Types of Bees: “Killer Bees ” or Africanized Honey Bees

types of bees killer bees africanized honey beea

types of bees killer bee africanized honey beea

Of the many types of bees, perhaps the most feared is the “Killer Bee.” Killer bees, more formally known as the Africanized honey bee,  are the result of an attempt by Brazilian scientists to breed a tropical honey bee. When a sample African bee escaped and bred with local Brazilian bees, the killer bee was born. Killer bees thrived, spreading quickly through Central and South America. Today, Africanized Honey bees even infest parts of North America – particularly Texas, New Mexico, and California.

Killer bees earned their scary sounding nickname because they are very aggressive. They are known to sting animals and humans whenever they feel their territory is being invaded. But they can also attack when seemingly unprovoked. These apparently random attacks have earned them their reputation as a particularly aggressive type of bee. There is some explanation for this aggression. In comparison to other types of bees, Killer bees are especially sensitive to noise and vibrations and so the slightest sound or movement, even sounds that are imperceptible to humans, can instigate the killer bee to attack. Though killer bees produce honey, they do so in much smaller quantities than other types of bees.

A single killer bee is no more dangers than a single bumble bee, honey bee, or any of the other types of bees. Their sting is no more dangerous to humans. However, there is a major difference between the killer bee and other types of bees that make it so dangerous. The killer bee is much more prone to swarming than other types of bees and because of that, are known to attack in large numbers, resulting in many, many bee stings. Additionally, killer bees travel farther and, once disturbed, take longer to calm down than other types of bees.

Africanized honey bees are highly adaptive, though they cannot survive cold climates. Non-natural nesting locations including empty boxes, containers, old vehicles and tires, trees, garages, and underground.