What Are Africanized Bees?

The story of the Africanized bee is one that could come from a science fiction movie. Back in the 1950s, a Brazilian scientist named Warwick Kerr brought African honeybees to South America with the idea of breeding a more productive strain. Some escaped and bred with European honeybees, giving rise to a hybrid species – the Africanized honey bee.

They quickly spread into Mexico and beyond, and in 2014 were discovered to have migrated as far north as San Francisco.

Africanized bees quickly acquired the nickname “killer bees,” inspiring plenty of unnecessary fear. Contrary to how they are often portrayed, Africanized bees are not the killers they are made out to be.

For one, they are actually smaller than European honeybees, meaning that they carry less venom. Africanized bee venom is no more potent than European bee venom, so each bee is actually a lesser threat.

The issue with Africanized bees comes from how they defend their hive. They respond quickly to colony disturbances, and with greater numbers and more stinging than other bees. This aggressive behavior helps explain why Africanized bees have claimed the lives of hundreds over the past 50 years.

For someone without an allergy, it would take around 1000 stings to deliver enough venom to be life threatening to the average adult.

“Killer bees” are not actually out to kill however, as their swarming and stinging is simply their way of defending their hive.

Regardless of why they do it however, it is never a good idea to have a hive of Africanized bees on your property. Fortunately, the technicians at Critter Control® of West Palm Beach have a wealth of experience in dealing with all types of bee removal. For three decades, we have been the premier nuisance critter removal service in the area, and we can help you avoid any bee-related complications on your property. Call us today at 561-274-0224 with any questions or to schedule a complimentary consultation.