I received a really interesting reply to my last post from an Entomologist and Licensed Pest Control Operator called Richard. He obviously knows a thing or two about bees, and I am very grateful that he provided me with some education pertaining to the Africanized bees we have here in the Southwest.
I am aware of the fact that we have lots of Africanized bees here. Just a couple of weeks ago there were two separate incidents here where bees attacked people, and stories such as these are common here every summer. I however was not aware that almost all of the wild bees here in Maricopa County are actually Africanized, which means that the swarm outside in my back yard right now most likely are also. I have to admit I assumed that Africanized bees always attack whatever they can, wherever they are, and after having unknowingly spent a couple of hours outside with them yesterday, I assumed that our bees were probably regular honey bees. (Having said that I have of course been keeping the dogs, and the children inside).
Africanized bees are extremely aggressive, and understandably most beekeepers don't want them in their hives. It is apparently almost impossible to tell the difference between Euoropean honey bees and Africanized bees until it is too late, another fact I was not aware of.
This all leaves me in a huge dilemma. Am I doing the right thing by getting these bees removed alive, or should I just have them killed after all?
Just goes to show, the well meaning, but often naive actions we take can have far reaching, and detrimental consequences. I guess I will have to ask my bee guy tomorrow what he thinks I should do, and be prepared to do whatever I need to for the good of all.
Read here for lots more really interesting information about Africanized bees from Richard the Entomologist.
Christie’s Journal: “And The Letters Came.”
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