Rio de Janeiro, then spread to Paraguay, Northern Argentina, and Bolivia within 10 years •Thought the population would be diluted in Amazon basin, but instead spread at faster rate of 250-400km/year oCrossed Amazon River in 1971, and expansion slowed in Venezuela oEstimated 100 people died in Venezuela from bee stings in 1978 @ height of colonization •Continued to spread north, but southward spread was slower w colonization of higher Andes mountains
•First confirmed Africanized bee swarm was collected in Panama in 1982, Mexico 1986, and US 1990 •Efforts to slow population included increasing beekeeping and beekeepers in Venezuela (genetic dilution plant), discussion of physical barrier at Panama Canal (didn’t happen, but swat team removed over 7500 swarms/ colonies in 3 years), and biological barrier at coastal lowland narrowing Mexico Isthmus of Tehuanteoec in 1987 oOver 80,000 swarms/ colonies were destroyed in this region during failed attempt to halt/ slow spread of population northward into major beekeeping areas of Mexico and US •Initial Africanized swarms were captured w swarm traps in lower Rio Grande valley of Texas oFirst accidental sting death in 1991 •Colonized Arizona and California directly from Mexico rather than spreading west from Texas •Remained west of Mississippi River until 2005, when they were detected in Tampa Bay, Florida oProbably swarms/ colonies escaping from ships •Unknown why they failed to rapidly spread eastward from south Texas along Gulf Coast •Occupy southern border states except Alabama as of 2013 •Found in Georgia, Tennesse, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Utah, and Nevada, but not Colorado •Highly defensive colonies reported in several other states, largely from migration, queens or packages •Predicted to spread to areas where most of commercial queen breeders operate •Beekeepers carried them over Andes Mountain to coastal Peru where they spread to Ecuador (not Chile) •Ships have carried them to major islands of Caribbean •Further spread in Argentina has stalled (too cold southward) and European bees remain in southern region •Only Canada, Chile, and several small islands are free in Western Hemisphere •Probably experienced genetic bottleneck and does not reflect fully genetic mix of parental populations in Africa •Initially called assassin bee in Brazil, translated to killer bee in North America •Highly expressed defensiveness trait led to animals and people, esp. rural, dying from receiving too many stings (toxic) as bees defend their feral and beekeeper hive home sites oSame sting venom composition and toxicity but more individuals stinging •Retained tendency to exit feral home/ beekeeper hive and defend perimeter around nest, readily stinging moving animals/ people, a behaviour also exhibited in native Africa •3fold problems: defensiveness of bee resulting in mass-stinging accidents, lack of competition of European-based genetic material, and difficulty managing by beekeepers, esp. attempting techniques developed for less defensive European-race bees
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