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Things You Might Not Know about the Africanized Bee



Know the Facts “Bee”-fore you Take On Africanized Hives

Africanized bees have made their way to North America, and when dealing with them it helps to be equipped with the facts. What has also been referred to as “killer bees,” Africanized bees tend to exhibit more aggressive behavior when their hives are disturbed and can pack a wallop when they sting those who do the disturbing. These bees prefer a hot and dry climate, making Phoenix bee control a real issue. Know what you are dealing with before you attempt any type of Africanized bee prevention to keep you and your family safe from harm.

Africanized Bee History in North America

The Africanized honey bees (AHB) came to North America via Texas in 1990. Research studies conducted by the University of California Davis show that the bees arrived through the Texas shipping and border corridors due to the weather and wind patterns. The bees have been spreading throughout the southern and south-western states ever since, eventually ending up in Arizona and Phoenix. AHB entered Southern California as recently as 1994 and is now being treated as an invasive species, competing for survival with the naturalized European honey bee found in North America.

Africanized Bees Versus European Honey Bees

Looking at both species makes it seem as though you are looking at the same bee. The Africanized bee and the European honey bee look very similar and are difficult to distinguish. Both bees have the same type of venom, which is the cause of painful stings. Like the European honey bee, the Africanized bee can only sting once.

Differences between the two species are found in their behavior and the ability to detect a threat or disturbance to the hive. Africanized bees can detect a threat to the hive and nest from 50 feet away and tend to respond to such threats with more aggressive means. Unlike the European honey bees, the Africanized bees pursue threats up to 1/4-mile to defend the hive and space.

Smart Removal and Control

It is highly recommended that professionals be called in to remove the presence of any Africanized bees. Phoenix bee control and African bee removal services in Arizona have the tools and knowledge to locate and remove any hives or nests surrounding property. For those choosing to remove or control populations, look to small tree cracks, and holes, as the Africanized bees use small shelters such as these to nest.

Sting Treatment and First Aid

Should the worst occur and someone is stung, the first thing to do is to first get away from any further bee threat. Use the fine end of a hair comb and locate any stingers still in the skin; push the tines through the stingers and remove them from the skin as soon as possible because venom can still be pumped in, even when the stinger is removed from the bee’s body. Using soap and water, wash the area surrounding the sting. Pack the stung area with ice. Monitor the body for any respiratory distress and seek medical help if allergic reactions continue to take place.

Be careful when dealing with the Africanized bees, as they can and will respond to threats with force. Remember too that they will go after pets, so be sure to keep dogs and cats far away from any hives or known nests.

I hope this article was very informative about bees.