)
in (place and city) in order to determine the bee
(d) The MIDA laboratories shall send a copy of the laboratory
results to the CPA at (address) so that the Ch.A
may maintain records on the colonizing movement of the africanized bee in the Republic of Panama.
2. Ministry of Government and Justice
(a) Fire Department
(1) Trains, in conjunction with MIDA, the crews for extermination and/or collection of reported beehives or colonies.
(2) Trains, in conjunction with MIDA, other crews for
extermination and/or collection as necessary because of special circumstances (i.e., the Panama Fire Department may train (X) community
because it has no Fire Department and is isolated.
(3) Reports all cases of bee exterminations handled to the CAA.
(4) Shall have a budget with sufficient appropriations to procure equipment (clothing, gloves, face masks, fudgators, insecticides, etc.) to eradicate, control and handle beehives and colonies of the Adar-sonii within areas under their jurisdiction.
(b) Guazdia Nacional
- (1) Shall insure compliance with the directives isued by
(2) Shall control the movement of colonies by means of their
guard booths, and thus prevent beehives in areas colonized by the Adarnonii
*In communities which have a Fire Department, this organization will autoatically be the Office for C~plaints and Action.
from being transferred to areas free of the Adansonii. Movement of beehives shall be regulated by the MA.
(3) Any other action that may be necessary to guarantee safety for all citizens.
3. Ministry of Health
The Ministry shall ensure all hospital centers maintain medications for treating citizens who have been stung by bees, who are allergic to bee venomi, so that fatalities can be prevented.
4. Ministry of Education
The Ministry shall conduct an information dissemination campaign at all schools to teach students how to live with the Africanized bee in Panama.
5. Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock
(a) The Ministry shall train extermination and collection crews
for the eradication and/or collection of beehives or colonies at the national level.
(b) The Ministry shall indicate the type of equipment to be used by the extermination and/or collection crews.
(c) The Ministry shall determine the type of pesticide and the formulas to be used for bee eradication.
(d) The Ministry shall identify the species of exterminated bees.
(e) The Ministry shall report all cases of bee exterminations to the CAA.
1. Any individual who detects beehives or bee colonies shall take the following action:
(a) In cities with Fire Departments:
(I) Call the Safety Officer of the Fire Department.
(2) Indicate the location of the colony/beehive.
(b) The Fire Department:
(1) Shall call the extermination crew.
(2) After extermination, they shall collect from 20 to 30 dead bees and send them to (address) The samples
shall be placed in alcohol for preservation.
(3) The specimens will be forwarded with a letter containing the following information:
" Date of extermination/collection
. Place, city, and house number
. Names of the extermination/collection crew
" Method of extermination (insecticide used and % used)
e other method used (explain)
(c) Comunities that do not have a Fire Dpartment:
(1) Nbtify the mayor's office of the location of the beehive or
(2) The mayor shall take the required measure (either
extermination and/or collection).
(3) Will collect 20 or 30 dead bees and sent them to
(address) he specimens shall be placed in
alcohol for preservation.
(4) The specimens will be forwarded with a letter containing the following information:
* rate of extermination/collection
0 Place, city, and house number
. -Names of extermination/collection crew
. Method of extermination (insecticide used and % used) other method used (explain).
PANAMA CANAL COMMISSION
BAI aOA. Rapusuc Or PANAMA
November 15, 1982
CAUTION NOTICE TO ALL RESIDENTS OF PANAMA CANAL COMMISSION QUARTERS
Subject: Procedures for the reporting of Africanized bees in the Panama
The Africanized honeybee arrived in Panama from South America in February 1982. Numerous cases of swarms and colonies of this aggressive bee have been reported and safely eradicated in the Panama Canal area.
Any time a resident sights a group of bees, wasps, or nests, the following steps should be followed as soon as possible:
1. Keep away from the area and immediately call:
During working hours (7:00 a'm. to 3:30 p.m.):
Grounds Management Branch:
Pacific ................. 252-3319 or 7908
Atlantic ................. 243-5253 or 5259
Sanitation Management Branch:
Pacific ................. 252-3464 or 3243
Atlantic ................. 246-7279 or 7466
After working hours, weekends, and holidays:
Emergency Operator "0"
2. What to do if stung by a bee:
a. Remove the bee stinger by gently scraping it to prevent further venom injection from the attached venom sac.
b. Apply ice pack to the wound.
c. If the stung person shows any kind of abnormal reaction to the sting (very itchy, very red, or large swelling) or if the individual has a history
of allergic reactions to insect bites or any other allergy, he/she should be rushed to a hospital.
d. If an individual has ever had a reaction to a bee sting, he/she
should consult a doctor, who can prescribe a kit with medication which will help to limit the reaction from a sting (venom) unitl medical assistance can be obtained.
e. When the Sanitation Management Branch or Grounds Management Branch eradication team arrives, residents should follow the safety instructions issued by the team supervisor.
