Alabama authorities warn residents about ‘killer bee’ swarms

State officials are working to educate authorities about the dangers of Africanized honey bees.

The Dothan Eagle reports Dennis Barclift, state apiarist with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, held a workshop this week in Dothan with 911 operators and emergency personnel about the proper way to handle reports of bee swarms and stings.

The Africanized honey bee or "killer bee" has been in the U.S. since 1990 and looks just like a typical honey bee but is extremely aggressive. Experts say they're more easily provoked, quicker to swarm and attack in greater numbers.

Barclift said there are no known instances of the bees in Alabama in any significant number, but they're spreading quickly in Florida and moving north.