Where did Killer bees go?

Somebody may remember the skit on SNL with Belushi. Nut where did the real killer bees go?
I realize there are bees and bumble bees.And I’ve heard one has a big problem with parasites now. Give us your bee news.

But where did killer bees go?..


Africanized Bees, including Bibliography link containing 900+ references in scientific papers, etc.

The bees moved fairly quickly across northern South America. Then zoomed up through Central America into the southwest. Presently, they are in a 1964 VW Microbus caught in traffic on Santa Monica Boulevard.

I think cecil covered this. Anyway, they are hre in California already.

The “killer bees,” or African honey bees, have not disappeared. They’re very real and they ARE in the United States. Here in Texas, there are several incidents each year of people being attacked by swarms of these bees.

So, why haven’t you heard much about them in the media lately? Twenty years ago, they were CONSTANTLY in the headlines, and lead stories on the TV news. Why don’t the media care about this story any more?

Because… these bees turned out to be less of a lethal menace than the hype would have led you to believe. I don’t mean to make light of how dangerous these bees can be- but experience has shown that horror movies like “The Swarm” were… a tad exaggerated! In real life, these bees don’t fly out in search of people to attack. In general, they just want to be left alone to collect pollen, same as regular honeybees. And researchers at TExas A & M haven’t found them to be significantly more venomous than regular honeybees. Rather, what makes them deadly is that they attack in swarms, and don’t calm down as quickly as native AMerican honeybees.

In other words, the African bees are no more LIKELY to attack than other bees, and their stings are no more venomous… but if they DO attack, you’re likely to get dozens of stings, rather than one or two.

Dangerous yes, but not a major threat to human existence.

funneefarmer:good link.especially the picture with the caption:
The sting detaches from the bee and remains in the flesh of the person stung, where it continues to pump in venom and attracts more bees to sting.

The africanized honey bees (which were an experiment gone bad) go nuts over the scent of the CO^2 in our breath. When Africanus stings and tears its little butt apart, there is a scent in the stinger (it smells like bannana to us) that acts as a big red flag to the rest of the swarm “Attack this SOB!!!”

There was an interesting special on the attempts to control the migration north. Scientists figured that if they could get standard honey bee queens in the hives, they would breed out the africanized traits. Unfortunately, the africanized baby queen emerges about one day earlier than the standard honey bee baby. The hive only has room for one queen, so the SOP is to eat the remaining baby queens.

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Also noted at the site linked by funneefarmer is the apparent slowdown in the bees’ migration. They appeared in Ft. Bend Co., Texas in 1993 (I think). That’s the county directly southwest of Harris, where I am. I haven’t heard of them in town, yet.

I believe I recall hearing on the news within the last couple of months that an elderly gentleman here in Southern California was killed by Africanized bees.


I was recently living in Arizona, southeast of Tucson where the “killer bee” threat is very real. My job involved a lot of outdoor work, and one piece of required eqipment was a bee hood.

Every summer there would be several news stories about some person or animal swarmed by bees. One poor fellow was in his lawn chair when a bee was bothering him. He sprayed it with bug spray, but instead of dying, it went next door to an abandoned shed to recruit the swarm.

The man got inside, but his dog was completely covered and killed by the swarming bees. The man said he couldn’t see any portion of his dog, only bees.

Ah, yes, but can they be *trained * ?

But I thought African Honey Bees were non-migratory, so they couldn’t bring cocoanuts back anyway…


I can think of no more stirring symbol of man’s humanity to man than a fire engine - Kurt Vonnegut

And in other Bee News…

  • The year before last, most of the country had an exceptionally cold winter which didn’t have the same warm spells that bees usually use to fly out of the hive, “cleanse” themselves and return home. The result of which was that many hibernating bees died of intestinal blockage due to backed up bee poop.

  • The past winter, in reverse, was warm enough that many insects and parasites did not die in the same numbers they should have. As a result, more bees were infested with parasites than usual and the parasites travelled from bee to bee in the crowded hives instead of dying like they should of.

  • Bees are extremely sensitive to insecticides and many sprayings of malathion, diazinion and the like kill off bees that travel to the flowers of sprayed shrubs.

  • A lot of people kill bees because they don’t know the difference between a honey bee, a bumble bee and a wasp/hornet/yellow jacket. Despite the fact that honey bees and bumble bees are close to harmless, that doesn’t calm the soccer mom who finds a hive in the begonias.

So — American honey bees are rapidly losing terrain and numbers. This allows Africianized honey bees to spread quicker than usual. Even if they don’t spread, the American ones are in trouble and that means fruit and crop production is in trouble as well. Poor little guys.

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

There’s a parasite that’s killing off the regular honey bees. The parasite does not harm asian(or was it Russian)bees, so maybe we need to throw in some of those into the mix and see what we get.