‘Bee’ alert: Avoid the swarm this season

HARLINGEN — It’s swarm season.

Yesterday, firefighters were called to the scene of hundreds of swarming bees outside a shopping center at 2209 E. Lincoln Avenue.

Fire Chief Roy Rubio said firefighters sprayed a mixture of soap and water to kill the swarm at about 10:45 a.m.

“They were being a little aggressive, so since it was in front of a store, we didn’t want anyone getting stung,” Capt. Rene Cantu said.

Officials are warning residents to take precautions as firefighters respond to increased numbers of calls about swarming Africanized honey bees.


Where did killer bees come from?

Africanized honey bees are the result of breeding bees from southern Africa with local Brazilian honey bees.

When a group of Brazilian scientists imported bees from southern Africa in the hopes of breeding a bee adaptable to tropical conditions, several escaped and bred with local honey bees, creating the Africanized honey bee.

They spread quickly to Central and South America, and today the Africanized honey bee also infests areas of North America.


Africanized honey bees are highly adaptive and can nest in varying locations, including places where humans reside.

When natural nesting locations are unavailable they will nest in empty boxes, containers, old vehicles and tires, trees, garages, underground and outside of buildings.

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