Killer bees ain’t your grandpa’s honey-making, fuzzy, Blind Melon singin’ bees. These bees are pissed. Get more after the jump.
Africanized Bee Origin
In 1956, Brazilian scientists brought over African honey bees to see if they could develop a strain for the Amazonian region. After all, bees help pollenate plants and crops.
But, the experiments didn’t go according to plan.
The African bees definitely mated with the local honey bees and the kids took the best parts from each type. However, the offspring also took on their African ancestors’ ornery and aggressive demeanor. And those bees are the killers we know today.
Killer Bee Description
To everyday Joes, you can’t tell the difference between the cute, cuddly honey bees and the killer kind. Only an expert can tell for sure. That is until you piss them off.
Killer bees are ornery. They will respond to vibrations, loud sounds, people walking too close to their hive, and many other everyday occurrences. In this case, responding means stinging anything they see. When I say stinging, I mean the whole hive comes out to get whatever pissed it off.
And they don’t stop.
Killer bees will fly a quarter-mile from their hive to attack whatever provoked them. Your standard honey bees might fly 300 feet to chase something away. Honey bees also won’t send the entire hive after the perpetrator, either. And killers bees … well, they’ll keep it up for 24 hours, day or night.
Killer bees found their way out of a Brazilian science experiment back in the 1950s. Since then, they’ve moved 100 miles north every year.
In 1990, the first colony made it to Texas. These bees finally killed someone in 1993. They stung a poor guy 40 times. The continued to sting after he died, too. Like I said, these are ornery honey bees.
Now, killer bees are all over the sun-baked deserts in New Mexico, Arizona, California, Utah, Nevada, and Colorado. They’ve also moved into the hot, humid parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Even Florida has colonies by Miami.
Apparently, anything north of there is too cold for them. Give it time. They may adapt to tundra conditions. These buggers evolve fast.
Food Sources For Killer Bees
Much like honey bees, they like nectar and flowering plants. They’ll go around drinking from the blooms and head back home to feed the Queen and her kids. Just like your normal bees. I wonder what the super bloom in California and Nevada will do for their numbers this summer (rhetorical question posed to myself).
I’d like to say they want to eat small rodents and other vermin. But, alas, that’s not the case. Give it time, though. They’re in Nevada with all the toxic dumps. We might get a “Them!” moment any day now.
Killer Bees Today
Killer bees continue to spread around the US. They like to mingle with the local honey bees, mate, raise a family, … I digress. These bees have entered into our ecosystem. Their African genes are stronger than the standard honey bee. That means honey bees are getting fiercer, angrier and deadlier.
If you live in the northern US or Canada, it’s going to take about 20 years for them to start colonizing your neck of the woods. It really depends on how warm the weather gets. After all, these bees aren’t ones for snowball fights.