Friday, August 10, 2012

Bee Swarm Hospital Closes Road Hours

Bee Swarm Hospital Closes Road Hours - An attack by a swarm of Africanized bees that sent one man to the hospital and closed down a road for several hours Wednesday has authorities urging caution around the insects, saying they could be more active this summer than in recent years.

The colony responsible for Wednesday’s attack was colossal — as many as 125,000 aggressive bees living on 120 pounds of honeycomb in a warehouse off Rowe Lane. The bees stung three employees at the warehouse — including one up to 300 times, sending him to the hospital — and a Pflugerville police officer. Authorities closed Rowe Lane at FM 685 from about 8 a.m. to noon until the hive could be located and dealt with.

The attack was the worst this year and follows a bee attack Monday in West Austin that caused the victim to go into shock while he was driving himself to the hospital and caused him to crash into a pedestrian, several cars and a house.

Experts say the wetter weather that has eased the drought also has produced more food for bees, including the Africanized strains that have grown more prevalent in Texas since moving here decades ago.

Wizzie Brown, an entomologist with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, said the service no longer tracks Africanized bees — non-native bees that have often been labeled “killer bees” because of their aggressive nature.

Brown said Africanized bees have become so prevalent in the state that they’ve bred with European honeybees, their more docile counterparts, and created hybrids that share the aggressive trait.

“Anytime you’re dealing with honeybees, you really need to be careful because you can’t tell,” Brown said. Brown said the “killer bee” moniker is a bit extreme, though, as bees sting only to protect their hives. “If somebody was trying to move your house to a different location while you’re in it, you would probably be mad, too,” Brown said.

Bee Swarm Hospital Closes Road Hours Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Arm Aritn

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