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Archive for Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Insect experts battle Africanized bees

June 27, 2006

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— During the past year, bees - specifically the super-aggressive Africanized insects - have posed a growing public safety hazard in Florida. Dubbed "killer bees" in B-movies and tabloids, these small but fierce insects were transported from Africa to Brazil in the 1950s in a failed attempt to boost honey production. Since then, they have spread throughout South and Central America, into the American southwest and recently, to Florida - mostly by hitching rides on international freighters.

Africanized bees can be hard to distinguish from Florida's gentle, managed honeybees that pollinate citrus groves and flower gardens - except for their behavior. Africanized bees aggressively defend their nest to the death.

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