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killer bee ready to attack

Swarm | When Killer Bees Attack

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

Killer bees came from Africa to Brazil
Scientists brought the bees to Brazil, but the escaped to wreak carnage in the Americas since the 1950s

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

Killer bees don’t care if you’re a man, woman, child or dog. All threats must be killed!

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.

Bee Territories

Killer bees made it into Texas in 1990. They've now moved into a dozen states.
As the USA warms, killer bees move farther north (cite: “Africanized Honey Bees” by ProPacificBee)

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

Killer bees swarming on their hive
Africanized bees huddle on their hive

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 have overtaken the desert in the US
Killer bees have taken over the desert southwest, and now inch their way into the Great Plains

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.

Resources

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2 Comments

  1. Lordy, bee nightmares! My heart is racing just reading that!

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