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Africanized Bees in Louisiana


European honey bees are the predominant strain (subspecies) of genus apis (honeybees) in the United States. Typically gentle, they rarely sting without substantial provocation. In 1957 bees from Tanzania in sub Saharan Africa were imported to Brazil by a biologist who was trying to breed a strain more suited to the tropics. Things went awry and 26 of the most aggressive African queens were mistakenly released into the wild. They bred and their descendants have been steadily migrating northward. They reached the U.S. in 1990 and by 2006 had spread across Texas, New Mexico Arizona and Southern California. In 2006 a hive was discovered in Chalmette, Louisiana. They are still extremely rare in Louisiana, however the Africanized genes are dominant and their numbers are likely to increase. Africanized bees are more aggressive than their European cousins and have been known to attack with little provocation.


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