Monday, April 03, 2006

Bee Line

According to this report from the Naples Daily News, it's time for Florida to face facts: The Africanized honeybee (Apis mellifera scutellata) is there to stay. Though also known as the "Killer Bee," it has not lived up to the initial hysteria that led to that name - after more than a decade in Florida, the insect still has not caused much trouble. However, experts are warning Floridians to be cautious around all bees, since the Africanized bees are aggressive, and the only reliable way to tell the difference between those and the calmer European honeybees (Apis mellifera) is by DNA testing. The article provides many details about the origin of the bees and their history, and even provides a bulleted list of things to if attacked. Interesting stuff.

Tip of the virtual hat to Taming of the Band-Aid for inspiring the very first ISW post about Africanized honeybees.


Beatriz Moisset said...

Let us face it, the good old domestic honey bee Apis mellifera is an introduced invasive species; it was brought here from Europe a few centuries ago, it is well established and we have no idea how it has impacted the local bee fauna and the local wild flower populations. So, why do we fret so much over the Africanized bee?

Jennifer Forman Orth said...

Well, certainly part of the alarm was due to the common name of "killer bees" being applied. I seem to remember a terrible horror movie about them too :-).