A Swarm of Bees Killed Two Horses in Tarrant County. Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

ChipandTrump.jpg
Kristen Beauregard, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Meet Chip and Trump, Pantego resident Kristen Beauregard's prize miniature ponies. As of Wednesday afternoon, they were healthy and contented. By that evening, they were dead.

Their end came after the pair was swarmed by 30,000 bees that emerged from a nearby shed. "They were chasing us down, they were following us," Beauregard told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "We swept up piles and piles of them. ... It was like a bad movie."

Beauregard was stung 200 times, her boyfriend 50. But it was the horses who suffered the worst. They were so thoroughly covered in bees that they shimmered. Chip died before a veterinarian could arrive. Trump lasted until Monday. Five hens were also killed.

The attack is believed to be the work of Africanized bees, a particularly angry species that entered the U.S. a quarter century ago after escaping from South American beekeepers, going feral, and beginning a seemingly unstoppable northward migration.

The government and agricultural researchers would like everyone to remain calm. The USDA says they have been unfairly maligned and that the "killer bees" label is the result of melodramatic "Hollywood hype." Texas A&M's agricultural extension center notes that, while Africanized bees are 10 times more likely to sting than their European counterparts, they don't do so unless disturbed.

"Since 1990, only 8 fatalities in the US have been caused by honey bees, as compared to 78 killed by dogs," they report.

That number is up to at least nine since a Waco man was stung to death earlier this year, and it's hardly reassuring in the first place.The mental image of thousands of stinging insects injecting enough venom to kill a horse is hard to shake. And check out the USDA's time-lapse map showing the spread of Africanized bees over time. Notice how it stops in 2003. The logical explanation is that that's when the bees reached the mapmakers' research station, overwhelming its defenses and killing everyone inside.

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12 comments
vergara789
vergara789

This is what happens when newspaper or TV starts losing viewers to the Internet. Ridiculous headlines and "breaking news" every 5 mins. Don't be so sensationalistic.

casiepierce
casiepierce

It's a miniature horse. They are the size of a golden retriever.

Rick Joya
Rick Joya

Not to worried, they were miniature horses.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

da fuck?  this shizzle gon crazy

BushwoodSmithie
BushwoodSmithie

It looks like Eric is gunning for a job at the National Enquirer.

observist
observist topcommenter

What's really interesting is how the bees colonized Arizona but stopped right at the Utah and New Mexico borders.  Utah I can understand - bees like their booze - but why not northern NM?

mcdallas
mcdallas

It just wasn't fair.  Full-sized bees picking on miniature horses... what a shame.  Next time, they should pick on a full-sized horse and leave the miniature horses to the miniature bees.

observist
observist topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin @observist  I'd guess it's a function of how the data is reported in the different states...  or maybe the Utah border wall is effective at keeping out angry bees?

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