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Miami Killer Bee Threat Escalates ::

Reported by Trackitdown TID on May 4, 2006

Delegates attending last month’s Winter Music Conference may have been lucky to avoid Africanized ‘killer bees’ according to local press reports this week, which said the threat is becoming increasingly serious.


Central Florida News TV channel 13 warned Florida could soon be facing ‘a possible killer bee epidemic’ after a man was attacked by a swarm in Wellington, and broadcast a frightening series of tips of what to do if targeted.



Beekeeper Richard Fullerton told viewers to avoid facing the bees as ‘they like carbon dioxide and will come toward your mouth’ and even more alarmingly advised people NOT to run away.



“Bees can fly 40 miles an hour, and running precipitates a fall and can cause them to swarm around you on the ground,” he explained, “You are better off walking, because they have to fly to stay with you and they don't sting while they fly.”



Even more disturbingly, the beekeeper’s tips directly contradicted official government advice according to a feature in local newspaper South Florida Sun-Sentinel.



“Africanized bees perceive any disturbance of their nest as a threat, so they'll chase any animal or person that disturbs their home for up to a quarter of a mile,” the paper said.



“Their persistence is legendary, so much so that government brochures with advisories on Africanized honeybees urge people to RUN, with upper case letters and exclamation points, to a safe area.”



Though no reports of bees disrupting the Winter Music Conference emerged this year, state officials said residents and tourists should get used to living with their presence long term.



"They've dominated South America and Mexico," Florida agriculture official Jerry Hayes pointed out, "There's no reason that they won't do the same thing in Florida and the Southeast.”



Jonty Skrufff (