Florida Park Rangers Hospitalized by KIller Bees
Two Florida park rangers were attacked by more than 100,000 Africanized Honey Bees, also known as killer bees.
According to reports, both rangers, David Zeledon and Rodney Pugh were treated in hospital after receiving more than 100 stings after the bees swarmed into the cab of their front loading truck as they cleared an area close to the entrance of the Picnic Island Park near Port Tampa, Florida.
“It was like bees all in the cab,” Pugh told ABC Action News. “So I’m trying to swat, and they say never to swat bees.”
“It’s the worst feeling, because you just had so many and they wouldn’t stop,” said Pugh. The two men are expected to fully recover.
Reports claim the bees swarmed as the rangers moved a truck tire and disturbed the nest of the non native hybrid species of bee.
Africanized Honey Bees have spread across the Americas since they were accidentally released by Brazilian researchers in 1957 and reached the U.S. in the 1990s. Africanized Honey Bees are said to be more aggressive than the European Honey Bees they were bred with at a research facility in Brazil in an attempt to create a species of honey producing bee that could withstand tropical climates.
As the bee spreads through Florida, a densely populated state, officials worry that public fear may force misguided efforts to combat them.
Florida African Bee Action Plan:
“News reports of mass stinging attacks will promote concern and in some cases panic and anxiety, and cause citizens to demand responsible agencies and organizations to take action to help ensure their safety. We anticipate increased pressure from the public to ban beekeeping in urban and suburban areas. This action would be counter-productive. Beekeepers maintaining managed colonies of domestic European bees are our best defense against an area becoming saturated with AHB. These managed bees are filling an ecological niche that would soon be occupied by less desirable colonies if it were vacant.”
According to Wikipedia:
“The sting of the Africanized Honey Bee is no more potent than another variety of honey bee, and they have a similar appearance. What makes Africanized honey bees more dangerous is that they are more easily provoked, quick to swarm, attack in greater numbers, and pursue their victims for greater distances. An Africanized bee colony can remain agitated longer and may attack up to a quarter of a mile away from the hive.”
On The Web:
100,000 ‘killer’ bees attack Florida park rangers
Picnic Island Park workers attacked by 100,000 killer bees