Woman In Critical Condition After Being Stung By Swarm Of Bees In Lake Forest

ABC News    By Eileen Frere   July 16, 2018 

LAKE FOREST< Calif. (KABC) A woman is in critical condition after being stung hundreds of times by a swarm of bees in Lake Forest Monday morning.

The woman is believe to be in her early 50s and works as a housekeeper in the 23000 block of Buckland Lane, where the attack occurred, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. Authorities said she was stung about 200 times.

She was transported to Saddleback Hospital.

Four firefighters and the owner of the home where the possible hive was were also stung. Two of those firefighters, who were stung multiple times, are in stable condition at a hospital.

The homeowner, who only went by the name Sara, recalled the attack that sent her housekeeper Maria to the hospital.

"She was screaming and I was telling her, 'Move from the bees. Come over here.' But she was covering her head," she said.

Witnesses said another house cleaner grabbed a water house to try to get the bees off Maria, but it didn't work. That's when Sara's son called 911.

Another witness said Maria tried covering her head and face, but at one point the bees began stinging her head. Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito said when crews arrived, she was completely covered in bees.

"Her face was completely covered with bees," he said. "They grabbed the first thing they could, which was a carbon dioxide extinguisher, sprayed the patient, tried to get as many bees as they could off her."

He added that the firefighters had no time to put on protective gear before trying to save Maria.

"It was so horrendous. It was awful. And I felt so powerless. There was nothing I could do," neighbor Cynthia Emmets said.

She said her dog ended up being stung as well.

A bee company arrived on the scene to determine the location of a hive and discovered 30,000 to 80,000 bees.

The beehive was discovered inside a gas meter next to Sara's home, according to Matthew Kielsmeier with Bee Busters, which removed a 10-pound hive from the location. Experts said it wasn't clear what prompted the attack, but that the hive had been at the home for about six months.

Sara, who had swollen marks on her forearms from the stings, said she'd noticed bees in the area, but didn't think anything of it at the time.

Experts warn that anyone who sees bees congregating for a period of time in a particular area should call a bee company to get it checked out.

The community HOA had not received any reports of bee problems in the area until this incident.

http://abc7.com/pets-animals/woman-in-critical-condition-after-bee-stings-in-oc/3772737/

For more info on Africanized Honey Bees (aka Killer Bees), visit:  /africanized-bees/

 

What Turns Bees Into Killer Bees?

Sciencemag.org     By Elizabeth Pennis      June 15, 2018

(Note:  "It is definitely worth keeping gentle behaving bees.  So much more pleasant to work with.  Just one behavior challenged hive in the apiary makes them all crazy." ~Bill Lewis, Owner Bill's Bees, 2014 President, California State Beekeepers Association, Past President, Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association.)

Brain protein fragments spur honey bees to be more aggressive. SOLVIN ZANKL/MINDEN PICTURESBiochemists have tracked down the brain chemicals that make so-called killer bees such ferocious fighters. The compounds, which seem to be present in higher levels in the much-feared Africanized honey bee, can make less aggressive bees turn fierce, according to a new study. The compounds may also play a role in aggression in other animals—indeed, they’ve already been shown to do so in fruit flies and mice.

“This is another example of how behavior evolves in different species by using common molecular mechanisms,” says Gene Robinson, an entomologist and director of the University of Illinois’s Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology in Urbana, who was not involved in the work.

Honey bees are incredibly territorial, fighting to the death to defend their hive with painful stings. But killer bees—hybrids of the relatively docile European strain of honey bee and a more aggressive African relative—are particularly fierce. The hybrids emerged after African bees were imported to Brazil in the 1950s. By the 1980s, they had spread north to the United States, outgunning resident honey bees along the way. Their massive attacks have killed more than 1000 people.

