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      SOWEGA Beekeepers say Africanized honeybees should not cause panic

      At their monthly meeting, the SOWEGA Beekeepers Club discussed Africanized Honeybees: The buzzing insects are not going anywhere, but they say there is no reason for the public to panic.

      Bee experts presented slides on how to identify their hives and determine if a bee is an Africanized honeybee or not. One main way they say to identify an Africanized honeybee is by size: European Honeybees are typically larger than 900 mm and Africanized Honeybees are smaller than 845 mm.

      Experts say beekeepers help keep the killer bee population down by managing their hives and helping the less aggressive European Honeybee population thrive.

      The stronger the European bee colonies are the better defense they serve against Africanized colonies. If we keep helping one another learn more how to keep our colonies healthy and strong, it's a good defense against Africanized bees, says President Kathy Brinson.

      Experts say honeybees are exceptional sources for pollinating our food supply like strawberries and squash, but Africanized bees focus more on growing their colonies and not pollinating. Africanized honeybees are a more aggressive bee compared to their gentler, European counterparts.

      The newly established SOWEGA Beekeepers Club plans to discuss other various topic relating to bees in future meetings. They are working to establish a website to keep the community and beekeepers in the loop.