Texas quarantines for Africanized honey bees

Crosby and Kaufman counties in Texas were added this month to a state quarantine that restricts the movement of commercial bee operations following the detection of Africanized honey bees.

The addition makes 143 counties in Texas now quarantined for Africanized honey bees, according to Paul Jackson, chief inspector for the Texas Apiary Inspection Service, a unit of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station.

In Crosby County, a wild colony of bees was taken from a building in Ralls. The bees were killed and a sample sent to the Texas Honey Bee Identification Lab in College Station.

A wild colony of bees was also taken from a mobile home in Kaufman County. The bees stung a woman several times, but Jackson said she was not seriously injured. Those bees also were killed and a sample sent to the identification lab.

The quarantine allows beekeepers to move beehives within but not out of the zone in an effort to prevent assisting the spread.

Africanized honey bees look just like regular domestic honey bees but are more defensive in protecting their hives, Jackson noted.

State bee inspectors continue to monitor a series of bee traplines that extend across the state from Louisiana to New Mexico. The Africanized bee was first detected in the United States near Brownsville in October 1990.

Since then, the bee has spread through much of the state, along a line roughly from Houston to Lubbock to El Paso. Africanized honey bees also have been found in Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico.

Counties included in the quarantine are: Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Borden, Bosque, Brazoria, Brazos, Brewster, Brooks, Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Callahan, Cameron, Cochran, Coleman, Colorado, Comanche, Concho, Coryell, Comal, Cottle, Crane, Crockett, Crosby, Culberson, Dallas, Dawson, DeWitt, Dimmit, Duval, Eastland, Ector, Edwards, Ellis, El Paso, Erath.

Also Falls, Fayette, Fisher, Fort Bend, Frio, Gaines, Gillespie, Glasscock, Goliad, Gonzales, Gregg, Guadalupe, Hamilton, Harris, Harrison, Haskell, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hockley, Hood, Hudspeth, Irion, Jackson.

Other quarantined counties are Jeff Davis, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Johnson, Jones, Karnes, Kaufman, Kendall, Kenedy, Kerr, Kimble, King, Kinney, Kleberg, Knox, Lampasas, La Salle, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Limestone, Live Oak, Lubbock, Martin, and Mason.

Matagorda, Maverick, McCulloch, McLennan, McMullen, Medina, Menard, Midland, Milam, Navarro, Nolan, Nueces, Pecos, Presidio, Reagan, Real.

Refugio, Robertson, Runnels, San Patricio, Scurry, and Schleicher, Shackelford, Somervell, Starr, Stephens, Sterling, Sutton, and Tarrant.

Taylor, Terrell, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Travis, Upton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Victoria, Walker, Ward, Washington, Webb, Wharton, Willacy, Williamson, Wilson, Zapata and Zavala.

For information about Africanized honey bees on the Web, try http://agnews.tamu.edu/bees.

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