Mario Palma, a biochemist at São Paulo State University in Rio Claro, Brazil, who studies social behavior in bees, wanted to understand the basis of this aggression. So he and his colleagues swung a black leather ball in front of an Africanized bee hive and collected the bees whose stingers got stuck in the ball during the attack. They also collected bees that remained in the hive. They froze both sets, sliced up their brains, and analyzed the slices with a sophisticated technique that identifies proteins and keeps track of where they are in each slice. The analysis revealed that bee brains have two proteins that—in the aggressive bees—quickly broke into pieces to form a so-called “neuropeptide,” they report this week in the Journal of Proteome Research.

Palma and his colleagues already knew that bee brains had these two proteins, allatostatin and tachykinin. “The surprise came out when we identified some very simple neuropeptides, which were produced in a few seconds” after his team swung the ball and triggered the attack, Palma says. The bees that remained in the hive did not make these neuropeptides, he reports. And when his team injected these molecules into young, less aggressive bees, they “became aggressive like older individuals.”

Researchers have found these molecules in other insects, where they seem to regulate feeding and digestion. But few had associated them with “fight” behavior, says Palma, who adds that they also increase the production of energy and alarm chemicals. They could also stimulate the nerve cells in bees needed to coordinate the stinging attack. “There is a fine biochemical regulation in the honey bee brain,” he says.

Palma’s preliminary studies indicate that Africanized honey bees produce more of these neuropeptides than other honey bees do. His team hopes to eventually use these insights to develop a way to protect people from these killer bees, perhaps through a spray or chemical plug that can be applied to a hive.

The studies may also further the understanding of how the production of how various neuropeptides regulate behavior not just in insects, but also in people, Palma suggests. “In neuroscience, there is still a big gap between understanding how molecular pathways and neural circuits work together to regulate behavior,” Robinson says. This work presents “a great way to bridge this gap.”

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/06/what-turns-bees-killer-bees

Related (posted June 9, 2018):
http://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/home/2018/6/9/inside-the-brains-of-killer-bees.html

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jproteome.8b00098

https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2018/acs-presspac-june-6-2018/inside-the-brains-of-killer-bees.html?_ga=2.149242038.1682398275.1528566571-156474405.1528566571

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.

https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2018-04-12/1m-aggressive-bees-threaten-texas-town

Boy Swarmed By Bees Taken To Phoenix Hospital

GilaValleyCentral    By Jon Johnson   February 21, 2017

Child Stung More Than 400 Times

Contributed Photo/Courtesy 3TV/CBS5 News: From left, grandparents Petrea and Kreg Kunz watch over 11-year-old Andrew Kunz at the Phoenix Children's Hospital. Andrew was stung more than 400 times in a killer bee attack Monday.

GRAHAM COUNTY – An 11-year-old boy who was swarmed by likely “killer” Africanized bees early Monday evening is being treated at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital for more than 400 stings.

As of early Tuesday afternoon, Andrew Kunz was still in the pediatric intensive care unit but has had his intubation tube removed and indicated he was hungry, according to his grandmother, Petrea Kunz. She said he is very traumatized by the event, but he is responding well to treatment and they are hopeful he will be transferred to a step-down room later that day or the next. Petrea considers Safford Fire Chief Clark Bingham, who pulled Andrew out of harm’s way, as their savior and that Andrew would have died in that wash if not for his and other first responders’ efforts.  

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Petrea Kunz: Andrew Kunz had to be initially intubated after being stung more than 400 times. He is also allergic to all stinging insects.

Two members of the Graham County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Jacob Carpenter and deputy Justin Baughman, along with Bingham were taken to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center for multiple bee stings they suffered while rescuing Andrew. The first responders were treated and released. Carpenter was reportedly stung approximately 20 times, Bingham was hit 25-30 times, and deputy Baughman was stung about 100 times. The following day, Gila Valley Central caught up with Baughman who said he was no worse for wear. He declined to comment further at that time saying only that he was just doing his job.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: The beehive was located in this rusted car used as erosion control.

Graham County Dispatch directed first responders to the area of a residence in the 1600 block of Sunset Boulevard at about 5:26 p.m., Monday, after Petrea Kunz called regarding her grandson, Andrew Kunz, being attacked by bees. The area is in between Airport Road and E. Graham Canal Road. 

