Two Horses Attacked By Killer Bees
Two Tennessee Walking horses were attacked by Africanized Honey Bees at the Wagon Wheel Ranch in Menifee. The horses were housed in a barn that had three honey bee colonies containing approximately 100,000 “killer bees”. It is not clear what exactly provoked the bees to sting the horses but the slightest noise or scent can infuriate the buzzing bugs.
The injured horses were discovered after the morning attack by a ranch hand and were soon treated by the ranch veterinarian with epinephrine and dexamethasone to dilate their air passageways and reduce swelling. Despite the revival attempts, the dosage of bee venom was too toxic for the horses to overcome the anaphylactic shock and both horses later died.
Africanized Honeybees (AHB) are more aggressive and attack in larger numbers compared to the European Honeybees (EHB) . Although the toxicity of the bee venom is equal in both breeds of the honeybee, the AHB’s behavior are more of a threat to humans thus giving them the title of “killer bees”.
All the remaining horses at Wagon Wheel Ranch have been removed from the stable and the city of Menifee has agreed on covering the expense for the bee removal to avoid bee attacks to staff and students of a nearby public school.
If you have pets or animals it is important to inspect around your home and separate structures for bee hives. Roof eaves and overhangs are common areas for bees to build a colony.