Killer bees: are they present in France?


The killer bees were remembered fondly by our American friends. On Friday August 26, 2022, a 20-year-old young man was indeed attacked while pruning a lemon tree. Inadvertently or inadvertently, he cut a killer bee’s nest, reports Ouest-France. He was bitten more than 20,000 times and is now in a coma. His grandmother and his uncle watched helplessly at this tragic spectacle. They too were surrounded by bees, the news headline reported. “He was screaming and no one could help him,” lamented his grandmother, who says she tried “to climb the ladder” to reach her grandson, in vain.

The young adult, now in the hands of caregivers, also ingested around 30 bees during the attack. The medical staff had to extract them until Sunday morning. He is now fighting for his life, his mother said on the fundraising page created a few days later to finance treatment. He should make a full recovery.

The killer bee, also called “Africanized bee”, is a hybrid species created in Brazil, reports the specialized magazine Geo on its site. It is the result of a cross between European bees and African bees. Identical in appearance to the European bee, it is considerably more aggressive and is even able to pursue its victims for several kilometres.

So far, there is a priori no mention of an attack by killer bees on French soil. Which does not mean that the “standard” bee never attacks! In 2019, in Haute-Loire, a walking couple was attacked by a swarm. One of the victims had been particularly abused, recalls France Info. Fortunately, such tragedies (which also kill bees, since each sting is fatal for one of them) are rare.