The danger for Andrew was intensified because he was previously stung more than 90 times by ants when he was in Kindergarten and was found to be allergic to any stinging insect and carried an Epinephrine Auto-Injector (EpiPen) with him.

“He is actually our little miracle guy,” Petrea said. “He is still hurting. They are going to check his eyes. They think they may have been scratched from the stingers, (and) we’re still watching to see if the venom is attacking the red blood cells and if its attacking his muscles.” 

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Petrea Kunz: Andrew Kunz suffered more than 400 bee stings.

Petrea said Andrew yelled for help as he was being attacked but they couldn’t find him. At that point, a 9-year-old boy arrived and said he was with Andrew when they were attacked by bees in a gully in the desert behind the residence.

After calling 911, Petrea said Andrew called her phone and was telling her, “help me, help me. The bees are killing me.”

She then was able to hear the general direction where he was and could see he was having difficulty climbing back up the hill to the residence. Officers then arrived, and Petrea directed them to her grandson, but they could not reach him. Bingham arrived soon after and helped Andrew away from the area.

“Everybody did a great job,” Graham County Sheriff P.J. Allred said.

The bees had taken up residence in an old, rusted out car that was presumably placed in the gully with other vehicles to act as erosion control. It was later learned that the boys had been shooting a BB-gun at the car and the sound of the BBs against the rusted metal is believed to be what set the bees in attack mode.


Jon Johnson/File Photo: Safford Fire Chief
Clark Bingham is being hailed as a hero.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: The beehive was located in this rusted out old car.

Sgt. Carpenter and deputy Baughman were the first on the scene and spotted Andrew in the gully but were unable to get to him as the bees began to attack them as well. They retreated approximately 150 feet from their previous viewpoint and they and other deputies guided Safford Fire Chief Clark Bingham, who was not in a bee suit, to where the boy was engulfed in bees. Bingham picked up Andrew and tried to get him away from the bees.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: This bee was located near where the incident took place. There are still numerous bees in the area foraging for food, but they are not swarming.

“He was kind of disoriented and just kind of standing there, (so) I grabbed him by the belt and the arm and we started running down the wash,” Bingham said. “I told him ‘we have to get out of here. Nobody can help us where we are,’ so we tried to climb the hill but he didn’t have the strength to do it, and I couldn’t carry him up it. We continued down the wash until we got to the fire training center.”

It was roughly a 200-yard trek through the desert to E. Graham Canal Road, where the Safford Fire Department Training Center is located. While en route to the road, other firefighters in bees suits arrived and began to battle the bees. Andrew was then loaded into a Lifeline Ambulance and taken to MGRMC.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: Safford Fire Chief Clark Bingham managed to get Andrew Kunz to the Safford Fire Department Training Center, which just happened to be at then end of the wash where the attack took place.

“What Clark did was exactly what needed to be done to get him (Andrew) away from them,” Petrea said. “Clark Bingham is very much our hero. He was willing to give his life for Andrew’s. That’s the true meaning of a hero.”

After initial treatment, Andrew was intubated and flown to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Bingham, Carpenter and Baughman were all treated for bee stings and released. The 9-year-old boy was taken to MGRMC by his family, where he was treated and released. Additional first responders at the scene included the Safford Police Department and a rescue aid team from Freeport McMoRan Inc., which transported Bingham to the hospital.

Bingham said he is also allergic to bees and the last time he was stung he began to swell up pretty bad. This time, the treatment of Benadryl and a steroid at the hospital stopped that from happening.

“I am grateful for that,” he said.

Safford Fire used soapy water on the hive and extinguished as many as they could. The following day, Mark Curley, owner and operator of Rattlesnake Exterminating, went to the site and treated it with chemicals so the bees wouldn’t return. When he arrived, he reportedly saw hundreds of bees still around the hive.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: Rattlesnake Exterminating went back the next day to make sure the remnants of the hive didn’t restart the colony.

