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California Mastiffs Killed by Africanized Bees

Where were these poor dogs when they were being attacked? The family seems to have been inside. Why weren't the dogs? Thanks to abc7.com for...

Joy  |  May 18th 2007


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Where were these poor dogs when they were being attacked? The family seems to have been inside. Why weren’t the dogs?

Thanks to abc7.com for this very scary story.

Africanized ‘Killer’ Bees Kill Three DogsTree Limb on Hive Agitated Bees
By Bob Banfield

HESPERIA, May 17, 2007 (KABC-TV) – A terrifying ordeal for a Hesperia family. Without warning their home was attacked by a swarm of Africanized bees and the attack claimed the lives of three of their dogs.

We are coming into that time of year when the trees are in bloom and the flowers are in bloom and nature’s pollinators, the honey bees, are becoming very, very active. Over the years, we have learned that had we have to look at the bee a little diffrently now. If you see a lot of them buzzing around or see them buzzing around, it may be cause for concern.

Consider what happened at a rural residence in Hesperia last week.

Deborah Smith says her daughter called her on her cell phone and “She said, ‘Mom you need to hurry up and come home because the bees are attacking the dogs.'”

The bees were Africanized honey bees.

They became agitated when a tree limb fell on their hive. The hive was in a hole in a concrete fence. They became very aggressive. Three of the family’s five mastiffs were stung and died. Two were big dogs.

At San Bernardino Vector Control, we learned that no humans have been killed in San Bernardino County by these bees, but a worker was killed in Riverside County years ago.

The situation in Hesperia should make people think about the potential problems of bees.

“I think it’s good for people to be aware of that. Particularly so they can look out for the bees on their own property and take care of them before such a tragedy occurs on their own property,” said Joseph Krygier of San Bernardino County Vector Control.

The majority of honey bees in San Bernardino County have changed over the years.

“Our feeling from when we were tracking them was about 85-90% of the hives in the desert areas were Africanized bees. And it was about 55-60% in the San Bernardino Valley area at the time. And it probably increases a bit each year,” Krygier said.

The only way to differentiate between the European honey bee and Africanized honey bee is to measure the wing: The Africanized bees have smaller wings.

Advice from the experts?

“A person should be vigilant on their property to watch for openings, as in the place in Hesperia, openings in the wall or any kind of hole that’s big enough for bees to enter. And watch for anything that has a cavity that can support a hive, and if they see bees going in and out, or the staining that happens to occur when they go in and out, to call a pest control company,” Krygier said.

If you run into beehives on public land call the Vector Control for the county that are you in.

Follow this link to watch the video.