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Workshop held to prepare locals for Africanized bees
Difference in European (regular) honey bees and the Africanized version:
-- Response to disturbance: European bees may send out 10-20 guard bees in response to a disturbance within about 20 feet of the hive. Africanized bees may send several hundred guard bees in response to disturbances up to 120 feet.
-- After agitation: European bees will calm between one and two hours after agitation. Africanized bees may remain defensive for days.
-- Stinging: A disturbed European colony may result in 10-20 stings. An Africanized disturbed colony may result in 100 to 1,000 stings.
Source: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences Extension
The Africanized honey bee, or “killer bee,†is on its way to Alabama. No one knows when, but a group is hoping to educate first responders before it is too late.
“It is imminent for us. We need to be prepared,†said Dennis Barclift, state apiarist for the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

Barclift and others held a workshop Thursday in Dothan designed to inform 911 operators and emergency personnel about the proper way to handle sting and swarm incidents.

“My worst fear is that one day for somebody to call me in Alabama and say their 2-year-old took 200 stings. I don't want that to happen,†Barclift said.
The Africanized honey bee has been in the United States since 1990. It looks just like a typical honey bee (known as a European honey bee), but the Africanized version is extremely aggressive. They are more easily provoked, quicker to swarm, attack in greater numbers, and pursue their victims for greater distances.
Barclift said that while there are no known instances of Africanized honey bees in Alabama in any significant number, they are spreading quickly in Florida and moving north. In 2011, the bees had spread as far north as Orange County, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Research Service.
David Westervelt, state apiarist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said more than 500 semi truck loads of bees come out of Florida each year, usually along Interstate 10 headed West. The trucks are capable of carrying anywhere from 100 to 480 hives each. One overturned truck could introduce millions of bees to the area. Or, they could simply migrate north slowly.
Meanwhile, Africanized honey bees caused the death of a Georgia man earlier this year in Dougherty County when he disturbed a hive while bulldozing an old home. Deaths have also been attributed to the bees in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
“It is not a scare tactic,†Westervelt said. “It is just important to know how to deal with them.â€
Those in attendance were shown appropriate gear to wear when dealing with the bees, how to treat victims with multiple stings, how to treat those who are allergic to bee stings and who to call to deal with either extermination or salvage of a hive.
Barclift said any members of the public who may one day encounter the bees should try to get away from the area as quickly as possible.
“You do not know the aggressive nature of this bee until you deal with it,†Barclift said.
The workshop was a joint effort of the Wiregrass Beekeepers, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, Alabama Cooeprative Extension System, Dothan/Houston County EMA, local 4H, Flowers Hospital and local Department of Public Health.

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well they are hot. One of my hives is contaminated by african drones - the one I brought over from the neighbors instead of killing the queen when I split and requeened his. His wife was NOT appreciative of this hive, and I can see a definite difference. Takes a couple of generations of queens to get toasty.. However living bees are a plus, and they fought off and came back from the EFB MUCH better than my milder tempered bees
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