“He just wanted to make sure that he took care of those for those in the neighborhood and the family,” Curley’s wife, Wendi Curley said. “There’s a lot of kids and people up there, so he just wanted to check it and make sure the bees wouldn’t come back.”

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: This different type of bee was found across the street at a residence under renovation.

The unseasonably warm weather has brought the bees out to thrive and Rattlesnake Exterminating has been seeing an increase in calls.

“They’re starting to come out, so be careful.”

The local branch of Sodalicious is doing a fundraiser to help the family with expenses. Petrea said Andrew loves the beverage store and enjoys the Eagle Scout drink. She added that the whole family is grateful for all the well wishers and prayers and credit that for his speedy recovery.

The fundraiser at Sodalicious will be Monday, Feb. 27. The location will donate 10 percent of its sales for the entire day to the Kunz family. Additionally, it will have  firefighter’s boot on the counter for donations, which will all go toward the family, according to manager Hope Maxwell.

“With the way that he is healing, we truly feel the prayers of the community,” Petrea said. “We are so grateful he is alive, again, that’s Clark Bingham. He truly is on a huge pedestal in our family, as a matter of fact, we have decided that he’s part of our family whether he likes it or not.”

What to do if attacked by Africanized honeybees:

1. Run away quickly. Do not stop to help others. However, small children and the disabled may need some assistance.

2. As you are running, pull your shirt up over your head to protect your face, but make sure it does not slow your progress. This will help keep the bees from targeting the sensitive areas around your head and eyes.

3. Do not stop running until you reach shelter, such as a vehicle or building. A few bees may follow you indoors. However, if you run to a well-lit area, the bees will tend to become confused and fly to windows. Do not jump into water. The bees will wait for you to come up for air. If you are trapped for some reason, cover up with blankets, sleeping bags, clothes or whatever else is immediately available.

4. Do not swat at the bees or flail your arms. Bees are attracted to movement, and crushed bees emit a smell that will attract more bees.

5. Once you have reached shelter or have outrun the bees, remove all stingers. When a honeybee stings, it leaves its stinger in the skin. This kills the honeybee so it can’t sting again, but it also means that venom continues to enter the wound for a short time.

6. Do not pull stingers out with tweezers or your fingers. This will only squeeze more venom into the wound. Instead, scrape the stinger out sideways using your fingernail, the edge of a credit card, a dull knife blade or other straight-edged object.

7. If you see someone being attacked by bees, encourage that person to run away or seek shelter. Do not attempt to rescue the person yourself. Call 9-1-1 to report a serious stinging attack. The emergency response personnel in your area have probably been trained to handle bee attacks.

8. If you have been stung more than 15 times or are feeling ill, or if you have any reason to believe you may be allergic to bee stings, seek medical attention immediately. The average person can safely tolerate 10 stings per pound of body weight. This means that although 500 stings can kill a child, the average adult could withstand more than 1,100 stings.

Source: United States Department of Agriculture

http://gilavalleycentral.net/boy-swarmed-by-bees-taken-to-phoenix-hospital/

[NOTE: You can read more about Africanized Honey Bees on our LACBA Africanized Honey Bee page: /africanized-bees]

 

 

TIPS: What To Do If Attacked By Africanized Honey Bees

We posted these tips a few weeks ago, but in light of the recent deadly bee attacks in Arizona, here's a repost: http://kron4.com/2016/05/15/tips-what-to-do-if-attacked-by-africanized-honey-bees/ 
The LACBA does not endorse the keeping of Africanized Honey Bees. It may be inexpensive to catch a feral hive and keep it. If you do so, and do not adhere to best management practices, you could be endangering others and/or their animals. Come to our LACBA meeting tonight and learn more about keeping bees responsibly. /meetings/ Or join our LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 http://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/beekeeping-class…/ Learn more about AHB here: http://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/africanized-bees/

KRON4  By Mario Sevilla   May 15, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — On Friday night, a swarm of aggressive bees attacked several East Bay residents. Two dogs were killed in the attack and several people suffered multiple stings.

