Bees …… Friend or Foe ????. FICTION….
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Africanized bees react to disturbance around the hive. They can stay angry for days after being disturbed. If one bee stings, it releases an alarm
that smells like bananas. This pheromone causes
the other bees to become agitated and sting. The Africanized Bee, like the honey bee, dies when it stings. The tiny barbs on the stinger stick in the victim. When the bee tries to fly away, it rips its abdomen and eventually dies. Under usual circumstances, the result is discomfort for the
human but death for the bee.
Generally, Africanized bees attack:
A: European bee colony produces five times more honey than a Africanized bee colony.
A: Most cells release histamine and other biologically active substances. The venom promotes histamine release from mast cells and basophils (especially in sensitized individuals), which under the right circumstances, can lead to vasodilation and loss of blood pressure. If this response is not reversed within a short time, the person may die of shock.
A: Bees pollinate flowers that turn into fruit and vegetables, plants and trees. (natural/organic foods)
A: The queen releases a pheromone that identifies her as the queen.
A: Brazil went from fourth in world honey production to twenty-seventh by the early 1990's.
Color, size and shape are traits that bees pass along from generation to generation through genes contained in cells. The Africanized bee is a dangerous hybrid, passing down the trait of defensiveness to each offspring.
Entomologists in Texas are working hard to track the northward spread of Africanized bees. The bees are tracked with traps. Usually these traps are nothing more than cardboard boxes covered with blue protective plastic, hung in trees. The traps are baited with a liquid similar to the pheromone that directs a swarm looking for a home. In Texas, more than 1,200 bee traps have been set along hundreds of miles of roadway. European honey bee sperm is inserted into a Africanized bee queen. The queen is then released into the wild. Scientists are hoping the injected Killer Bee queen will produce less aggressive bees and pass the gene to the offspring. So far, not enough queens have been released into the wild to determine if this plan will be successful.
The bad temper of the Africanized bee, coupled with its ability to dominate a honey bee region and reduce honey bee production, makes beekeepers anxious. Americans eat about 275 million pounds of honey each year. Beehive products also include wax used in candles, polish, and floor wax. Scientists disagree on the Africanized bee's ability to adapt to new environments nor how widely it will range. Also of concern is the possibility of relocating Africanized bee hives without causing an angry swarm.
Be alert for bees coming in and out of an opening such as a crack in a wall, or the hole in a utility box. Listen for the hum of an active bee colony.Look for bees in holes in the ground, holes in trees or cacti, and in sheds.Be extra careful when moving junk that has been lying around.Be alert for bees that are acting strangely. Quite often bees will display some preliminary defensive behavior before going into a full-fledged attack.