These towns aren't far from where I am and it's not quite how I remember it but I found the need to make corrections to my previous post. my apologies.Africanized Honey Bee FactsThe Classroom (by Jerry Hayes) Department of the American Bee Journal Corning, CA - Bee Swarm Kills 400-Pound Llama
A swarm of bees attacked and killed a 400-pound llama standing in a pasture Tuesday, Tehama County officials said.
The attack was unusual but not unheard-of, according to Agricultural Commissioner Mark Black.
The llama's owner found the animal under attack Tuesday afternoon and called the County Agriculture Department and a veterinarian for help. The bees stung the vet several times as he tried to spray the bees to get them off the llama, according to neighbors at the scene.
Black said there are several reasons why bees may become aggressive, including death of the queen bee, lack of food, or the effect of certain pollens.
Tehama County Apiary Inspector David Stoffel investigated the scene and determined that the bees were ordinary honey bees, and not the more aggressive African killer bees.
The owner of the bees, Chico resident xxxxxxx xxxxx, had been informed several times over the past two weeks that his bees were becoming aggressive. (AP, 5/8/03.)
Red Bluff, CA - BEEKEEPERS DEFEND AGAINST AFRICANIZED BEES
When the Africanized bees were imported into Brazil, then escaped south to Venezuela, gentle queens were shipped to Venezuela to help fight the aggressiveness of the African bees.
"Beekeepers are the best defense against the Africanized bees," said Pat Heitkam, president of the American Beekeeping Federation.
A recent incident occurred in Corning where a swarm of honey bees killed a 400-pound llama. Tests by the Department of Agriculture proved negative for any Africanization.
"We just don't know," Heitkam said. "There could be other extenuating circumstances that we don't know about that could have caused this, but we just don't know."
In San Diego, beekeepers put out trap hives to catch the Africanized bees that like to swarm. Once they are caught, the bees are killed
"Managed hives are the primary defense against Africanized bees," Heitkam said.
Whenever there is any sign of a hive becoming aggressive, the queen is changed. She is changed every year, but more often if needed. Beekeepers are selling more queens to Southern California because of their gentle, controlled breeding.
"We know how important it is to not have aggressive bees," Heitkam said. "Aggressiveness has never been a problem for us because of the controlled breeding we do."
Beekeeping is a profession. "We are motivated to have gentle, healthy bees," Heitkam added. "I paid $500 for just one queen from Ohio State University. That shows how serious we are at working this industry. The whole business depends on raising queens that are gentle and productive." (Cheryl Brinkley, Rd Bluff Daily News, 5/22/03.) source
As I understand it, The AHB doesn't forage much different then other honey bees. Unless I knew of or found a hive that has the aggressive nature in the numbers defending their home, it would be hard to tell the difference. As mentioned, the euorpean and africanized are very close in size and color.
I had the European honey bee, they are a gentle bee in my eyes. Yet, some european honey bees made headlines on the news by attacking a Lama and killing it. The rancher where the out yard was located said he tried contacting the bee keeper for 2 weeks prior to the attack. There were signs that something was going on with the hive. They were going after animals but not killing them. Nothing was going on with the hives around it. To me, any honey bee can be aggressive just not like the AHB.
Seems we all should be alert and aware of the possibility but I would ask myself if there might be some paranoia creeping in?