Entomologists find no sign of Africanized 'killer' bees
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

July 14, 2005 -- Killer bees have been ruled out as the cause or contributing factor in the death of a Paris man last week on a ranch north of Sulphur Bluff, according to Justice of the Peace Ronny Glossup.

"Entomologists tell us they are just regular honey bees -- they are not African bees," Glossup said Wednesday.

Charles Malone, 78, of Paris was working on what is known as the old Dunham Ranch north of Sulphur Bluff when he was swarmed by bees while pushing up timber with a bulldozer.

Malone was stung more than 20 times around his face and head.

Glossup said the attack was not the first for the area, but the first to result in a death.

"Those guys running those dozers, they are into that stuff all the time," Glossup said the day of the attack.

Bees taken from the swarm that attacked Malone were taken to Texas A&M University in College Station to determine if they were honey bees or Africanized "killer bees."

Africanized bees have been moving into Texas since 1990, when they were first reported in South Texas. There are 158 Texas counties where Africanized bees have been located. The closest counties are Gregg and Harrison counties, which were added to the list in 2001, and Kaufman County in 2004.

Stings from bees, wasps, yellow jackets, hornets and ants account for more deaths in the United States than any other venomous creatures, according to information from emedicine.com. Most deaths are from allergic reactions, some are from the toxicity of the venom. In about half of the fatalities, death occurs within 30 minutes of the sting, and 75 percent within four hours.

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