Magazine article The Futurist

Killer Bees

Magazine article The Futurist

Killer Bees

Article excerpt

United States will feel sting of Africanized bees

Africanized--or "killer"--honey bees will spread through the southern third of the United States in the next five years, predicts Mark L. Winston, a biologist at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada.

Serious "stinging incidents will increase, and there will be some human fatalities," warns Winston in a new book. In addition, the bees could have a considerable impact on U.S. beekeeping, agriculture, and even tourism.

Africanized bees have been gradually moving north from Brazil since 1956 and have now reached parts of Texas. Throughout Latin America, the arrival of the bees has been accompanied by more stinging incidents and steep drops in honey production, forcing many beekeepers out of business.

Most analysts believe that Africanized bees will not spread above the southern third of the United States, due to the bees' inability to tolerate cold winters. However, "American beekeeping currently depends heavily on queen and worker bee production from the southern United States, and on migratory beekeeping that annually moves colonies on a massive scale all over the country," notes Winston. …

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