Found a Department of Agriculture page on Africanized honeybees, a ‘contact us’ link, and fired off a note about what I saw the other day.
And here’s what came back to me:
Good Afternoon Alison,
Thank you for your concern and for sharing your experience. African honey bees are present in California, and from what I have read, have continued to move north from Southern California. Behaviorally, African honey bees differ from European honey bees in that they are more defensive of their hive, and will exhibit this defensive behavior further away from the location of their hive than European honey bees would.
During the Autumn months, there tends to be less for honey bees to forage, which can lead to a phenomenon that we call “robbing.” This is essentially the invasion of one hive by one or several other hives, but their intent is just to consume the food stores of the invaded hive. If an African honey bee colony is being robbed, defenders of that colony may pursue robbers from other colonies for extended distances, and this pursuit could end in the defending bee stinging the robber.
I’m not saying that this is what happened or that African honey bees are involved in this situation; I am just offering an explanation about what you have seen. Regarding the abduction of one honey bee by another, I have no explanation. Perhaps what you saw picking up the assailed honey bee was not a honey bee, but an insect of similar appearance. Nature is variable and often times things occur in nature that are inexplicable.
Lastly, if you are concerned about the dead honey bees at your back door, you should make sure not to leave anything outside that could attract honey bees, for instance cans and bottles of any kind, jars, any receptacle that could have a sugary residue. These things will attract honey bees, especially if there is no natural forage to be found. There is also the possibility that there is a honey bee somewhere around your home. If you see signs of this, please do not look around for it. It would be best to contact a professional to inspect around your home if you suspect that you have some unknown neighbors.
(And then he signed his name)
On a different note, my sweetie tripped over the cord to the charger to my laptop last week and pulled it out of the socket. I plugged it back in, made sure he was okay, didn’t think much of it.
Today I picked up that laptop and noticed for the first time that right where it snaps into the Air it was bent tightly–and not only bent but the plastic coating was actually pulled open so that the wires inside were exposed.
And they were sparking. Tiny little–ongoing–sparks. Smallest fireworks show I ever did see.
The laptop still works, the charger is out of here, and the house didn’t burn down starting in our bedroom. We are really, really, really, say it again, really, lucky.
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