Friday, June 24, 2011

Swarm of bees found, possibly Africanized breed, State of Georgia - 23rd June 2011

Since last year southwest Georgian’s have become aware of the Africanized honey bee and how deadly it can be.

On Thursday, officials said they found a swarm of bees that could in fact be the hostile breed.

They said they found the bees huddled together on a curb at the corner of Madison and Flint Avenue.

“I was surprised to see that over there. You know they weren't even on a tree,” said Rosa Clinton.

Rosa Clinton said she watched as authorities examined the bees and took them away. She said they told her son the bees were harmless, but one of the officials who confiscated the insects said their behavior is similar to the Africanized honey bee.

“They’ll start a colony just about anywhere. It can be from a water meter box, to a flower pot that's turned upside down in the yard, to a bar-b-que gill,” said Lee County Assistant Fire Chief Paul Branch.

By looking at an Africanized honey bee and a European honey bee one wouldn't be able to tell there is a difference. Officials said their stings are pretty much the same but it's their temperament that makes a difference.

“The Africanized honey bee is known to go up to a quarter of a mile and they would attack in greater numbers than the European honey bee," said Paul Branch.

Paul Branch said it's the number of stings that makes the Africanized breed more deadly than their European relatives.

Although the bees are gone, folks in the neighborhood where they were found said they’re still concerned.

“All these trees and stuff around here and we've had problems with bees before,” said Rosa Clinton.

The bees will now be shipped off to Florida for testing to see if they are indeed Africanized honey bees.

Officials said if you come across a colony of bees, do not try and remove them. They said it's best to contact a local bee keeper for removal. Source