Honeybee Killer

December 15, 2010 by staff 

Honeybee Killer, It may possibly be a matter of time before the Africanized bees – killer bees are called – reaching Athens and northern Georgia, according to University of Georgia bee researcher Keith Delaplane. Bees feared that their first appearance in Georgia in October, killing 73 Curtis Davis of Albany, as he was driving a bulldozer that has disturbed their nest.

“The incident in Albany could almost be drawn from a textbook. On several occasions over the years, the problem was someone on a tractor ride a backhoe (which runs on or dig up the bees’nest), “Delaplane said.

Bees can be fatal, but they do not go looking for problems.

“If you see a bee on a flower, you do not need to run,” he said.

When their nest is disturbed, however, Africanized bees react with fury breathtaking in orbit in an area that can be as large as one block and attack by thousands.

“They have a hair-trigger. In urban areas, it can be quite terrifying,” he said. “With bees, only a few dozen are attacking, but with Africanized bees, you really 10,000.

“The scale of the attack is like nothing we’ve ever known, it becomes life threatening because of the magnitude of the attack.”

There is no way to predict when the bees could arrive in the Athens area, “said Delaplane.

“When Africanized bees arrived in Florida in 2005, I expected them to be here (in Georgia) during the night,” he said.

A beekeeper in Brazil accidentally triggered the nasty bees on the world in 1957, he bred a bee more aggressive Tanzania affable European bees to try to get a strain that was better adapted to tropical regions.

Over the years, the Africanized bees have spread south and north, arriving in Texas in 1990. They have since spread throughout most of the United States and into southern Nevada, Arizona and much of California.

But they do not like the cold, and some beekeepers are hoping that their advance northward stop somewhere around Macon, said Dale Richter, a master beekeeper in Albany.

Emergency officials called the Richter kill the bees literally covered in a blanket Davis tingling.

Richter and state agricultural officials believed that the colony could have hitchhiked on a truck or other vehicle and landed in Albany.

“At this stage, we still suspect it is only an isolated case,” said Richter. ‘We believe that these may be stored on something “.

Georgia beekeepers had expected Africanized bees first look around Valdosta, Georgia, further east, because the closest Florida called Africanized bee colonies are located just south of this region, he said.

The state Department of Agriculture has launched a comprehensive program of sampling to determine whether Africanized bees are nowhere else in South Georgia, but so far have not found, “said Richter.

But Richter, as Delaplane, thinks it’s only a matter of time before starting to walk through Georgia.

Delaplane offered some advice for anyone who encounters a crowd of angry Africanized bees: Run.

People generally do not stay in place instead and throw their arms around, crash, he said.

“Everything is just cool weather. You must continue to operate because they will follow you a long time,” he said.

Any person prosecuted by the bees must get inside and stay there, “he said.

Often, people flee in a car, but then jump when some of the bees inside track – should be attacked by many, many more outside the vehicle, he said.

Some local governments have banned beekeeping as a strategy to keep the Africanized bees – but it’s like giving the killer bees a key to the city, “said Delaplane.

The prohibition of other bees simply removes the competition for Africanized bees, “he said.

“This is the dumbest thing you could do, but governments do it again and again,” said Delaplane.

Africanized bees have a good side, he said.

Beekeepers have learned to work with hives of Africanized bees that produce honey and pollinate crops, like their European cousins.

And Africanized bees appear to be more resistant to certain diseases that afflict commercial hives, as the syndrome of colony collapse, “he said.

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