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Killer Bees are here

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Paul Richardson
Paul Richardson
Paul Richardson

The deadly and dreaded Africanized honey bees, known colloquially as “killer bees”, are a hybrid of the Western honey bee species produced originally by cross-breeding of the African honey bee with various European honey bees to produce a hybrid strand.

The African honey bee was first introduced to Brazil in the 1950s in an effort to increase honey production. But in 1957, (26) swarms accidentally escaped quarantine and, since then, have spread throughout South and Central America and arrived in North America in 1985 at an oil field in the San Joaquin Valley of California.

A swarm of tens of thousands of Africanized “killer” bees went on a rampage in a California neighborhood attacking firefighters and onlookers, including a 71-year-old woman who was stung more than 1,000 times.

The incident unfurled in a gated community in Palm Desert, Calif., after a Technician came to check on a subterranean cable box at a home in the neighborhood.

A construction worker died after being swarmed by bees that emerged from an underground hive in Riverside, CA, in June.

Two other workers were injured.

The fire department said workers were grading the property for a parking lot and may have hit an underground sprinkler vault that housed a bee hive.

And many other attacks have occurred across the county, from California to South Carolina and Florida, especially in the last three years. As far north as Minnesota, a man die in 205 from an allergic reaction.

June 2, 2105 a Texas man was and killed by a huge swarm of Africanized killer bees after he suffered more than 3,000 stings.

The bees were so fearsome that the ambulance crew that first arrived could not help him.

One mad bee is bad enough. What about thousands?

A man in Arizona died after being stung more than an estimated 100 times.

An exterminator said the hive had about 800,000 bees.

Two park rangers in Tampa , Fla. Last summer were hospitalized after unwittingly disturbing a hive of what appear to be “killer” bees.

Tennessee agricultural officials say a colony of Africanized bees have been found in East Tennessee, the first in the state.

Contrary to public opinion, Africanized bees are not giant bees with deadly stings. Their venom is the same as that of a regular honey bee, but since they attack in far greater numbers, the number of deaths are much greater than from native honey bees. But for those allergic to stings, only one is enough.

Although no confirmed killer colonies have been reported in Alabama, there is no doubt they are here. How else did they get from California to Texas, to Florida and Tennessee?