Breauna L. Roach: Poet of the Week

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Notes on a Myth of an Invasive Species

“The African bee has the reputation of being more aggressive, and more deadly, than any other bee in the world. But farmers there know that the honey the bees produce is worth a million stings.”- Gwen Thompkins, NPR, 2007

they made their way. traveling north. growing in frequency. expanding populations. a biological change. hybridized in attempt to create a better suited bee for colder climates. they spread to a new territory. encountered people who were not accustomed. more aggressive than European honeybees. negative impact on production. negative impact on industry. mixed mating will taint the pedigree. permanent impact. mistake. their defensive behavior is an evolutionary response to their many biological competitors. the venom is not more toxic. they are likely to pursue the source of disturbance more consistently. African virgin queens are more successful fighters. bee venom is a cocktail designed to inflict swarm attacked a couple in Texas on their ranch. one of the horses jumped into the pool. the stings. so many. the sky turned dark. five hens died. extermination efforts failed. you can’t escape the fatalities. they are a mixed breed. African and European. not here for honey. tainted. unprovoked. unwelcome. they’ve been in this country since the 17th century. long time. learning still to steer clear of killers.

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