Officials examining a swarm of bees that apparently stung a man to death determined Thursday that they are not the aggressive "Africanized" strain moving north from South America.
Andres Chavez, 57, of Hollywood, died Wednesday after he was repeatedly stung by the swarm of about 8,000 bees outside a friend's home in Valinda in the San Gabriel Valley east of downtown Los Angeles.Depending on the outcome of an autopsy scheduled for Friday, Chavez's death could be the county's first fatal bee attack in two years, county agriculture inspector Michael Pearson said.
About 200 of the bees were flown to the state Department of Food and Agriculture's laboratory in Sacramento to determine whether they were the so-called "Africanized killer bees," whose ancestry is traced to aggressive bees found in Africa.
Laboratory workers concluded Thursday the bees "are definitely of the European honeybee variety," spokeswoman Gera Curry said. She said extensive tests were not needed "because these were much darker and larger" than the Africanized bees.