Whatever Happened to the Killer Bee Scare?

In most of our lifetimes there have been various disasters and unforeseen events. Some have been naturally occurring, and some man made. During the late years of the 1990s, people became worried about a new threat – the killer bee scare.

Many who can recall those days might remember some people covering their windows and doors with nets. After being whipped into a frenzy, there was a significant amount of hysteria among people at the time. Folks were worried that they might at any moment be attacked by a deadly swarm of killer bees. If you don’t remember, allow us to take you back in time for a quick history lesson. If you do remember, let’s reminisce, shall we? Either way, if you’re wondering what ever happened to those terrifying, murderous bees, well, we’ve got answers.

What is a killer bee?

The term “killer bee” refers to the Africanized bee or Africanized honey bee. They were termed as such because they are very deadly. Capable of injecting venom into a human body with just a little sting, they are also hyper-aggressive. They are more defensive than most other bees, too, and therefore react violently when they are disturbed.

It has been reported that they attack in swarms which consist of easily around 10,000-20,000 bees. Additionally, that number can increase exponentially – up to 800,000 – depending upon the size and location of the hive. They have also killed lots of larger animals like dogs, horses, livestock, and even humans.

History of the Killer Bee Scare

The killer bees are a hybrid of African Honeybee and several other species of European bees. They were cross-bred to produce a bee which could give more honey and thus increase honey production. These bees were first introduced in 1950 at a laboratory in Mexico.

Disaster struck when there was a breach in the lab quarantine. Almost 26 swarms of different bees escaped from the laboratory, including these aggressive, deadly honey bees. Later, they spread all over South America. Then, in the late 90s, people started to observe these bees in different parts of North America as well.

What happened to the scare?

First sighted in the state of Texas, people became increasingly worried about these bees especially in the Southwestern states. The bees were much bigger than others, they were quick and adept flyers, and they were highly venomous. Soon, reports started coming in that they’d attacked and killed horses, cows, and people.

However, with passing years, people in the affected areas learned to live with them. Various methods and different techniques were developed to keep these deadly bees under control and prevent stings. Extensive searches have helped people to destroy vast colonies of these dangerous bees in some areas. Therefore, the scare and tense atmosphere which was present in the 90s started to wither away.


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