The incident happened in Concord, but it’s been known for sometime that an African breed of honeybees, also known as killer bees, had made its way into the Bay Area.

UC San Diego researchers have been tracking the bees’ movement throughout California. Until now, the bees had only been detected in Mariposa County, just east of Merced.

Now, apparently because of warmer temperatures, they have been found in the East Bay, first spotted in a Lafayette subdivision reported in September 2015.

Below is a list from the United States Department of Agriculture that explains what you can do if you ever encounter an attack by bees.

What to do if Attacked by Africanized honey bees

Remember these important steps:

1. RUN away quickly. Do not stop to help others. However, small children and the disabled may need some assistance.

2. As you are running, pull your shirt up over your head to protect your face, but make sure it does not slow your progress. This will help keep the bees from targeting the sensitive areas around your head and eyes.

3. Continue to RUN. Do not stop running until you reach shelter, such as a vehicle or building. A few bees may follow you indoors. However, if you run to a well-lit area, the bees will tend to become confused and fly to windows.Do not jump into water! The bees will wait for you to come up for air. If you are trapped for some reason, cover up with blankets, sleeping bags, clothes, or whatever else is immediately available.

4. Do not swat at the bees or flail your arms. Bees are attracted to movement and crushed bees emit a smell that will attract more bees.

5. Once you have reached shelter or have outrun the bees, remove all stingers. When a honey bees stings, it leaves its stinger in the skin. This kills the honey bee so it can’t sting again, but it also means that venom continues to enter into the wound for a short time.

6. Do not pull stingers out with tweezers or your fingers. This will only squeeze more venom into the wound. Instead, scrape the stinger out sideways using your fingernail, the edge of a credit card, a dull knife blade or other straight-edged object.

7. If you see someone being attacked by bees, encourage them to run away or seek shelter. Do not attempt to rescue them yourself. Call 911 to report a serious stinging attack. The emergency response personnel in your area have probably been trained to handle bee attacks.

8. If you have been stung more than 15 times, or are feeling ill, or if you have any reason to believe you may be allergic to bee stings, seek medical attention immediately. The average person can safely tolerate 10 stings per pound of body weight. This means that although 500 stings can kill a child, the average adult could withstand more than 1100 stings.

http://kron4.com/2016/05/15/tips-what-to-do-if-attacked-by-africanized-honey-bees/ 

Man Attacked by Bees and Stung over 1,000 Times Brought Back to Life by His Pacemaker

DailyMail.com Reporter   June 6, 2016

A man who was attacked by a massive swcarm of bees in Arizona and stung over 1,000 times believes that his life was saved by his pacemaker.

Albert Katanov, 47, said that he was house hunting with his son in Phoenix on May 26 when he was suddenly overcome by bees.

Firefighters that were called to the scene said they found seven hives attached to the home.

Katanov was stung more than 1,000 times, suffered an allergic reaction and lost consciousness, WGN TV reported.

Lucky to be alive: Albert Katanov, 47, said that he was house hunting with his son in Phoenix, Arizona, on May 26 when he was suddenly overcome by bees

Ouch: Doctors said Katanov was stung over 1,000 times, however his pacemaker shocked his heart and brought him back to life Before collapsing, Katanov made it to a house across the street looking for help, screaming out that he was not breathing.

He was rushed to hospital and was lucky to survive the attack.

Katanov suffererd a cardiac arrest in November and was fitted with a pacemaker, and doctors believe it was the pacemaker that saved him.

They checked the device and worked out it had shocked Katanov seven times. 

'When I got to the hospital, they said his pacemaker kind of saved him. Because his body went into shock,' his son, Rubin Katanov, told WGN.

