You’ve probably heard of Africanized honey bees and wondered what makes them different from regular honey bees. Africanized honey bees are hybrid bees – a cross between the African honey bees and European honey bees that we’re all used to.
They were created in Brazil in the mid-1900s by researchers who were trying to increase honey production. Some of these bees escaped from a Brazilian researcher in 1957 and they have slowly made their way north; they have been seen in most Texas counties. Africanized honey bees look almost identical to honey bees, but they are much more aggressive. They swarm easily and are more defensive of their home.
Africanized Bee Attacks
Several activities are known to trigger an aggressive reaction by Africanized honey bees:
- Loud noises
- People moving around close to the hive
- Vibrations from machinery such as weed eaters and lawn mowers
If you’re attacked by Africanized honey bees, remain calm. Cover your head and face and go to a covered area immediately. Get into a house or car if possible. The sting of these bees isn’t any worse than from regular honey bees, but the danger is that these bees move in swarms, so one person can receive a lot of stings in one attack.
Africanized honey bees often take over hives that have been abandoned by other bees. However, they aren’t terribly choosy about where they live, and their hives are often located closer to the ground than most beehives.
Take these steps to keep Africanized honey bees out of your house and yard:
- Seal cracks and holes in the siding and eaves of your home so bees can’t get in.
- Place screens over larger openings such as vents.
- Remove yard debris and other items on your property that could hide a colony.
- Check around your property regularly because these bee colonies move often. Like all honey bees, Africanized honey bees like flowering plants, so look for bee activity around your plants.
While you don’t want Africanized honey bees on your property, it’s not a good idea to try DIY treatments if you suspect you’re hosting a colony. These bees are very aggressive, and you could easily stir up an attack if you try spraying or knocking down a hive. Also, it’s important to note that beneficial European honey bees look very much like the more dangerous Africanized honey bee.
Gardeners, farmers (and pretty much everyone who wants to eat) depend on honey bees and it’s important to preserve them; that’s why you should call Innovative Pest Control if you have found a beehive on your East Texas property. Our trained professionals will be able to identify what kinds of bees are on your property and determine the most eco-friendly approach to removing bees from your property. If you’re worried about bees, it’s better for you and the environment to call in the pros from Innovative Pest Control.