'Killer bees' arrive early in Tucson

Mar 09, 2006

So-called killer bees have reportedly arrived in Tucson, Ariz., early this year, with a shortage of food on the desert causing colonies to move about.

The Africanized bees have been forming new colonies around the city since at least February, while that activity doesn't usually begin until the middle or end of March, the Arizona Daily Star reported Thursday.

Scientists believe the ongoing drought over the southwester United States has reduced the amount of food available for existing urban colonies or in the desert where many of the bees normally live.

"The bees are kind of confused," said Justin Schmidt, a research biologist and Africanized bee expert, told the newspaper. "Normally, in January and early March, there will be lots of flowers from early rains in the desert -- mesquite, mustard and mistletoe -- that provide good food for them.

"This year we haven't had any of that. You walk around in the desert and there are no flowers. The bees are kind of starving," he added.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Rosetta comet-landing is Science's 2014 breakthrough

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Safe(bee) in numbers

Apr 29, 2014

Bumblebees can distinguish between safe and dangerous environments, and are attracted to land on flowers popular with other bees when exposed to perilous situations, according to new research from Queen Mary ...

Protecting our pollinators

Jul 15, 2013

Bees, so crucial to our food supply, are dying off at alarming rates. CALS researchers are taking a close look at everything from the microbes in their hives to the landscapes they live in to identify in what ...

Moths wired two ways to take advantage of floral potluck

Dec 06, 2012

Moths are able to enjoy a pollinator's buffet of flowers – in spite of being among the insect world's picky eaters – because of two distinct "channels" in their brains, scientists at the University of ...

Recommended for you

Why are UK teenagers skipping school?

19 hours ago

Analysis of the results of a large-scale survey reveals the extent of truancy in English secondary schools and sheds light on the mental health of the country's teens.

Fewer lectures, more group work

19 hours ago

Professor Cees van der Vleuten from Maastricht University is a Visiting Professor at Wits University who believes that learning should be student centred.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.