Aggressive Africanized honeybees are in Florida – spurring the state’s Department of Agriculture to launch a public awareness campaign—initially aimed at beekeepers, first responders, and pest exterminators. Africanized bee colonies are becoming more common in the sunshine state…sometimes taking over European Honey Bee hives. They’re extremely defensive of their hives - and surrounding territory. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman - Denise Feiber says Floridians should be aware.
“I think people have learned to accept the fact that regular honey bees were not to be feared like yellow jackets or other types of wasps, but now that we’re seeing more Africanized honey bees coming in that’s going to have to change people’s behavior around them.”
The Africanized honey bee has been known to chase perceived threats for up to a quarter of a mile. Experts advise people to run in a zig-zag pattern to avoid them. The Africanized bees swarm up to sixteen times a year…that’s when they leave their hives to reproduce. European honeybees swarm only once or twice a year. The Africanized variety can also deliver multiple stings, while their European counterparts only one.
Thursday, 21 July 2005 01:00