Commercial Traps Control Wayward Bees
April 17, 1997
Commercial companies now use inexpensive traps to capture errant
honey bee swarms that might take up residence too near homes, schools,
playgrounds and other areas. The traps and lure were developed by scientists
with the USDAs Agricultural Research
ARS scientists say the traps are especially useful against
Africanized honeybees, highly defensive bees now found in parts of Texas, New
Mexico, Arizona and California.
Bee Masters, a company in Tucson, Ariz., uses the traps to protect
areas such as the Desert Museum, Tucson International Airport and resort golf
courses. However, it would be inadvisable for homeowners to try to use the
traps themselves because of the risks involved with handling large numbers of
potentially angry bees.
Africanized bees, descendants of bees imported from Africa to
Brazil, first entered the U.S. in 1990. To the untrained eye, they are
physically indistinguishable from the gentler European honey bees that have
been in the U.S. since the 18th century. The European bee annually pollinates
about $10 billion worth of U.S. crops.
A story about the new traps appears in the March issue of
Agricultural Research magazine, the monthly publication of the
Agricultural Research Service. The story can be found on the World Wide Web in
html format at:
Scientific contact: Justin O. Schmidt, USDA-ARS Carl Hayden
Bee Research Laboratory, Tucson, Ariz., phone (520) 670-6380, fax (520)
670-6493, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.