3. The Sanitation and Grounds Management Division requests that residents familiarize themselves with these instructions. If you have pets confined to the yard or on a leash or chain, remember to assist your pet to escape from any bee attack, if you can do so safely.
PANAMA CANIAL COMMISSION
SANITATION AND GROUNDS MANAGEMENT DIVISION PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT ISSUED TO AFRICANIZED BEE CONTROL TEAMS
1. One (1) set of regular clothing with long sleve shirt.
2. One (1) coverall(green type over regular clothing).
3. One (1) Beesuit (white coverall over green coverall).
4. One (1) pair of leggins (around end of pants cuff, bee suit).
5. One (1) pair of rubber boots.
6. One (1) pair of leggins straps ( around end of sleeves).
7. One (1) respirator (to minimize inhalation of pesticide used).
8. One (1) pair of goggles (for eye protection).
9. One (1) sweat band
10. One (1) helmet
11. One (1) veil (over helmet, to protect face and neck). 12. One (1) pair of gloves (to be washed once application is made).
(beekeepers glove to protect hands and arms against stings)
If necessary, a pair of rubber gloves over bee gloves.
Masking tape handy to insure complete covering of veil over neck area and shoulders, or other exposed area of clothing. WARNING: Make sure to leave no openings on protective wear for entrance of
bees to sting any part of the body.
Items 2 through 12 will be provided by the Panama Canal Commission.
PANAMA CANAL COMMISSION
SANITATION AND GROUNDS MANAGEMENT DIVISION ENTOMOLOGY UNIT
HONEY BEE LABORATORY IDENTIFICATION
0] SANITATION BRANCH
0] GROUNDS MANAGEMENT BRANCH
REMARKS: ...................................................... ........................................................................ .............................. ....... ..........................................
LAB MEASUREMENT AND ANALYSIS
OCULAR MICROMETER READINGS LABORATORY IDENTIFICATION
OCULAR DIVISIONS OCULAR MICROMETER CALIBRATION DATA
Average: Divs. Average:_ Divs.
Div. Avg. (x) 1.0mm mm (x) 0.25mm mm
Div. Avg. (x)-.mm mm (x) mm
COMPARATIVE MORPHOMETRIC AVERAGES
Wing Length Mean Wax Mirror Width Mean
EUROPEAN STRAIN EUROPEAN STRAIN
9.12 mm 2.36 mm
AFRICANIZED STRAIN AFRICANIZ STRAIN
8.65 mm 2.17 mm
DISPOSITION OF SAMPLE
(Place an -x" in proper block) YES NO
Sample preserved in alcohol_._0..._.- 0
Dissection slides retained .... ................. .
Sample of bees sent to S.T.R.I ................ ... ..........
BEES DISSECTED BY:
L~~~iLG~ ...... . .. ..... .. ...........................
Analysis of measurements and other characteristics indicate that the bees are:
(FI Hybrid) Chief. Emomology Unit
O EUROPEAN Date .......................................
OTHER LABORATORY OBSERVATIONS: Queen found..._ Drones present...........
Workers with: Wax................ .... ....
Ae i I .. . . . . . . . .
Bees controlled by:
Wing Length Wax Mirror Width
LEITZ DISSECTION SCOPE
IX Objective and 12.5X Ocular
I division = 1.0 mm
4X Objective and 12.5X Ocular
I division = 0.25 mm
Make .................. Model ...................
............ X Objective and........ X Ocular
I division = .....mm
........X Objective and ....... X Ocular
I division = ----.mm
Distribution of copies: 13 Chief. Grounds Mgt. Br.
Sanitation Branch 0] North ED South
Grounds Mgt. Br. 0] North  South
Panama Canal Pa.an.u Ca.nal Co 800 1
African Bee Control
.issio / U.. Army / Air Forcc
- 1985 Dr. Boreham
1 u PCC Entomology Unit
a 200 In
Panama African Bee Control Ministry of Agriculture
1982 1983 1984 1985
Combined Annual Data 1982 1985
Fire Department (Bomberos) Panama City
Combined Annutal Data 8
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1 122 09111111 151111111
3 1262 09198 1513