Saturday, March 18, 2006


Once again I'm angst-ing bordering on hyperventilating. The cause of my anxiety is bees. Not just any bees but African Killer Bees that are slowly making their presence felt in North America.

I've been keeping track of their slow but sure migration since first reading about them in the 1960's. These are bees with a big - accent on the big - attitude. Look at them the wrong way and they attack in a swarm.

In the way of background information a while back in 1957, twenty-six queens of a particularly mean race of honeybees originating from Africa, escaped from the site of a genetics experiment in Brazil. The bees were part of a scientific experiment to cross breed the angry bees with your subdued, ‘you-don’t-bother-me, I-won’t-bother-you’ domestic bee types to see if they would produce more honey. More honey, ergo, bigger profits. As is the case in many scientific experiments, things got out of hand and the mean bees known as apis mellifera adansonii, have been making their presence felt…in a big way.

Over the years there have been reports of their arrival at the Texas/Mexico border and there are reports of them in California. Having watched the movie, "The Swarm" featuring their arrival and impact on your average every day people, I knew there could be trouble ahead.

The latest buzz is they're heeeeere and are making their presence felt this year in Florida. I mean, in Florida for heaven's sake where people go for their winter escape and to relax on sandy beaches! So far and according to what I've read the baaaad bees can be calmed by smoke. There is always the question or issue of who in their right mind would smoke them out? They are also known to swarm only when crowded. How do these bees define crowded? One person standing directly in front of them?

There are some studies that indicate the Brazillian interlopers hate high pitched sounds. Now this could be their downfall. Perhaps - just perharps - they could be controlled with...say...heavy metal music and bands! Or even better, playing Barry Manilow songs in the vicinity of a known hive! One full dose of "Mandy" and they could be gone forever!

Word has it that they can't stand cold weather. I know exactly where they're coming from. Amazing how our typical Canadian winter that lasts six months of the year is looking better and better.

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