Today (September 9) is the 94th birthday of Warwick Estevam Kerr, the man who made the Killer Bees. Just like his bees, Kerr comes from hot, tropical Brazil. And just like his bees, Dr Kerr has been much maligned and misunderstood in the popular press. But Kerr did more to help his country’s agriculture than perhaps any other individual.
When the Africanized hybrid honey bee entered our awareness in the 1970s, the bee was described as a killer bee (in Brazil, they called it the assassin). The man who brought African honey bees to South America was turned into a mysterious fiend who had “disappeared from sight” after “he turned killer bees loose”. Well, he did disappear for a while. He was in prison. But not for any reason you might guess. First, some background.
What was Kerr’s crime?
Dr Warwick Kerr brought Africanized genetic stock to South…
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