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Two Swarms Destroyed Near California Border

May 18, 1993

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ Two swarms of what may be ″killer bees″ have been destroyed in northern Mexico just below the California state line, an official said Tuesday.

The suspected Africanized honey bees were discovered in Mexicali the week of May 3 on spools of electrical wire that had been shipped to Mexico from Brazil and trucked from the port of Veracruz, said state Agriculture Department spokesman Carl DeWing.

The bees were discovered by Mexican authorities, DeWing said, and it was not immediately clear if the electrical equipment had been scheduled to be moved across the border.

Samples of the dead bees were sent to Mexico City to confirm their identification.

Africanized honey bees look like regular honey bees but are known for their aggressiveness, which they inherited from African bees that were accidentally introduced into Brazil in the late 1950s. Africanized bees have since moved steadily northward, entering the United States three years ago in Texas.

The principal migratory movement of the bees is in Mexico about 300 miles south of the California border, and is expected to reach Southern California next year.

The bees discovered in Mexicali were not part of the main movement, said Bill Ruthier, a state bee expert.

DeWing said the state’s goal is to ″try to educate the public. We feel the public needs to become aware of the Africanized honey bee. We want people to understand that there is no need to panic. It’s basically a wild animal, and if you leave it alone you can avoid an attack.″

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