WHY AFRICANIZED BEES ARE SO NEGATIVE PORTRAYED
WHAT IS REALITY ABOUT THEM ?
“Science must begin with myths and with the criticism of myths.”
Hollywood is always guilty for shaping the common sense in wrong direction. It seems that magical production of lies and myths has never managed to be moderate but rather extreme in its own ignorance. When it comes to the historical facts, Hollywood rewrites the history and offers the new winners and new losers. On the other side of science, Hollywood is drawing the lines of fiction that sounds more realistic as everything what scientists have ever come out with. This is the main reason why so many generations of people have disfigured knowledge about the world and mutated version of life itself. But, at the end of the day, it is all about entertainment, it is all about money.
The popular story about Africanized killer bees is a bit older than an average hippy memory but it is always actual and colors of the fear from those insects are so vibrant. It is never too late to be afraid from them or to finally understand what is going on behind the one of the biggest myth from the L.A. suburb of fake tales.
The genesis of those bees lead us back to 1956, after Brazilian scientist Warwick Kerr imported African honeybees to South America because he wanted to try to cross- breed a so called more productive strain. The problem began when some of them escaped and bred with available European honeybees in the wild, making a totally new species, a hybrid. There are also articles that state that Kerr’s assistant made a mistake and let already hybridized bees into the wilderness. That new species, based on matching between Italian variety of European bees and African bees, has had all attributes of both sides but also has its own dark nature.
The original African honeybees are known for having unusual and almost weird behaviour. They are aggressive and ready to fight even when the threat is not so logical or evident. The surprising is that they do not produce so much honey as European honeybees and they are unpredictable. The researches have been impressed how fast the African bees are collecting pollen for feeding their young rather than nectar to produce the honey and feed the adults. Their main accent has always been on building the hives and producing themselves faster as honey. Warwick Kerr believed that mixture of those two species will give the best honey bees ever but the hybrid has been gone in totally another direction.
Their new name now was Africanized honeybees and they have been free to breed in wilderness with all bee colonies they have met on the road. In 1985, they have been already in Texas and then Tennessee, Utah and by 2014 across California.
In one American magazine about the agriculture, the zoologist states that the main point to understand the Africanized bees is to stop calling them killer bees. Bees, including the Africanized bees, do not attack without previous provocation. Hollywood tried to convince us that they fly around and search for people to sting or kill them. It is a first big myth. They have no time and no interest for such an activity. Only if they are attacked or their colony is somehow endangered, those hybridized species react back more aggressively than common Western honey bee. It is just a hot temper, nothing else and definitely nothing something superstitial but it is also not easy to make a real difference between those two:“It’s not easy to tell Africanized bees from non-Africanized bees at first glance; theoretically, their wings might be a bit shorter, but the only foolproof way to tell is to perform a DNA test to look for African honeybee DNA. That means there is a spectrum of Africanization; bees can have a very small or a very large percentage of African honeybee DNA depending on their heritage.”
For majority of scientists, it is still a main question how Africanized honeybees are managed to survive the cold American winters and the terrible climate changes that are modifying the complete environment. Their genetic map is perfectly created for all types of the natural challenges and it looks like the hybrid has hit the nail. Maybe that would help farmers to protect their own domestic honeybees and to make them more resistant to the current global threats.