On Killer Bees

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Having grown up in 1980’s America, the most profound fear of my childhood, aside from getting stuck inside an abandoned refrigerator, was killer bees. Somehow, I was told by Weekly Reader and afterschool specials, Africanized killer bees had been released along the US southern border. The bees were successfully integrating into the environment and spreading North slowly. I was informed that “scientists and experts” did not know how to deal with the problem. Killer bees mind you. Either the memory faded or it was never in fact clear to me how they could actually kill, but I had a vague notion that they were more aggressive than North American honey bees.

C.S. Lewis once said, “Precautions have a way of engendering fear.” This must be so, for as I was always dimly worried about the eminent bee attack in America, where it still hasn’t happened; the moment I came to Africa I completely forgot I was now on the home soil of Killer Bees. These Killer Bees didn’t need to be Africanized. They were full-blooded African to start with.

This naiveté continued until the very moment one stung me on the eyelid. I was sitting and reading, minding my own business. The bee landed noisily in my hair, climbed down my forehead and injected .005cc of noxious chemical into my upper eyelid. The pain was nothing special. Thankfully, I took note that he immediately returned to his hive. I realized he was now taking his last few moments alive to summon his fellow soldiers to an attack on my person. I quickly went inside and watched as 6 or 7 bees now wheeled about my abandoned chair. At this moment I became aware of the fact that I was in the presence of none other than killer bees. I was not at all impressed with the chemical armament of the species until I awoke the next morning unable to open my left eye.

The swelling continued over the next day until the whole left of my face was a puffy red useless mass. I was unable to open my eye properly again for about two more days. I realize that if I had taken a few more doses I would have been in serious trouble. At first I thought the bees quite needlessly fierce, then I was told that the keepers had visited the hive that morning
and the bees were agitated. For a collective hive mind, African honey bees can sure hold a grudge. The bees remained agitated for the next four days. I would wake up each morning to see numerous bees bumping angrily against my tent door.

After the bees settled back down, we all took a sigh of relief and relaxed our guard. The bees gave me no more trouble, and I am inclined to let by-gones be by-gones. It is just a shame that all those years of needless vigilance let me down at the last moment.

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5 Responses to “On Killer Bees”

  1. Amber Says:

    Did the swelling go down and did you have any more problems with the bees?

  2. matty Says:

    hi im matty i love wildlife and i know aot about it but the killer bee is a diffrent thing , i live in a place called colne in da uk lacashire is the right name i sopose we dont ge killer bees in our country but we do get hornets witch is a bigger version ov a wasp and belive me they have got a very powerfull sting enyway back to the killer bees i always thought that killers bees came to atack in swarm well i know they do ya see ya can tell da diffrence beetween a honey bee and a killer bee because a killer bee is about 3 times bigger than a normal honey bee and a killer bee will attack you for no reason were as a normal honey wont so thats all i have to say

  3. matty Says:

    hi its matty again theres a few other things i forgot to tell u about killer bees they dont die when they sting u just like a wasp or a hornet they dont eather usee when a normal honey bee stings u it dies because it leaves it sting and half it body behind the normal honey bee will only sting u if boverd or if u go near its hive and u havent to forget the kill bee is alot bigger than a normal honey bee and its sting will br bigger and it wont die unless u kill it that is killer bees have a bigger hive than normal honey bees so there is alot more wen they r together WHEN U READ THIS ITS ALL TRUE TRUST ME I KNOW ABOUT INSECTS AND MY WILDLIFE I LOVE IT

  4. toby Says:

    Hey Matty I think we are talking about slightly different things. Where I come from, in the US, “killer bees” is a colloquial term for these:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_bee
    Which are cross bred Tanzanian and European honey bees. The ordinary honey bees of East Africa are much more aggressive than the average honey bee in the western world.

    The bees that gave me that big eye are of this kind. They live for a short time after stinging. They use this time to return to the hive and lead more bees back for continued attack. This quickly can become a swarm and lead to death if you don’t get away.

    Probably the killer bee you are referring to is one I am not aware of. Thanks for your interest. I’m a big nature lover myself.

  5. matty Says:

    yo toby listen y r they called killer bees trust me were on the same bee

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