Hives bigger, killer bees meaner this year, say experts after attacks
A killer bee expert says it's been a record year for big hives.
September 16th, 2011
02:07 PM ET

Hives bigger, killer bees meaner this year, say experts after attacks

Are the killer bees meaner than ever in 2011? The Killer Bee Guy thinks so.

They're much more ornery this year,  according to Reed Booth, also know as The Killer Bee Guy. "This is the worst I've seen in 10 years," Booth told CNN affiliate KOLD-TV in Tucson this week.

Booth spoke after taking out a 200-pound hive of a quarter-million killer bees on a Bisbee farm earlier this week. The bees had swarmed after their hive in an outbuilding on the farm was disturbed. They killed a 1,000-pound hog and and sent a pregnant 800-pound sow into a coma. The piglets were lost, KOLD reported.

"A thousand-pound pig is a huge thing," Booth said. "I'm kinda surprised that they did kill it."

Farmer Jane Hewitt said the attack was frightening.

"I jumped into a car but the passenger side window was down, and they came in a black cloud towards me.  I tried to swat at them and get them out the drivers side window," she told KOLD.

The Bisbee hive was one of two massive hives Booth has tackled within a week. On Tuesday, Booth removed a hive of 200,000 bees from an abandoned home in Palominas, according to a report on

That hive contained some of the most aggressive bees he's ever seen, according to the report.

"This was, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, this was definitely a nine," Booth said. "You could smell the venom. There were so many bees around our masks, we could barely see."

CNN affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix reported that a man in Wilhoit, Arizona, died after a bee attack last week. Two other men were injured.

Hives of 100 pounds or more have been removed from residences in the Phoenix area, too, CNN affiliate KPHO-TV reports.

"This year we've had more large hives than we've ever had," said Kevin Hodgson, of The Beekeeper, an extermination service in the Phoenix area. "Consistently these hives are bigger than they've been in recent years," Hodgson told KPHO.

Booth won't dispute that.

"It's been a record year for big, mean hives," quotes Booth as saying.

Meanwhile in California, bees attacked four people Thursday in Santa Ana junk yard, sending all four to the hospital, according to a report from CNN affiliate KCBS-TV.

One of the men, who was in a wheelchair when the hive was disturbed, was stung 64 times. Three other men were stung as they pulled him away from the swarm, according to the report.

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Filed under: Animals • Arizona • Bees • California
soundoff (172 Responses)
  1. ED2004

    Wu Tang Killer Bees?

    September 17, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. honey pot

    Eat your honey, keep her happy!

    September 17, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. SickandTired

    Forget the bees – Get an socialist piece of S@#$ exterminator to take out che

    September 17, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jim in washington

    Tell them about Rick Perry.

    September 17, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MLK

    Lets just kill all the killer bee's and cause them to go extinct.

    September 17, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. erich2112x

    They've been feeding us this bologna since the 70's.

    September 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Argle Bargle

    Now...if they would only attack Washington, DC en masse.

    September 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bill c

    KILLER BEES is a bogus front word for news media hype. GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT!!!! This farmer put their animals in harms way by allowing the bees to set up their colony in the barn. Stupidity!!!!

    September 18, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  9. yo mama


    September 20, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. yo mama


    September 20, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. jewishfeet


    September 20, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. yo mama

    i hear u jewish feet

    September 20, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. jewishfeet


    September 20, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. bjk bjk bjk bjk bjk bjk bjk bjk bjk bjk bjk bjk bjk bjk bjk bjk bjk bjk

    beeseat babies

    September 20, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lahoma

    Hogwash – these bees behaved in the normal way Africanized honey bees will behave when they are seriously disturbed (as in when their hive is moved or destroyed). The bees are no "meaner" than they were last year. They are defensive not aggressive. The humans in this situation however were definitely aggressive and the piggies paid for it.

    September 24, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
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