Read more and view video: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3628212/Man-attacked-bees-stung-1-000-times-brought-life-pacemaker-shocked-SEVEN-times.html#ixzz4AqX7qEx0 

Arizona Hiker Dies After Being Stung by 1,000 Bees

USA Today    By Danielle Quijada, The Arizona Republic     May 27, 2016
 

View Video and Tips On How To Stay Safe Around Bees

PHOENIX — A 23-year-old Louisiana man died after being attacked by bees Thursday morning as he and a friend were hiking within Usery Mountain Park in Mesa, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said.

A medical exam determined the man had been stung more than 1,000 times, officials said.

Just after 9 a.m., Alex Bestler and his friend were hiking the Merkle Trail when a large swarm of bees appeared without warning.

The friend was able to safely make it to a nearby restroom, but Bestler was overtaken by the swarm before he could find shelter, the Sheriff's Office said

Another hiker and park employees approached Bestler and found him on the ground covered in bees. They tried to approach him, but the aggressiveness of the bees forced them to stay back, the Sheriff's Office said.

Two Rural Metro firefighters, a Sheriff's Office sergeant, park employees and the other hiker were able to move him onto a Sheriff's Office utility-terrain vehicle, despite Bestler still being covered in bees.

Bestler was transported to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The area on Merkle Trail where the incident took place was closed to the public Thursday afternoon for evaluation, the Sheriff's Office said.

“These attacks are becoming more frequent and I urge the public to be aware of their surroundings when out in these areas," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a statement.

Another bee attack on Thursday afternoon, this one in Phoenix, sent a 51-year-old man with numerous bee stings and respiratory distress to a hospital.

Phoenix Fire officials said the man was experiencing periods of unconsciousness, and he was believed to be extremely allergic to the bee stings.

Ability to Identify "Killer" Bees a Boon to the Honey Bee Industry

Science Daily   Source: University of Sydney   April 21, 2015

Summary: A genetic test that can prevent the entry of 'killer' bees into Australia and their spread around the world has been created by researchers. "A number of countries have export conditions aimed at preventing any possible introduction of killer bees. Now our test will provide them with certainty and allow the safe import of bees without this biosecurity risk," a researcher said.

Dr. Nadine Chapman, from the University of Sydney's School of Biological Sciences has developed a genetic test that can identify killer bees. Credit: University of Sydney

A genetic test that can prevent the entry of 'killer' bees into Australia and their spread around the world has been created by researchers at the University of Sydney and their collaborators at York University in Canada.

"Having a tool that can identify desirable and undesirable bee subspecies will be of value to breeding and conservation programs throughout the world. Pollination of crops by honeybees adds many billions of dollars to the world economy, so any strategy that can prevent losses is an important contribution to food security," said Dr Nadine Chapman from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Sydney.

She is lead author of an article on the research published in Molecular Ecology Resources today.

"A number of countries have export conditions aimed at preventing any possible introduction of killer bees. Now our test will provide them with certainty and allow the safe import of bees without this biosecurity risk," Dr Chapman said.

The news is of critical importance to Australia, which produces an estimated $4 to $6 billion of farm and garden crops that rely on honeybee pollination.

Australia faces the paradoxical problem of needing to import bees resistant to a pest that threatens to devastate Australia's bee population but being unable to do so while the risk of introducing 'killer' bees still exists.

Before publication the work won Dr Chapman a CSIRO Biosecurity Flagship Award.

The looming threat to Australian honeybees comes from the Varroa mite, present in all bee-keeping countries except Australia. It devastates colonies by sucking bees' blood and spreading blood-borne diseases.

School of Biological Sciences' researchers, working with the United States Department of Agriculture, have previously found that no Australian honeybees have resistance to the mite and it could destroy bee stocks within a couple of years.

"The answer is to import Varroa-resistant bee semen and queen bees so we can breed resistance into our bee stocks as a form of 'inoculation' that could protect our bees," said Dr Chapman.

"Until now this option has been restricted because Australian beekeepers are only able to import bees from the small number of countries that are free of 'killer bees', which originated in Africa.

