A 75-year-old man was killed by attacking Africanized honey bees while walking with his dog in Colombia’s northern region of Santander, Caracol Radio reported this week.
The elderly man reportedly was taking his dog to hunt when the bee swarm attacked him fiercely.
Africanized honey bees, commonly referred to as “Killer bees, are some hybrid varieties of the Western honey bee species, (Apis mellifera), produced originally by cross-breeding of the African honey bee A. m. scutellata, with various European honey bees such as the Italian bee A. m. ligustica and the Iberian bee A. m. iberiensis. The hybrid bees are far more defensive than any of the various European subspecies. Small swarms of Africanized bees are capable of taking over European honey bee hives by invading the hive and establishing their own queen after killing the European queen bee.
“The man died on the spot by multiple stings. Apparently the barking dog alerted the bees that then attacked the man. He couldn’t run to escape,” said local police to the media.
According to reports, this has been the third death caused by bee attacks this year in the region of Santander.
Africanized honey bees originated in South-East Brazil in the 1960s out of the cross-breed of European and South-African bees and since then have spread throughout the Americas – due to them out-competing the European subspecies and being better adapted to tropical conditions.
Source: Caracol Radio, Wikipedia