Killer bees found in Bay Area for first time

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Researchers say they have found killer bees in three places in the Bay Area and the insect can be deadly to humans. (KGO-TV)

Researchers who have been tracking killer bees in California say the insect has been found in the Bay Area for the first time. The three places where researchers found the killer bees are Lafayette, Martinez and the Delta. They say the warmer weather likely brought them here.

They look and sting like any typical honey bee in the Bay Area. But what sets killer bees apart is the fact they're extremely aggressive when their hive is disturbed.

Now that they've been spotted in Lafayette and Martinez, the East Bay Regional Park District is on alert.

"No one wants to hear about Killer Bees. It reminds you of some 70s horror movie, you know 'killer bees are coming,'" Carolyn Jones from the East Bay Regional Park District said.

But jokes aside, killer bees -- also known as Africanized bees -- can kill. It happened last month in Riverside, when a construction worker disturbed an underground hive.

UC San Diego professor Joshua Kohn discovered the killer bees in the East Bay last year where it was about as far north as they've ever come.

"Given that the weather has been very warm, it seemed likely they had moved somewhat and indeed they had," Kohn said.

As for East Bay residents we talked to, no one is panicking. They say killer bees are now just one more thing to be aware of when enjoying the outdoors.

Walnut Creek resident Jennifer Canova said, "There's rattlesnakes, there's other things that can hurt them, so I mean it's just another thing to add on to your list as a parent, right?"

But on the rare occasion of a swarm of bees coming after you, experts say cover your face and run as fast as you can until you're inside.

Also, avoid going into the water, killer bees will wait until you come for air.

Related Topics:
beeswarningpestsnorthern californianatureLafayetteWalnut Creek
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