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Bees may be 'killers'
Extension Agent Robert Bell
The Africanized honeybee is nothing to play with, but may have taken up residence outside a daycare in downtown Hinesville.
It has not yet been confirmed, but exterminators sent to a Kiddie Kare daycare center have never seen a hive or bee activity like those at the center, according to those in first spotted the bees.
It would be the first time the aggressive bees have been seen in Georgia and because of that at least Liberty County Extension Agent Robert Bell is skeptical.
Whether the bees are the Africanized honeybees or not, Laverne Young, daycare owner, said she has followed the appropriate steps and arranged for the hive to be professionally removed on Monday.
Sometimes referred to as "killer bees," the Africanized honeybee is notorious for its aggressive behavior, committing to a quarter mile chase to those who trespass on their territory.
The European honeybee is only confirmed bee species for our area, according to Bell. However the Africanized bee closely resembles the European honeybee.
Bell followed procedure and has taken a sample from the Kiddie Kare center for further examination to see what bee species it is.
"Until I can get it analyzed by the lab, there's no way to predict that," Bell said.
The insects originate from Brazil and were first spotted in the Southwest United States in 1990.
Then the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences announced in 2005 that Africanized honeybees were found in their state.
"This is the time of year when different bees start moving and migrating," Bell said.
Because the Africanized bee also produces honey and sometimes cross breeds with the European honeybee, beekeepers will also need to be watchful.
"They're going to have to practice more safe guidelines when harvesting because of their (Africanized honeybees) aggressive nature," Bell said.
He mentioned there will be an increase of trainings throughout the state to instruct city workers, such as firefighters and police officers, how to respond to any possible Africanized bee attacks.
While Bell said the bees are "definitely something public needs to be aware of and on the lookout," he continued to stress that no Africanized bees have been sited in Georgia.
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