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Brad Batdorf
Brad Batdorf Curator of Education at the Sedgwick County Zoo since the fall of 1993. His responsibilities include all educational activities of the Zoo, ranging from programs for toddlers to teacher workshops for graduate level college credit. Brad is an adjunct professor for Friends University, teaching the introductory course in the cooperative Zoo Science degree program. Prior to coming to KS, Brad worked as Director of Education at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, SC. Brad's degrees include an M.A.Ed. in Biology from the Citadel in Charleston, SC. Brad can be reached at (316) 942-2212 ext. 214 or e-mail: bbatdorf@scz.org
Animals, Reptiles & Insects
2003-08-01 13:57:00
Where are the killer bees?
ANSWER:  Africanized "killer bees" did indeed advance up from South and Central America and first entered a border county of Texas in 1990. In the years since that time, they have gradually moved north and westward. They are now found in certain parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and much of southern Texas. They are still moving northward, but scientists are unsure how far their range may be extended before they are limited by the winter temperatures.     While their venom is no stronger than that of our familiar European honeybees, they are much more aggressive and more likely to swarm and sting in large numbers. Deaths of humans, pets and livestock have been reported due to unusually high numbers of stings and the cumulative effect of the toxins. Perhaps a greater threat than the rare chance of being swarmed is the effect they may have on beekeeping.      These pushy bees will enter existing colonies of honeybees, either forcing the milder bees out, or breeding with them to produce hybrid colonies that may be much harder for beekeepers to manage. The loss of managed hives could affect the supply of honey as well as the pollination services that are essential to successful production of many fruits like melons and citrus.
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