Uber-smart Aloysia Brooks, she has two PhDs and married David Hicks, asserts that even though bees kill more people than terrorists, “One could hardly imagine a war on bees occurring any time soon…” Such a war will be more than imagined should Australian bees, like those throughout much of the western hemisphere, be radicalised.
Aggressive African bees were imported into Brazil for research purposes in the 1950s, promptly escaping into the wild. Indistinguishable from placid, previously imported European bees, the African bees quickly “radicalised” Brazilian hives and nests, relentlessly spreading north, reaching the United States in 1985.
Wildlife expert Randall Kennedy says the bees get “crazy angry real quick”, describing the radicalisation process as a change of mentality:
“[Local bees] get exposed to a killer bee. They go in there, they just change the whole attitude of the nest,” he said. “The queen changes her attitude. Africanized killer bees can go from non-aggressive to aggressive in a switch.”
Since radicalised bees can and do kill any living thing that provokes them, as well as innocent bystanders in the wrong place at the wrong time, and are indistinguishable from there placid fellows, there are only two sensible courses of action when dealing with bees whose disposition is unknown:
There is a presence of Africanized honey bees in Florida and it is state recommendation that nuisance feral honey bee colonies (not managed by beekeepers) nesting in close proximity to areas frequented by people or domestic animals be removed by a beekeeper registered by the state of Florida or eradicated by a licensed and insured Pest Control Operator (PCO) for purposes of public safety.
Unmanaged bees must be removed or eradicated: let’s hope it never comes to that in Australia.
Update: In Texas it’s a matter of eradication of the radicalised: