May 13, 2014 Updated: May 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm
PALISADE — Africanized honey bees have been confirmed in Palisade after a fruit grower last month became concerned about abnormally aggressive behavior of a hive.
Officials say this is the farthest north that Africanized honey bees have been reported. Health officials say they once believed Africanized honey bees could not survive harsh winters, but these bees survived this past winter. The Mesa County Health Department says the bees were sent for testing and once the tests came back, the hive was destroyed.
Africanized honey bees can be a threat to humans and animals when they are present in large numbers, and they can kill humans who suffer multiple stings.
Africanized honey bees are similar to the more familiar European honey bees, and the test requires measurements of wing and leg segments.