3. In 1985, Africanized Bees Arrived in Texas
Africanized bees, also known as killer bees, are a hybrid species that was created in Brazil in the 1950s to increase honey production. As happens all too often when plants and animals are used as science experiments, a group of the bees escaped their quarantine and began to build colonies throughout South America and into North America. Few people are actually stung to death by killer bees – usually only about one person per year in the United States – and even that number is almost always because the victim antagonized them. However, they are dangerous, as people found in 1985 when the bees were located in Texas.
Killer bees are known to attack anything that they believe is threatening the hive. They can chase people and animals for as much as a quarter of a mile, and when they travel as a swarm, they can overwhelm the victim by delivering thousands of bites. As many as 1000 people worldwide have died as a result of being attacked by hordes of killer bees. Since they first arrived in the United States in 1985, they have spread northward. Today, killer bees can be found all across the continental United States. Efforts to control and thwart their spread have been met with varying degrees of success.