Africanized bees may not be established in Dougherty Co. -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Africanized bees may not be established in Dougherty Co.

More encouraging news about Africanized bees in Dougherty County. State officials don't believe they're established here.

They say that doesn't mean the county shouldn't be cautious. They've taken 15 samples this spring, and the majority have been regular European honey bees, not the more aggressive Africanized variety. Thursday they took another sample just a half mile from where 73 year old Curtis Davis was killed in October.

A little soapy water was all it took to take care of the thousand of bees that set up home in Lula Ruth Maxie's shed.

"They're gone, thanks the Lord," said Lula Ruth Maxie.

The bees have been buzzing for nearly two weeks.

"They were in the shed house, up under the floor there, they had already made a nest up under the floor," said Maxie.

Because she's only a half mile from where killer Africanized bees attacked her friend Curtis Davis in October, members of the Department of Agriculture's plant protection division were called in to handle the pests. The bees have bee a sad reminder.

"I really hadn't gotten over his death because we were close friends," said Maxie.

They're also a nuisance. They've kept the yard man from cutting the grass and weeds near the shed.

"I would tell everybody don't go out there, I wouldn't let anybody go near it, I kept it locked," said Maxie.

A sample of the bees was taken for testing. In fact samples have been taken at 14 other sites in Mitchell County where a nest was found underneath a lawn mower and this 50 pound hive found on Mock Road. Of the 12 samples returned non have tested positive although Africanized bees were found not far away on Honeysuckle Drive. State officials say it's a sign they may have got to the bees before they were established. Lula Ruth's not taking any chances.

"I'm thinking about getting somebody with a bulldozer to push that house down and get rid of it," said Maxie.

Keeping bees from building another colony in her yard and keeping the neighborhood safe.

State officials are asking the public to be patient they say some times when people call to have a hive examined it takes them a week to get there because of all they do. They say they'll continue testing here in Dougherty County throughout the year, because of the Africanized bee attack here on Williamsburg Road.

Local bee keepers are meeting with state officials at Chehaw to discuss how they can continue to monitor for Africanized bees in Dougherty County. They recommend calling a county extension agent if you're having a non emergency issue with bees near your home.

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