Sep 172023
 

I’ve only been stung by bees a couple of times in my life but I don’t remember it as being a pleasant experience. So I’m sure being stung by a killer bee, or worse yet, a swarm of them, wouldn’t be much fun either.

So why does the little town of Hidalgo, Texas have a monument to killer bees? And not just a monument, but what it claims to be the World’s Largest Killer Bee? And it sits right in front of City Hall. If you asked the folks in Hidalgo, they would probably shrug their shoulders and ask, “why not?” After all, the first colony of Africanized killer bees was found near Hidalgo in October, 1990.

The whole thing started back in the 1950s, when South American scientists attempted to crossbreed African bees with the more common European honeybee. A handful of the African queen bees managed to escape and quickly began making bee babies with the local bees. The result was a hybrid species that has become infamous for the way they attack in swarms.

An individual Africanized bee is not all that dangerous. In fact, according to what I have read, their venom is actually less potent than that of the common European bee. The problem is that they are very territorial, and when anything threatens their hive, or even makes them believe there is a threat, they attack viciously. This could be something as simple as the sound of a car going by, or somebody straying too close to their hive. It’s not uncommon for their victims to be stung hundreds of times, and there have been hundreds of fatalities among both humans and animals.

The Africanized bees are also very mobile animals, continuously moving northward. Since that first colony was discovered near Hidalgo in 1990, they have been located in many areas of Texas, as well as Arizona, California, and Nevada.

But while other areas have done everything they can to minimize the damage from the bees, the good folks of Hidalgo seem to have welcomed them with open arms. Maybe they figured that if they treated them nice, the bees wouldn’t sting anybody. Kind of like those Native Americans who fed the Pilgrims so long ago. How did that work out? But maybe it worked for the good people of Hidalgo, since I cannot confirm or deny any attacks locally.

We saw a lot of “world’s largest” things in our travels around the country, everything from the World’s Largest Thermometer in Baker, California, to the World’s Largest Spinach Can in Alama, Arkansas. And let’s not forget the World’s Largest Peanut in Ashburn, Georgia, or the World’s Largest Clam in Long Beach, Washington, to name just a few. But none of those things could hurt you. Well, I guess they could if you are allergic to peanuts. But the World’s Largest Killer Bee? No, that’s the thing of nightmares.

But what the heck? If you are an RV snowbird spending the winter in the Rio Grande Valley and want to take a walk on the wild side, you might want to pay a visit to Hidalgo and check it out. After all, the town spent twenty grand on the darned thing. Somebody ought to go look at it! But keep your car’s windows up, just in case.

Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of my friend Ken Rossignol’s Murder USA. These stories of murders and of a few cases of attempted murder over 60 years include vivid descriptions of ghastly crimes not intended for the faint of heart or children. Many of these murders went unsolved for long periods, and some still have not been solved or had justice obtained for the victims. One case of a killer allowed out of a mental health facility after he killed two people on the East Coast allowed him to rape and murder 3,000 miles away on the West Coast. Another serial killer wiped out an entire family in one night of terror and is believed to have killed dozens more. A task force that included 75 FBI agents and a dozen county and state police from two states found the killer who set the gold standard for serial killers. Then there are the stories of a rare case of an Amish murder-suicide and that of a Navy ensign who killed his estranged wife’s lover with a crossbow.

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books and audiobooks to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed. After 90 days, unclaimed prizes revert back to the drawing pool for a future contest.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.

Thought For The Day – It is easier to love humanity as a whole than on an individual basis.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

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