Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Killer Bees Adopt Traits of More Docile Bees They Replaced

AFP, 2/26/2008

CHICAGO (AFP) — Killer bees introduced to South America in 1956 have adopted some of the traits of the more docile honey bees they replaced, a study released Monday found.

These more aggressive "Africanized" bees mated with the honey bees introduced by European settlers in the 17th century and now dominate hives from Brazil all the way up to the south western United States.

The most successful of the bees are hybrids which carry some of the traits of the original settlers, according to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A study of the genetic variations among bees determined that many of these traits were adopted through natural selection which allowed the bees to thrive in the new environment…

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