Africanized Bees

Africanized Bees


Knowing the Africanized Bees is not an easy thing as they look like common Honey Bees, but with some differences physically. Some twenty different structures were compared and measured by a laboratory in order to analyze the differences. You can also know if they are Africanized Bees, which are also known as “Killer Bees”, by analyzing the specimen’s enzymes and DNA.


SUBSPECIES And SPECIES: mellifera scutellata


FAMILY: Apidae




ORDER: Hymenoptera




To increase honey production, some African Honey Bees’ colonies were imported into Sao Paulo, Brazil to cross-breed them with Honey Bees, in 1956. However, some European worker bees’ swarms and 26 African queens fled from about 100-mile-south-of-Sao Paulo experimental apiary, in 1957. However, these 2 groups have then formed a new breed, and they’ve also spread through eastern Mexico, Central America & South America in a gradual way. The Africanized Bees are expected to appear in parts of the southern US as they appeared in southern Texas, Arizona, and California in 1990, 1993, and 1995 respectively.



Damage done:

Killer Honey Bees (Africanized Bees) are more dangerous than European Honey Bees as they attack in huger numbers. They’ve led tens of thousands of humans, with about 1,000 kills since their first appearance in Brazil. The Africanized Bees have the ability to chase any human for 0.25 of a mile as their reactions to disturbances are faster than European Honey Bees’ by 10 times.



Some other worries with the Killer Bees are general pollination of field crops and orchards ($10 billion is the value annually) and the honey industry’s effects (140 million dollars is the value annually). Interbreeding colonies of Africanized and European honey bees may lead to many different things such as not surviving the winters, abandoning the nest excessively, being more aggressive, and some differences in fertilization efforts. Furthermore, facing aggressive bees may also lead the beekeepers to stop their honey production’s business. However, the southern United States has the packaged queen and bee rearing industries, which leads the honey industry to be affected across it.




The authorities in the US have come out with 2 essential solutions to solve the Africanized Bees problem. The first strategy is when the beekeepers replace the colony’s queen. This process is called “requeening frequently”, which assures that mating has happened with European drones with only European Honey Bees queens. The second solution is called termed drone-flooding, that aims to keep a huge number of European Honey Bees in areas where commercially-reared queen bees’ mate.



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