Skip to Main Content

World's Largest Killer Bee.
World's Largest Killer Bee

Killer Bee Capital of the World

Field review by the editors.

Hidalgo, Texas

Killer Bees have been around since the 1950s, when some African queens escaped a South American lab and began flirting with the local gentry. Their volatile spawn migrated north, growing nastier with each succeeding generation. In October of 1990, they illegally crossed the US border at Hidalgo, Texas.

Most towns would view this occasion with horror, something best left unmentioned in the hope that it would be forgotten. Happily, Hidalgo was blessed with a mayor who knew that killer bees bring honey as well as a sting. John Franz gave the media the buzz: Hidalgo was "Killer Bee Capital of the World" and proud of it. Within two years Franz had wheedled 20 grand from his city's budget to build the World's Largest Killer Bee.

Killer Bee statue.

Six years have passed. Mayor Franz is still mayor and Hidalgo has been in Time, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Guinness Book of World Records, and a Snapple commercial. Hidalgo sells posters and post cards of the bee, and carts it down Main Street during their annual Border Fest celebration. None of the tourists who wander the streets seem concerned about what, exactly, this town is celebrating.

"What other city of 4,000 has something like this?" brags Mayor Franz, sweeping his arm in the direction of his nasty mascot. "We're not going to follow the leaders anymore. We're going to take some chances and get out there in front."

Killer Bee Capital of the World

704 Ramen Ayala Dr., Hidalgo, TX
In front of Hidalgo city hall.
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Rock 'n' Roll Heaven MuralRock 'n' Roll Heaven Mural, McAllen, TX - 10 mi.
Only Hand-Operated Ferry Across USA-Mexico BorderOnly Hand-Operated Ferry Across USA-Mexico Border, Los Ebanos, TX - 21 mi.
Freddy Fender Water TowerFreddy Fender Water Tower, San Benito, TX - 39 mi.
In the region:
Original Iwo Jima Memorial and Museum, Harlingen, TX - 37 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Texas

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Texas.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Texas Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, Woodland Park, Colorado (Apr 15-21, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings