Africanized honeybees have taken up residence in Colorado, the state’s first confirmed population of the invasive, aggressive bee species.
The Denver Post reports that the bees turned up in an orchard near the western Colorado town of Grand Junction. Entomologists at Colorado State University were surprised that the bees had survived a harsh, snowy winter. Africanized bees are thought to prefer dry and tropical climates where they can have year-round access to nectar and pollen.
Africanized bees were introduced to the American southwest in the early 1990s and have steadily expanded northward ever since. Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, southern Utah was the edge of the bees’ known range. Backpackers planning to visit the western Rockies this season may want to brush up on how to treat and avoid bee stings.
Read more: Denver Post