A colony of Africanized honeybees (AHB’s) or widely known as the “KILLER BEES” can be very unpredictable. They attack in larger numbers, react to disturbances 10 times faster, and will chase people up to a mile from their nest. They have earned the alternative name of “killer bees” due to their aggressive and defensive nature compare to their European honeybee relatives.

Africanized honeybees (AHB’s) are a hybrid of honey bees that were interbred by a biologist in Brazil in the late 1950s. Since its first introduction in Brazil way back 1950’s, there are about 1,000 people worldwide who died from Africanized honey bee attacks.

On July 2018, A woman in California was attacked by the killer bees ( Africanized Honey Bees ) as reported on CNN.

“ (CNN) – She was digging in the trunk of her car for a mop when they attacked.
The woman was part of a four-person cleaning crew at a home in Lake Forest, California, on Monday when a swarm of Africanized bees descended upon her. Within seconds they were crawling on her face, ears, neck, and arms, stinging her everywhere.

She suffered from more than 200 stings, and was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition, said Orange County Fire Authority Fire Captain Anthony Bommarito, who would identify the woman only by her first name, Maria. ”

HOW TO IDENTIFY AFRICANIZED HONEY BEES

You can’t, unfortunately, it is hard to tell difference between the European and Africanized honeybees just by looking at them or observing their behavior unless you are a trained bee expert.

These killer bees look quite similar to the standard honeybees. They both have a yellow-colored, standard insect body consisting of a head, thorax (midsection), and a striped abdomen (rear section).

Although it can be difficult to tell an African honey bee from a European honey bee, if the two are examined side-by-side you may notice a slight difference in size. African bees are typically 10 percent smaller than the European variety. AHB are aggressive, so you should not approach a hive intending to examine the size of the bee.

Another noticeable characteristic between European honeybees and Africanized honeybees is their behavior. Africanized bees defend a larger territorial radius around their nests and are highly aggressive in that defense.

HABITAT PREFERENCES

Africanized honeybees, also commonly known as killer bees, don’t have a specific habitat or range. They are on the move and swarming much more frequently than European bees. Africanized honeybees have a tendency to have smaller nests that they will more readily abandon. They swarm from six to 12 times a year and as for the European bees, they usually only swarm once a year.

ARE THE STINGS OF AFRICANIZED HONEYBEES MORE DEADLY?

The sting of an Africanized honeybee has the same toxicity of a Europian honey bee’s sting, but unlike Europian honey bees which can only sting once, the Africanized Honeybees are far more aggressive, a person can receive ten or more times as many stings from disturbing an AHB colony. Victims this type of bee who were stung several times or who are allergic to bee stings should immediately seek medical attention.

CONTROL OF KILLER BEES

As a homeowner, you should never attempt to remove or control Africanized honey bees by yourself. This type bee is highly aggressive with a larger territorial radius that they defend. If you live in an area where Africanized Honey Bee colonies have been confirmed, the best thing to do is to call a bee control and removal specialist immediately for the beehive to be taken cared of.

If you are concerned about an Africanized honey bee hive, Europian Beehive or wasp nest on County property, you may please contact our office for a bee control or bee removal service:

Monday – Sunday 6:00 am – 5:00 pm:  (877) 760-2280

Our services include the following:

  • California Beekeeping
  • California Bee Removal
  • California Live Bee Removal
  • California Yellowjacket and Wasp Removal
  • California Commercial Bee Removal Services
  • California Bee Removal and Eradication of Problem Bees

Bee proof your house! If you are looking for a way to protect your home or business from bee swarms, read our article about “ 6 TIPS TO BEE PROOF YOUR HOME ”, and you can contact us for help or advice.

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