The Killer Bee
When you hear the name killer bee, you might get the chills and feel like your skin needs to be scratched. You have heard the media hype, yet how much of it is true? Are killer bees deadly invaders that seek out and destroy anything that gets in their way? If you smash an Africanized honey bee will hundreds of its friends hunt you down and attack you?
Killer Bees, or Africanized Honey Bees, are a science experiment gone wrong. Some scientists down in Brazil were trying to breed a species of honey bee that would produce more honey and be better suited for life in the jungle. To meet that goal, they took the docile European honey bee and bred it with an aggressive African species. Back in the late 50’s several swarms escaped. Since then, they have spread throughout southern and central America and throughout the southern United States. They have been duped as one of the most effective biological invasive species. They have spread to two continents without human help, and humans cannot stop their spread. Humpty Dumpty cannot be put back together again.
Before you start running from every bee you hear buzzing, just remember that you might not have all the facts.
It is true that Africanized honey bees are hyper defensive. Does that mean you will be attacked by a swarm if you smash a single bee that is collecting nectar from your favorite roses? The answer is no. when foraging, Africanized honey bees are the same as their gentle European cousin. The only time you need to worry about being attacked by swarms of angry bees is if you get too close to their nest. That is where the hyper defensive comes into play. If you bother their nest, they will attack with vengeance. If you get too close with a trimmer or lawn mower, they will come after you.
When an Africanized honey bee stings, it leaves its stinger and will die. It also leaves a pheromone that allows all of the guard bees to find you. You can run, but be prepared to run for a long time. Africanized bees will chase you for over a half mile. If you don’t want swarms of bees attacking you with a whirlwind of stingers, stay away from their hives. It is that simple. Stay away from bee hives and swarms of bees. Africanized honey bees will make their nests in caves, buildings, sprinkler boxes, abandoned vehicles, and hundreds of other locations. If you see a lot of bees around a part of your home, call a certified pest removal specialist like Admiral Pest Control.
Africanized honey bees are efficient pollinators and they do create a lot of honey. Some beekeepers in the United States and South and Central America have started keeping Africanized honey bees. When keeping their bees they make certain to suit up. If you see a bee colony make certain you stay away from it.