Skip to comments.Prized honeybees, unmasked as killers, go on the lam
Posted on 05/18/2008 7:08:51 PM PDT by Reeses
For a bee, there can be a fine line between salvation and oblivion.
A week ago, Sarasota County officials were poised to relocate a 5-foot-tall beehive in hopes of saving a colony of European honeybees.
This subspecies of bees is under a lot of stress these days from disease and a mysterious tendency to suddenly abandon their hives. Since they are responsible for pollinating 75 percent of Florida's crops, the desire to save honeybees is not only humane, but economic.
But those plans changed suddenly last Friday when state and University of Florida officials told the county it had the wrong continent. These were not European bees, they were Africanized honeybees.
The rescue mission was abruptly turned into an extermination Tuesday morning on Fox Lea Drive, a dusty county road outside Venice.
Nearly 80 percent of South Florida's wild honeybees are of the aggressive Africanized variety, and the state agriculture department recommends destroying them, and their beehives.
It was an understandable mistake on the county's part, since it takes lab work or a close encounter to tell the difference between relatively docile European bees and their ultra-aggressive relatives of African stock.
Africanized bees are also known as killer bees for their tendency to sting in swarms and hunt down those who irritate them.
In all, there have been 18 Americans killed by Africanized honeybees since they first spread to this country in 1990, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture.
The first Florida fatality was three weeks ago, when an Okeechobee man was stung by more than 100 of the four-winged insects.
This strain originated in the 1950s when Brazilian scientists bred African bees with European bees in hopes of creating a bee that produced more honey. The Africanized bees spread throughout South America, and are now found across the Southern United States.
The Venice hive was discovered several weeks ago and drew complaints from nearby Fox Lea Farms, where owners were concerned children would be stung, or perhaps a swarm would drive a horse being ridden by a child into a panic.
After Tuesday morning's extermination, though, it was clear that the beehive had been largely evacuated.
Hundreds of bees dropped from the hive after it was sprayed with pesticide, but it was not the 40,000 or so such a hive can house. Perhaps the bees had swarmed elsewhere to reproduce and build, said Fred Santana, the county's entomologist.
Or, like their better-liked counterparts, the European honeybee, the Africanized bees could have been destroyed by disease or by what has become known as colony collapse disorder, identified in recent years as a reason bees abandon their colonies.
Santana collected samples and said it would take about two weeks to confirm to which subspecies the bees belonged.
They are almost certainly killer bees, Santana said.
"It looks like this nest was dying," he added. "The old queen took off with the rest of the hive."
But to where?
Obama is an Africanized-European presidential candidate certain to aggressively attack your paycheck.
Racism, pure and simple!
There has got to be a Hillary joke in there!!:-)
wasn’t there a movie about that too?
A beehive teems with bees believed to be Africanized honey bees about 30 feet above Fox Lea Drive in Venice Tuesday, April 29, 2008. The hive was originally thought to host a colony of European bees, but local entomologist Fred Santana thinks the bees are Africanized because of the type and location of the hive.
I was thinking that there must be a Barney Franks joke in all this.
Obama should agree to meet with the bees, without any preconditions.
The first place I’d look it the Beeline Expressway.
“A beehive teems with bees believed to be Africanized honey bees about 30 feet above Fox Lea Drive in Venice Tuesday, April 29, 2008. The hive was originally thought to host a colony of European bees, but local entomologist Fred Santana thinks the bees are Africanized because of the hive’s loud music and the hip-hop clothing worn by the bees. “
Obama is an Africanized-Islamic, pro-terrorist, certain to empower those that will gladly take your head off.
I need some of these to do my bidding.
And the fact that President Bush might at some point vaguely refer to someone who would do that, will be called an unprecented political attack that is bulls**t and beneath the dignity of the office of the Presidency, and that President Bush has made America less safe to the threat of Africanized honeybees.
Man, do leftists suck...
Truthfully, why exterminate “killer” bees? Because they have killed 11 people since 1990?
ORDINARY bees kill between 50-100 Americans EVERY YEAR because a lot of people are allergic to bee stings.
On the plus side, “killer” bees might be more resistant to some of the diseases infesting ordinary bees.
And perhaps the most important thing: killer bee honey tastes really good!
Here's a photo:
To Bee, or not to Bee...that is the question! LOL...Afrobees!
“The first Florida fatality was three weeks ago, when an Okeechobee man was stung by more than 100 of the four-winged insects.”
This nimrod knew there was a hive of bees in a trailer he was dismantling. Hard to believe he could be so stupid as to bang, hammer and make noise so near to a hive.
Africanized bee venom is no more powerful than a domestic bee’s venom; however, Africanized bees swarm in much greater numbers in an effort to protect their queen. Anecdotally, theoretically, one can outrun domestic bees but not the Africanized bees. Reportedly, they will fly longer, farther and in greater numbers to attack what they perceive to be danger to their queen and hive. Nasty critters these girls are.
Somebody must've tipped them off...
They needed to call in a “SWAT” team.
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