Africanized Honey Bee Facts

Africanized honey bees are the result of breeding bees from southern Africa with local Brazilian honey bees. After their spread through South America, Africanized honey bees entered the United States via the southern region of Texas in the early 1990s. Colonies of Africanized honey bees then swarmed to other areas, such as California. Today, Africanized honey bees have spread to many states of the southern U.S.

European and Africanized honey bees resemble one another, but their habits and behaviors are very different: the Africanized honey bee is more aggressive than its European counterpart and has earned the popular nickname “killer bee.” They are known to respond to slight disturbances within a wide range of their hives. They swarm around their nests, attack in large numbers when threatened and have been known to chase perceived enemies for over a mile.

Africanized honey bees are highly adaptive and can nest in varying locations, including places where humans reside. When natural nesting locations are unavailable they will nest in empty boxes, containers, old vehicles and tires, trees, garages, underground and outside of buildings.

Contact a pest control professional if living in areas known to have Africanized honey bees and there is a suspected nest.