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CSU Lab Tests Bees, Possible Africanized Honey Bee Link

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)- A lab at Colorado State University is testing bees to determine whether they may be the dangerous Africanized honey bees.

Africanized honey bees are usually found in warmer climates like Texas and Arizona. Now they’ve been discovered in Palisade, the first of their kind in Colorado.

“The unfortunate habit it has is that it’s ready to defend and is more likely to sting,” said CSU professor Whitney Cranshaw.

Africanized honey bee  (credit: tn.gov)

Africanized honey bee (credit: tn.gov)

Experts said this is the farthest north the bees have been reported. It was believed the insects couldn’t survive harsh winters.

“So that’s the question, why they survived,” said Cranshaw.

The bees take over the hives of other bees and kill the queen.

That hive where the bees were found has been destroyed.

A new lab at CSU is working to determine if there are more.

“We anticipate quite a few people will want to find out if African bees are more widespread in the state,” said Cranshaw. “If it’s widespread it will cause problems with beekeeping.”

Questions about submitting bee samples to the CSU lab should be made to whitney.cranshw@colostate.edu. There is a $25 fee. Phone messages are best directed to 970-491-7554.

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