News recently broke about a Pflugerville, Texas man that is in stable condition after being stung more than 300 times by a colony of Africanized Bees. The 40-year-old warehouse worker was trying to move a cabinet when he disturbed a massive colony containing some 125,000 bees.
It is unknown how the man escaped the aggressive bees, but he was immediately taken to a local hospital after the attack and is expected to make a full recovery. Three other people were also stung, but were not seriously injured.
A beekeeper removed the 125,000 bees along with 120 pounds of honeycomb.
Africanized “Killer” Honeybees
Africanized honeybees, also know as “killer bees,” are a hybrid of honeybees from Europe and southern Africa. In 1957, the hybrid bee was accidentally released in Brazil by a beekeeper. European and Africanized honeybees can only be distinguished by molecular analysis.
Small swarms of Africanized bees are capable of taking over honey bee hives by invading the hive and establishing their own queen after killing the honeybee’s queen.
These Africanized bees are ten times more likely to initiate an attack or sting then a common European Honeybee. What makes Africanized honeybees more dangerous is that they are more easily provoked, quick to swarm, attack in greater numbers, and pursue their victims for greater distances.
For a few facts on these Africanized bees, and the distances they are willing to travel during and attack, see an illustration at:
On the Move
Africanized honeybees are moving north at a rate of 100-300 miles per year. They are now common in most of the state of Texas, including the cities of Austin and San Antonio.
If you are experiencing a problem with bees of any kind, contact your local pest control company. Due to the ways bees carry pollen, dust pesticides are an effective way to quickly eliminate a bee problem.