Since 1990, Africanized honey bees—the so-called "killer bees"—have been a threat to beekeepers in the United States. These hybrids have invaded Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California, as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (Information Staff, 2002). It is not known how far north the Africanized honey bees can live in the U.S., but they can live in the Andes of South America. The limiting factor to their spread seems to be that they don't store as much food as most other honey bees. This means they may starve to death in winter when there are no flowers blooming (Anon., c. 2002).
Texas A&M University has a website that lists the Africanized Honey Bee Quarantined Counties in Texas, as well as a USDA map showing the locations of Africanized honey bees in the United States. As of July 10, 2002, Texas had 143 counties quarantined for Africanized honey bees. The quarantine allows beekeepers to move bee hives within but not out of the zone, in an effort to prevent the assisted spread of Africanized honey bees. For additional information on Africanized honey bees, visit <http://agnews. tamu.edu/bees/quaran.htm>.
Africanized honey bees are impossible to physically distinguish from regular honey bees. The bees have to be analyzed in a lab to determine whether they are Africanized (Anon., c. 2002). Behaviorally, Africanized bees are typically aggressive when reacting to threats that non-Africanized bees would ignore. The USDA Beltsville Bee Research Laboratory provides free authoritative identification of Africanized honey bees, as well as diagnosis of bee diseases and pests, for Federal and State regulatory agencies and for beekeepers worldwide [See instructions on how to ship bees to Beltsville in the Appendix]. Texas's Honey Bee Identification Lab at Texas A&M University allows Texas residents to have samples of honey bees identified free of charge. Texas residents should contact their Extension agent about this service (Anon., c. 2002).
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Make money with honey How to be a Beekeeper. Beekeeping can be a fascinating hobby or you can turn it into a lucrative business. The choice is yours. You need to know some basics to help you get started. The equipment needed to be a beekeeper. Where can you find the equipment you need? The best location for the hives. You can't just put bees in any spot. What needs to be considered when picking the location for your bees?