Not all bees are alike! Here you’ll discover the glaring differences between Africanized bees vs Honey bees.
Especially those cultivated by professional beekeepers – are quite possibly the most important beneficial insect species we have.
There’s more to it than just the honey, too. According to the USDA, roughly one-third of our diet is made up of crops that are pollinated by bees.
Many plants wouldn’t produce vegetables and fruit if it weren’t for the work done by honey bees.
Unless there is a colony or hive located near people or pets, it’s best to leave well enough alone and let the honey bees do their thing.
If you find a hive in a spot that’s troubling, a reliable exterminator can eliminate the colony or, in some cases, move it to a safer place.
With all that said, however, there are instances when bees can be a serious threat. “Killer” bees are not just a myth – they are a real phenomenon known as Africanized honey bees.
All types of bees swarm from time to time, almost always during the spring. It’s a process that takes place after a new queen has become an adult and a part of the old colony leaves to create a new hive somewhere else.
Traditional honey bees swarm once a year, but Africanized honey bees (AHBs) do it as often as eight times a year.
That’s where the danger comes in. Swarms are huge, dense clusters of bees. One bee sting, except in the uncommon case of severe allergic response, is not dangerous.
A dozen can send you to the emergency room. Because Africanized bees swarm in greater numbers and are typically much more aggressive than normal honey bees, AHB swarms can easily inflict 100 or more stings in a frighteningly short time period.
Even when they aren’t swarming, AHBs are more hostile when it comes to protecting their homes.
They actively guard their hives and, while they don’t randomly attack humans and animals they encounter when gathering pollen, Africanized bees will try to sting “invaders” who come within as much as 100 feet of their colony.
Normal honey bees rarely sting those who wander up to within 15 feet of their home, and even then they often won’t attack unless the hive itself is disturbed.
So how do you tell a normal honey bee and its hive from one that’s Africanized? You can’t, and that amplifies the danger.
Today, you should consider any bee and its colony to be Africanized, just to be on the safe side.
If you see a hive, move away quickly and contact a trusted pest management agency and your local county extension office. If you are stung, RUN and don’t stop running until you are safely indoors or in some other enclosure, like your car.