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This past June, a colony of 100,000 killer bees occupying a vacant Texas home swarmed the neighbor’s dog, killing it with their stings. Africanized bees were brought from Africa to Latin America in the hopes that they might enjoy the warmer temperatures and produce a pile of honey. The ploy worked, and Brazil is now one of the world’s leading honey producers as a result. But the bees appear to be migrating to the US due to warmer temperatures, according to a recent Accuweather report – and they show signs of being significantly more aggressive than European honeybees.
Researchers are keen to explain what would compel a colony of “super bees” or “killer bees” to swarm and kill a dog (assuming the dog didn’t provoke the hive.) Accuweather reports that bee behavior responds to changes in barometric pressure. They are likely to retreat to their hive in the event of rain, and – attuned to vibrations – may emerge more aggressive than before. Also, since they face many more dangers in their natural habitat, the bees are said to be naturally more aggressive than European honeybees.
Professor of Entomology at Penn State University and Director of the PSU Center of Pollinator Research, Dr. Christina Grozinger told Accuweather that temperature plays a key role in where the bees migrate. The semi-subtropical environs of summertime Arizona and Texas appeal to the bees, which can’t survive in cold weather. Unlike European honeybees that stay warm by constantly moving during winter months, Africanized bees will die off if they aren’t able to migrate south before cold sets in.