Africanized honeybees swarm in Arlington

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A huge colony of what are believed to be Africanized honeybees has been found in Arlington.

Entomologists from the University of Florida on Friday made observations about the nest, which is said to have 50,000 bees.

A company was hired to cut down a large oak tree in the 2100 block of Shepard Street, and once the tree was down, workers found the large colony of bees inside it.

When the tree was cut down, it stirred up the bees, and the swarming got so aggressive that the researchers left.

People said that at 5:30 a.m. Friday, there were still clouds of bees flying around where the tree was down, indicating that they may be Africanized honeybees, but that is still to be determined by researchers.

The workers who were cutting down the tree were chased about 100 yards by the bees as they were cutting down the tree, and that's when they had to stop working for employee safety.

"We were made aware that the bees were there after removing all the brush, but we were so far along we just assumed they were just regular honey bees," said Bill Hay, a tree cutter for Sky Pro Industries. "Using a crane, we were able to choke it above the limb and then cut it below the hive. When we cut it and set it on the ground, they became very aggressive."

The bees were about 40 feet up in the tree, and workers were able to cut the tree below where the hive was to try to make things a little safer.

A typical honeybee will protect the queen and stay near the hive, but these bees were said to be more aggressive.

Researchers were going back Saturday to kill the bees with gas.