The Japanese super bee was one of the most feared in the history of bees, but after it was shot dead by an American beekeeper in the United States last week, its legend is being challenged by a team of researchers and scientists.
The Japanese beekeeper, Masayuki Uemura, shot and killed the honeybee on Monday when it tried to cross a border fence with the United Kingdom, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
But the Japanese team say that their research proves that the honeybees weren’t the only ones who faced deadly consequences.
The team published their findings in the journal PLOS ONE on Tuesday.
They said that they are also concerned that the US killing of the honeybeet might also have contributed to its demise, because it was a member of the genus Apis mellifera.
“It’s an important species, and a very large one,” Dr Chris Smith, the project scientist, told ABC News.
“We’re hoping that we can figure out how this has happened.”
The US Department on Wednesday said it had launched a criminal investigation into the killing of Uemasa.
“This is a terrible and senseless act of violence against one of our citizens,” said US Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
The US government said it is also considering “appropriate actions” against the beekeeper.
The beekeeper is in custody.US beekeepers say that the Japanese honeybee is not the only species facing death from the pesticides that are being sprayed on the country.
The European Union is now banning all of its products from being used in Japan because of the effects of the toxic chemicals, which have been linked to serious illnesses, including neurological problems and cancer.