1M Aggressive Bees Threaten Texas Town

U.S. News   By Alexa Lardieri     April 12, 2018

Bee specialists were only able to remove a portion of the hive from the house. (KERSTIN KLAASSEN/GETTY IMAGES)A MILLION BEES HAVE invaded a Texas neighborhood, becoming aggressive this week as extractors attempted to remove them from a resident's home.

The colony of bees set up a hive in the wall of an El Paso home about three years ago, but the owners said the insects have only now caused trouble. According to KFOX-TV, the elderly couple who lives in the home said they are worried the bees might attack their neighbors, pets and children, who walk past the house.

Pyong Livingston, a bee specialist, attempted to remove the bees without killing them in an effort to relocate the hive. However, that appeared to have angered the colony. Rudy Reyes, a KFOX photojournalist recording the extraction, reported being stung eight times.

"I went on top of the roof. I went there with my camera and he [Livingston] was with his helper," Reyes said. "As soon as they got there and opened the roof … it was like a horror movie – seeing this swarm of bees just coming out in a black cloud. Within seconds, I started getting stung by bees. I got two in the eye, in the head."

Livingston identified the bees as Africanized bees, more commonly referred to as killer bees. They are a mix of Africanized and European bees and are "20, 30 times more aggressive than regular honeybees." He estimates there were about 1 million.

"We were swarmed. We found that as soon as we opened up a little area we thought there were maybe 20,000 bees, it turns out to be over 100,000 bees. So they swarmed us and they started biting me all over, even with the suits," Livingston told KFOX.

Although Livingston was able to remove a large part of the hive, bees were still at the house. For the entire hive to be extracted, the home's walls would need to be opened. The street is currently blocked off.