Africanized Honeybees Found in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE, La. Nearly 30 years after a TV movie showed the Superdome saving New Orleans from "killer bees," Louisiana has joined other southern-tier states with confirmed sightings of the aggressive insects.
Bees trapped in June near the northwest Louisiana town of Rodessa, about 35 miles northwest of Shreveport, were confirmed as the Africanized variety Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's bee research center, state Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom said.
The insects are considerably less dangerous than thought in 1976, when "The Savage Bees" first aired. In the movie, the city is saved from a swam of bees when the insects are driven into the Superdome, where chilly air conditioning renders them motionless.
However, if they feel threatened, the bees will attack in large numbers. In Texas, they have caused 11 deaths in 15 years.
Africanized bees are the result of an experiment to increase honey production in Brazil. A swarm of the small, aggressive bees escaped in 1957. When they mated with native strains, the offspring turned out to be as aggressive as the African parents.
They reached Texas in 1990 and have spread west to California, and swarms have been reported around ports in Florida.
Source: Associated Press