Kingston, Jamaica (Jamaica Observer) – The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is assessing the local honeybee stock for the presence of Africanised bees.
State Minister Franklin Witter said that, to date, “DNA samples have been collected for genetic analysis. Preliminary results have been received and a final report will be made to the stakeholders as soon as the DNA tests are completed in full”.
He was addressing a World Bee Day event at the Ministry’s offices in Kingston.
Africanised bees pose a threat to the productivity of honeybee colonies, domesticated animals as well as public safety.
Witter said that as a precautionary measure, the Ministry has developed a national action plan to combat the entry of the so-called “killer bees”.
“This includes the mapping of colony movements, installation and monitoring of interception traps, determination of the African lineage of local stock and training of stakeholders,” he said.
Africanised honeybees are much more aggressive than other bees and tend to pursue and swarm from the hive to attack a perceived threat.
They have been known to chase people for more than a quarter of a mile once they get excited and aggressive.