North Texas

Africanized Bees Terrorize Bedford Neighborhood

Tens of thousands of aggressive "killer bees" living under the roof of a North Texas home swarmed the neighborhood and even attacked an NBC 5 crew when wildlife officials removed the hive Tuesday.

Margeaux Baskin, of Bedford, said her family thought they were regular honeybees until they called the DFW Wildlife Coalition to remove the hive.

"They come and they (say), 'No, they're African bees and we need to handle this really carefully,'" Baskin said.

Africanized, or "killer," bees – a hybrid of the Western and African honeybees – arrived in the U.S. from Central America about 15 years ago and are known for swarming their prey, NBC News reported.

Randall Kennedy, who owns DFW Wildlife, said the Baskins had no clue tens of thousands of Africanized bees had been living beneath the roof of their house. As soon as Kennedy went to remove the hive, the bees attacked.

"They got crazy angry very quick. This whole neighborhood was covered in bees," he said.

Kennedy rushed neighbors inside to take shelter and told residents coming home to pull in their garages before getting out of their cars in an effort to protect them from the swarming hive.

The bees even attacked an NBC 5 crew conducting an interview at the end of the road, forcing the crew back inside a live van for the next several hours.

Kennedy said the hive most likely started out as honeybees, but some point came into contact with an Africanized bee, which alerted the hive's mentality.

"They get exposed to a killer bee. They go in there, they just change the whole attitude of the nest," he said. "The queen changes her attitude. Africanized killer bees can go from non-aggressive to aggressive in a switch."

When Kennedy and his crew were finally able to remove the hive, they discovered pounds and pounds of honeycomb attached to the roof and honey seeping onto the house.

Kennedy said normally, his crews would try to capture and relocate the bees. In this instance, however, he believes the queen bee flew away and the other bees dispersed with her.

Baskin was able to safely leave her home after several hours.

"(It's) a lot better! I didn't think it was that bad," she said, adding, "I kind of want to try the honey."

Africanized bees are believed to be responsible for several other recent attacks, including on a Los Angeles woman and North Texas man who were each stung 1,000 times last year. Bees also stung nearly two dozen middle school students during a physical education class in Fort Worth and attacked a Central Texas man last October.

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