COLLEGE STATION — Milam County was added today to the state quarantine restricting the movement of commercial bee operations following the detection of Africanized honey bees there. Texas now has 85 counties quarantined for Africanized honey bees.
A hive of bees was found in a bee trap during a routine inspection of the trapline on U.S. Highway 36 west of Cameron, according to Paul Jackson, chief inspector for the Texas Apiary Inspection Service, a unit of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. A sample from that hive was analyzed at the Texas A&M Honey Bee Identification Lab in College Station and found to be Africanized.
Milam County is the ninth Texas county to be quarantined this year. State bee inspectors continue to monitor a series of bee traplines that extend across the state from Louisiana to New Mexico, Jackson noted.
The Africanized bee was first detected entering the United States near Brownsville in October 1990. Since then, the bee has spread through the southern half of the state, along a line roughly from south of Houston to Temple to Lamesa and south to El Paso.
Africanized honey bees also have been found in Arizona, California and New Mexico.
The quarantine allows beekeepers to move bee hives within but not out of the zone in an effort to prevent assisting the spread. Africanized honey bees look just like regular domestic honey bees but are more defensive in protecting their hives.
-30- Editor’s Note: Here is the list of the 85 Texas counties under quarantine because of Africanized honey bee finds:
Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Brewster, Brooks, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Colorado, Comal, Crane, Crockett, Culberson, Dawson, De Witt, Dimmit, Duval, Ector, Edwards, El Paso, Falls, Fayette, Fort Bend, Frio, Glasscock, Goliad, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hays, Hidalgo, Hudspeth, Irion, Jackson, Jeff Davis, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kenedy, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, Kleberg, La Salle, Lavaca, Live Oak, Martin, Maverick, Matagorda, McLennan, McMullen, Medina, Menard, Midland, Milam, Nueces, Pecos, Presidio, Reagan, Real, Refugio, San Patricio, Schleicher, Starr, Sutton, Terrell, Tom Green, Travis, Upton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Victoria, Ward, Washington, Webb, Wharton, Willacy, Williamson, Wilson, Zapata and Zavala.