"As the name implies, killer bees, (as Africanised bees are commonly called), are highly aggressive and are considered unacceptable for beekeeping. It is assumed that they would replace our current honeybee populations in the key beekeeping regions."

Dr Chapman worked with Professor Ben Oldroyd from the School of Biological Sciences and with researchers at York University in Canada, the US Department of Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Council in South Africa.

The researchers developed a test that identifies how much of three main ancestral lineages -- Eastern European, Western European and African -- are present. To lower the risk of killer bees coming to Australia, those with high African ancestry will be denied entry.

"Using this test Australia will be able to import honeybees, including Varroa resistant bees, from countries where killer bees are present, including the United States," Dr Champman said.

Associate Professor Amro Zayed, a researcher from York University said, "Our genetic test is highly accurate, which is considerably better than the old tests that have a high tendency to misclassify hybrid bees."

Dr Chapman is now working on making the genetic test more affordable and plans to work with the United States Department of Agriculture to develop a protocol for the importation of Varroa-resistant bees.

Australia's bee importation regulations are currently being reviewed by the Department of Agriculture.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of SydneyNote: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Read at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150421105348.htm

Woman, Teen Hospitalized With Hundreds of Bee Stings Following Collision

The Valley Sun    By Sara Cardine   3/10/14

A woman and teenage girl involved in a car crash were hospitalized with hundreds of bee stings on Sunday after one of the vehicles hit a tree containing a hive in La Cañada Flintridge.

The two victims were taken to USC Verdugo Hills Hospital for treatment, according to Lt. Angela Shepherd of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station. Hospital spokeswoman Celine Petrossian said Wednesday she could not state their respective conditions, nor whether either of them had been released.

While the condition of the victims remains unclear, city officials are in the process of removing the tree which contained the hive of bees responsible for the attack.

The 34-foot silver maple, located at 2034 Los Amigos St., is scheduled for removal Thursday due to structural damage, Gonzalo Venegas, the city’s facilities and maintenance superintendent reported Wednesday. That particular area is within the city right of way, making the tree the property of the city.

Prior to the accident, the bees were mostly likely hidden inside the tree. The city received no earlier reports from residents regarding bee sightings in or around the tree, said Venegas, adding that the city has visited the site numerous times since the Sunday afternoon incident.

The two cars collided about 2:50 p.m. on Los Amigos, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

One of the cars slammed into the maple tree, aggravating the hive of bees that swarmed the drivers after they got out of their vehicles and attempted to exchange information, Capt. Brian Kane of the Los Angeles County Fire Department told the Los Angeles Times.

One of the drivers, identified as a 51-year-old resident of La Cañada Flintridge, ran to the back of a home and jumped into a swimming pool, according to the sheriff’s department.

She waited in the pool until paramedics arrived, Kane said.

The other driver, a 17-year-old girl from La Cañada involved in the accident, “collapsed” to avoid further bee stings, and was found in that position when deputies arrived on scene, according to Shepherd.

The first deputy to arrive saw the teen and used a fire extinguisher to get the bees off her, officials said. They then ran to safety.

The assisting deputy also was stung, but was not taken to a hospital.

Firefighters initially tried to contain the swarming bees with fire-fighting foam, while the Sheriff’s Department kept passersby away from the scene, Shepherd said.

“We blocked off some of the streets at first, because firemen didn’t want people coming into the area,” she added.

At about 4 p.m., the Sheriff’s Department contacted La Cañada Flintridge’s Public Works Department to help control the bees, according to an employee with the department.

Staff then contacted the city’s tree service, and were put in touch with La Cañada business Mike’s Spray and Tree, a tree service that also handles insect removal and pest control, and reportedly took care of containment at the scene.

It’s unknown whether the bees were of a domestic honeybee variety or the more aggressive Africanized hybrid variety. Generally speaking, however, any bees discovered acting irascibly and stinging people are generally assumed to be Africanized, said Ken Pellman, a spokesman with the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office.

