Africanized Bee Sting

Africanized Bee Sting

Dr. Kennedy
Africanized bees are a special species of honey bees that are reportedly moving into the United States from the south. (Africanized honey bees are thought to have originally populated this hemisphere proliferating in Brazil in the 1950s.) This species of bees has an unusual and dangerous natural defense mechanism when disturbed. For instance, a loud noise or vibration near a hive, such as a barking dog or lawn mower, may cause the bees to display aggressive behavior. They attack in large numbers and for a longer period of than is typical of the common docile honey bee (European honey bee). As a result, Africanized honey bees when they attack inflict more stings, causing a higher dosage of bee venom to be injected into their victims. The lethal dose of honeybee venom is about 19 stings per kg of body weight (that is 1,300 stings for a 150 pound person). Animals (especially caged ones) as well as humans are at risk. Healthy people can often outrun the bees; however, the bees may give chase for as much as a quarter of a mile! Africanized honey bees cannot be eradicated after becoming established in areas.

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