I just read this article on KSL about the bee attack.
It is hard for me to read bad press about bees and feel like some information is missing from this article. This may be misleading and cause others to have bad opinions about honeybees.
This is especially important considering the beekeeping legislation on the books for next year. Sustainable beekeeping is critical for pollination and our food supply. We need policies that enable beekeepers to keep bees.
So I have a few questions. First, were they honeybees or wasps? There was a wasp pictured behind newscasters in the video. Wasps and honeybees have different behavior patterns. Wasps are aggressive while bees are defensive.
Next, was it a swarm, a feral colony living in the phone pole, or was there a hived honeybee colony next to the ball field? These are three very different things, with different ramifications.
From photos, it looked like a feral colony living in a cavity in the phone pole. Was it Africanized? It is likely that it was Africanized, considering the size of the pole and also because the bees were located in St. George. European bees are unlikely to live in a nest so small. Will the bee carcasses be tested for Africanized genes?
I’d hate for all honeybees to be stereotyped by an aggressive, Africanized colony living in St. George. Scientists don’t expect the Africanized bees to survive in central or northern Utah.
Also, when bees are swarming, it is the most gentle phase of their life cycle. My kids handle the bees when they are clustering without being stung.