SAN ANTONIO -- They nest not just in trees, but in walls of homes -- and make their presence known with a serious sting.
“They're here. And they've been here since 1990-1992,” local beekeeper Ed Priest said.
Priest said the “killer bee” is rightly named. The entire hive will often give chase to its perceived attackers, often until the victim is killed.
Historically in San Antonio, pets are among the first fatal victims.
Priest added, “The Africanized bee has a protective trait. If you get close to their home, they protect their home.”
Beekeepers say there are no official numbers that reveal how many hives have been infiltrated by the Africanized honey bee. However, experts say they've seen aggression grow among the bees of South Texas.
Beekeepers believe cross-breeding between the European honey bee and it's African cousin has brought out the behavior change.
“In a sense they are like rabbits: They reproduce very well, very fast.”
The Africanized bee is known to pursue its victim for more than a quarter mile.
The weekend death of a farmer in Moody, Texas, has beekeepers warning folks of the danger of upsetting bees.
Approximately 40,000 killer bees stung Larry Goodwin, after he accidentally hit the hive with his tractor. Goodwin’s family says the 62-year-old attempted to escape and use a water hose to get rid of the bees. He was eventually stung over most of his body.
Historically, the Texas Agrilife Extension Service reports only one person dies each year in the state due to insect bites.