Killer bees found in Palisade

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

PALISADE, Colo. Africanized honey bees, better known as 'killer bees', have made their way into Palisade, the first place in Colorado to test positive for the bees.

A Palisade fruit grower noticed a hive was being more aggressive than normal about two weeks ago and brought it into the Tri River Area Extension office.

It was shipped out for testing and the office received a positive test result, surprising experts who said Africanized bees usually don't survive in cold weather.

"We've always said that Africanized bees couldn't over winter and this is the first time we've tested any and they came back positive and I was shocked," said Bob Hammon, of the Tri River Area Extension.

Palisade fruit growers said they'll have to warn their workers to be extra careful out in the fields.

"You just want to be cautious and were I to see a large hive, I would definitely call for help," said Steven Sherer, owner of Aloha Organic Fruit.

Killer bee stings are the same as European honey bee stings, but the bees are more aggressive and swarm in large numbers.

The bees also look identical to other kinds of honey bees and can only be distinguished through testing.

Even though the hive that was tested has been destroyed, Hammon said there's a chance there could be more in the area.

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