DNA testing shows SC bees weren’t dangerous African variety

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CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – Clemson University scientists say genetic testing shows a hive of bees suspected to be dangerous, volatile Africanized bees were actually a less dangerous European variety of honeybees.

The Clemson Department of Plant Industry said in a news release that initial genetic testing showed at least a 93 percent chance the hybrid bees that attacked a beekeeper and others in May in Charleston were the Africanized bees.

But the department did more extensive testing that determined the bees were European honeybees.

Department chief Brad Cavin says both African and European bees are defensive and very similar genetically, but the Africanized bees are more dangerous.

Clemson had to send the bee DNA out of state to be tested, but is planning to build its own lab.

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