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Africanized Honey Bees

Killer Bees

Appearance

Africanized honey bees (killer bees) have a variety of colors from yellow to black. They are identical to common honeybees in size and coloration. In fact, the only way to distinguish between the two is through DNA testing or microscopic laboratory analysis.

Size

Approximately ½ and inch in length.

Behavior

Africanized honey bees are more aggressive than most bees, hence the name “killer bees.” They attack in larger groups, make less honey, and less wax than Honey bees. They hate high pitched sounds and swarm more often than their European cousins (European Honey bees).

Habitat

In 1957, twenty-six African honey bee queens escaped from an experimental apiary in Brazil, causing a hybridization between native honey bees and African honey bees, which resulted in the Africanized honey bee hybrid. Since that time, these hybrid bees have gradually spread northward into the southern US. They are progressing some 100 to 200 miles per year, and have been found in many locations in South Florida. Feral hives are found inside hollow trees and occasionally in caves or cracks in rock formations. In some cases a colony will decide to nest inside an attic, a crawl space, or a wall void in a home.

Interesting Facts

Africanized honey bees are dangerous because they attack intruders in such large numbers. Since their introduction into Brazil, they have killed some 1,000 humans. They react to disturbances ten times faster than European Honey Bees, and will chase a person a quarter of a mile.

Control

Do you live in South Florida and think that this pest may be invading your home or yard? Hulett Environmental Services offers specialty pest control treatments designed to control and eliminate this pest!

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