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Officials Find 'Killer' Bees Near Houston

July 24, 1993|From Reuters

HOUSTON — Africanized "killer" bees, which began entering the United States from Mexico several years ago, have been discovered for the first time in the Houston area, authorities said Friday.

The Texas A&M University Agricultural Extension Service said a swarm of the bees was found Wednesday in a trap in Ft. Bend County just southwest of Houston, the fourth-most populous city in the nation.

With the discovery, the bees are known to have migrated more than 300 miles northeast since being detected in October, 1990, near Brownsville, Tex., on the Mexican border.

Most of the bees have been detected in southern Texas, but a swarm was found recently in Arizona.

The Africanized bees resemble European domestic honeybees, but they earned the "killer" bee label due to their propensity for rapid, swarming attacks on perceived threats.

Last week a Texas rancher became the first person in the United States to die from stings by the Africanized bees.

Lino Lopez, 82, died from an allergic reaction after being stung more than 40 times.

The bees are known to have stung at least 140 other people in the United States.

Officials had been expecting the bees' arrival in Houston since last spring, but a cooler, drier winter is believed to have slowed their progress.

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