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Africanized Honey Bee (Killer Bee)

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Africanized Honey Bees are about 1/2 inch in length, oval in shape, golden-yellow with dark brown bands and fuzzy. These Africanized Bees are the result of a scientific experiment, when European Honeybees and African Bees (which are accustomed to hot temperatures) were brought to Brazil in the 1950's to breed with each other in an effort to create a honeybee that would produce honey in hot, tropical climates. The experiment was not as successful as they hoped because unlike the mild-mannered European Honeybee, the new Africanized Honeybee had a very aggresive nature, earning them the nickname "Killer Bee". The sting of an Africanized Honeybee is no more potent than another variety of Honeybee and can only sting once, however, what makes them more dangerous is that they are easily provoked, quick to swarm, attack in greater numbers and will pursue victims for greater distances, increasing your chances of a severe allergic reaction which can be life-threatening, especially to people allergic to stings or with limited capacity to escape (the young, the old and handicapped, confined livestock and pets. If stung, seek shelter in a house or car. Do not jump in the water, they will just wait around until you come up for air. Once safe, remove stingers from your skin to reduce the amount of venom they inject and seek medical attention. Even though Bees are potentially dangerous, we need them. They are responsible for the life of our trees, flowers and the food we eat. That being said, avoid Bee hives and if you do see one, report to a local Beekeeper or Pest Control Company for safe handling. Also, look before disturbing vegetation areas and be cautious around old tires, crates, boxes, empty cars, meter boxes, overturned flower pots and crack & holes in walls, Africanized Honeybees nest in these types of areas and will attack very quickly. This is why it is important to clean up debris & seal/caulk holes around your home that might provide nesting sites for these Bees.

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  • Z
    Z
    on Nov 23, 2012

    Reading this very interesting information, I didn't know how killer bees came to be, I realized my heart was racing. Not for fear of being attacked, but the memory of our son being chased and attacked by a swarm of bees. Luckily I had the windows open and heard my son screaming for me. I ran to him watching as he ran toward home flailing his arms and screaming with what looked like a gray cloud surrounding him. How I got him inside without a sting myself I have no clue, but my son was not so lucky. He wound up with 57 stings. The bees were striped like this on their hind quarters, but I have no idea what kind they were since I'd never heard of killer bees in the Midwest.

  • A-1 Watkins Pest & Termite Control
    A-1 Watkins Pest & Termite Control Long Beach, CA
    on Nov 23, 2012

    Just reading your story made me get goose bumps. Being a mother myself, I can image how scared you were at the time.

  • Z
    Z
    on Nov 24, 2012

    Well, I'm not sure I was scared at the time. I remember being totally confused at what I saw. I mean until he got close enough it looked more as if he was going a bit bonkers the way he was flailing around and screaming. When I saw it was bees surrounding him all I could think about was comforting him and getting him inside our home. I'm sure I was praying all the way too. Once inside I had to kill three bees that got in with us. I didn't have time to be scared until after all that and I saw how many stings he had. Luckily he's never been stung again. Praise God.

  • Dee W
    Dee W Senecaville, OH
    on Nov 24, 2012

    @A-1 Watkins Pest & Termite Control how neat to learn the beginnings of this bee. We really should avoid all this genetic and hybrid engineering. I know we are looking for a positive outcome, but more often it has an undesirable effect. So is this strain of bees more resistant to normal sprays? @Z How totally frightening that must have been for both of you!! I am so glad it did have a happy ending and I am sure your son was uncomfortable for a very long time.

  • Z
    Z
    on Nov 24, 2012

    Thank you @Dee. It took him a long time to even look at pictures of, or talk about bees.

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