A hive filled with killer bees was recently found and wiped out in Charleston County. Presently, state officials are searching across the countryside to determine whether there are still any other Africanized bees around.
The hive was found and exterminated thanks to Clemson University inspectors. It is part of their job to prevent this species of bees to spread around the area and worse, across the country. Even if Clemson officials think that they most probably exterminated all the Africanized bees in the area, they still need to double check to be 100% percent sure.
According to Brad Cavin, Clemson Inspector, this is most likely just a localized incident, but as a measure of precaution, a survey is conducted within an area of two miles to establish whether there are any Africanized bees left. After the survey is done, the officials will decide if any other actions need to be taken or not.
Killer bees are known for their aggressive nature. They do not need to be provoked too much in order to become dangerous. Hundreds of cases were registered regarding people or animals stung by these bees. In an attempt to develop a hybrid species of bee which would produce more honey, 50 years ago African bees were brought to Brazil.
According to experts, the only killer bees found recently in South Carolina were most likely brought by ships, airplanes or by other means. Killer bees were last seen in South Carolina 15 years ago, when the officials found them inside an aircraft wing in Greenville, Clemson.
Cavin explained that the laboratory test results showed that in the Charleston case, the bees were from a managed colony, not like a wild or feral beehive. Even if Cavin declined to say where the colony was found, he estimated that there were at least thousands of bees in that nest. At the moment, the university is investigating every aspect regarding the killer bees to establish whether any rules were violated and who sold the hive.
However, beekeepers believe that the killer bees might originate from a place, such as Florida, where they already have a larger wild population. The best thing is that the hive was found very fast, and future casualties and consequences were prevented.