Because these bees were wild and on public property, as opposed to a colony kept privately by a resident, they could be categorized as a public nuisance and dealt with however the removal company saw fit, Pellman added.

“There’s some that will do it, and will take them alive, and there’s some that will take them out,” Pellman said. “The goal is human safety over all.”

Editor's Note: This article was updated at 4:15 p.m. on March 12, 2014 to include more information.

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Killer Bees in Tennessee?

MyFoxMemphis.com    By Earle Farrell 6/18/13

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

European honey bees are extremely important to our food crops. Without them this country would see a dramatic drop in our food production, not to mention, a loss of honey. 

But there is another bee out there called the Africanized bee that is spreading across the southern United States. It's also known as Killer Bees because they have been known to kill both humans and animals.

RESOURCE LINK: http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/link/642036/how-to-escape-killer-bees

Bob Dicky is a bee keeper living near Horn Lake, Ms. He says, "if you walked over there right now and bumped one of these hives real hard you're going to have a lot of bees on you. Now they are not like the killer bees which are very aggressive. You can't tell the difference, I have seen pictures, they are same size as my bees, look just like my bees, but they are Africanized…but they are very very aggressive." 

With European honey bees you can always run from them and if you can find a lake you can jump in and once you go under the water they would fly back to their hive and leave you alone. With a Killer Bee, it's a different story; they don't give up the chase. You can jump in a lake, but they will follow you and when you come up to get a breath of air, they fly into your mouth. Nasty! 

Bob Dicky's son Carey started helping his dad with his bees about a year ago, because, he was afraid of bees and wanted to overcome his fear by learning more about them. 

Carey Dicky says, "When you put a bee keeper suit on and you first lift the hive and pull your first comb of honey, the frame bees are hitting you in the face and your first instinct is to swipe at them. You don't want to do that!  That is why they are attacking, they are being aggressive. Be gentle, calm and nobody gets hurt because the bees sense fear." 

It will be bee keepers like Bob Dicky and his son who will more than likely be the people who will save us from the Killer Bees. They are doing it now in places were the killer bees have been found. They simply replace the killer bee queen with a more docile queen bee and within a few short weeks all of the aggressive bees die off naturally and are replaced by the friendlier European bee. 

But keep in mind even the good bees can put the hurt on you so leave it to the bee keepers to do the bee keeping and just remember they can smell the fear on you.

Read more: http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/story/22623026/killer-bees-in-tennessee#ixzz2WdCulo1a

Killer Bees Leave Texas Man Dead, Woman in Serious Condition

US NBC News    By M. Alex Johnson   6/6/13

 

A Texas man was stung to death after he drove his tractor into a pile of wood that concealed a hive of 40,000 "killer bees," authorities and family members said Sunday.

Every inch of exposed skin was covered with stings on the body of Larry Goodwin, 62, of Moody, Texas, family members told NBC station KCEN of Waco.

"He had thousands and thousands of bee stings on his face and arms," his daughter Tanya said.

Goodwin died Saturday when the Africanized honeybees swarmed him after his tractor struck a pile of wood that included an abandoned chicken coop where the bees had built their hive. The hive encompassed 22 honeycombs harboring an estimated 40,000 bees.

A woman and her daughter who tried to help Moody were stung about 100 times between them, KCEN reported. Neither woman has been identified, but McLennan County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Cawthon said the older woman was in serious condition, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.

Africanized honeybees — a highly aggressive hybrid of the Western and African honeybees — spread fear in the U.S. long before they arrived in the country from Central America about 15 years ago, fueled by alarming reports of their tactic of swarming their prey in the thousands and earning them the nickname "killer bees."

While federal figures indicate that fewer than a dozen people have been killed by the bees in the U.S., they are anecdotally believed to be proliferating rapidly. Just 2½ months ago, on March 15, emergency crews were called out after thousands of the bees swarmed inside a family's home in Wichita Falls, Texas. 

Read more and comments: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/02/18703314-killer-bees-leave-texas-man-dead-woman-in-serious-condition