The author responds

 

The author responds

Thank you, Chuck Hunt and Tom Theobald, for help on clarifying some facts. Bees cannot hear, but killer bees react to vibrations such as lawnmowers, sudden movements and exhalations of breath, so I would not recommend that anyone accompany Mr. Hunt if he shouts in the face of killer bees. The word "crud" was used in separate interviews by two scientists who study the venom and are more relaxed in their vocabulary than Mr. Hunt wishes. I know bees carry water in their stomachs, but perhaps bees that gather water come back with droplets on their legs, or perhaps what the bee remover and I saw was really pollen glistening. The description of how they sting came from scientists and bee removers who have dealt with killer bees on a daily basis for more than a decade. The story's points remain accurate: Killer bees present a furious defense of their colonies, and it's best to avoid hysterics, because the bee removers in the private sector are handling it.

Ray RingHCN Northern Rockies editor