State agricultural officials say a colony of Africanized honey bees, the first to be found in South Carolina since 2001, has been destroyed in Charleston County.
Department of Plant Industry deputy director Mike Weyman told South Carolina Radio Network the agency is looking for more potential colonies nearby. ‘We will begin the process where these bees came from.”
The Department of Plant Industry discovered the Africanized honey bee colony in a survey of a bee dealer’s holdings, Weyman said. “This was actually a managed hive.”
This is the first discovery in South Carolina of the hybrid bees since a colony of Africanized bees was found in the wing of an airplane in Greenville. That colony, too, was destroyed and no Africanized bees have been detected in the state since.
Africanized honey bees defend their nests more vigorously than European bees and swarm more often. They were first introduced in Brazil more than a half-century ago and migrated to North America in 1985. They are largely confined to the southwestern states and southern Florida, although these particular bees were not the same type found in North America.