There are 4,000 species of bees native to the U.S. — and yet, we still find varieties from other countries that make their way to us, too.
One you might have heard of are Africanized bees. Arizona has seen them flourish within her borders as an unwelcome guest.
You see, this species of bee can be incredibly dangerous. As such, there’s a lot to know about the Africanized bee — and how to get rid of bees, should they show up on your property.
Here are the facts to learn to keep yourself and your family safe.
Africanized Bees Arizona: How Did They Get Here?
It all started 60 years ago in South America, where entrepreneurial minds noticed a gap in the market — the continent could do with higher honey production.
So, the Africanized bee ended up in Brazil. Although their colony began in a contained hive, though, a beekeeper accidentally released 26 of the Tanzanian queen bees, as well as their swarms.
The insects then made their way into the Brazilian wilderness, where they ended up thriving. They also began to migrate — within 30 years, they showed up in the United States.
Now, the Africanized bees we have in Arizona today aren’t the same as the ones that arrived in Brazil six decades ago. Instead, they’re a hybrid of the Tanzanian variety and the American honey bee.
They don’t look much different than homegrown honey bees. However, they tend to be more deadly — and that’s why people have been referring to them as “killer bees” as of late.
Are The Africanized Bees Dangerous?
There’s a lot of hype surrounding the Africanized bee because, well, they’re not particularly docile.
In Arizona, for one, experts say they’re the deadliest creature. Yes, they are responsible for more fatalities than any other species in our state.
A person who finds him or herself in a swarm of Africanized bees might sustain enough stings to equate the attack with a snake bite. Five hundred Africanized bee stings equal one bite from a rattlesnake — and you don’t want to experience either one.
The problem isn’t necessarily that Africanized bees have a more potent sting than their honeybee counterparts, though. The real issue is that they don’t have as friendly of a demeanor. An Africanized bee will chase you down if it wants to sting you — they will fly after you for up to a quarter-mile if you’re deemed a threat.
Now, the species does all of this to protect their hive. They create a perimeter around it, and they will attack if you come too close. You might not even see the hive before you notice the insects starting to dive-bomb you.
Where Will I Find Africanized Bees?
Africanized bees don’t build their hives in the places you’d expect to find honey bees. The latter prefer to live in tree hollows, abandoned rodents’ nests and other carved-out corners in nature.
Meanwhile, Africanized bees will take up residence in seemingly bizarre locations. They might nest in a barbecue grill or abandoned tire. Or, if they find cracks in a wall, they might infiltrate a property and nest between its layers.
If you live in Arizona and want to protect your home from Africanized bees, consider examining your property once a week for a nest. Patrolling regularly will help you know if there’s a sudden uptick in the presence of bees — another sign that you have unwanted visitors.
You should never try to handle bee control on your own, especially when it comes to this species. Seek out a bee control service in Tucson or wherever you live to get the job done safely.
How Can I Get Rid of Africanized Bees?
On that note, you shouldn’t learn how to get rid of bees — it’s a job for the professionals. What you should know is how to keep yourself safe when you come in contact with this deadly species.
If you spot a swarm of Africanized bees, you’re in luck, relatively speaking. When bees are on the move in a group, it’s likely the whole hive traveling together. They might also stop to rest on a tree branch or mailbox or signpost if the journey ahead is a long one.
It’s certainly a scary sight to see hundreds of bees gathered together. But you should keep in mind that they aren’t defending their hive if they’re trekking somewhere. As such, they tend to be less defensive than those you spot surrounding a nest.
You should call a beekeeper when you see a swarm of Africanized bees. They may be able to come and collect the swarm and put them in a safer location where they can produce honey — and not hurt anyone.
Now, if you find yourself in a swarm of Africanized bees, you won’t have time to call in a beekeeper for help. Instead, you’ll have to run to get away from them. At a certain distance, you won’t be seen as a threat anymore.
And, of course, if you spot an Africanized bee nest on your property, don’t hesitate to call in the experts. A bee control service in your area can come and handle the issue, protecting you and your family from the imminent threat hovering outside.
Africanized Bees — Keep Your Family Safe
It doesn’t seem to be the proper home for Africanized bees. Arizona’s thousands of miles away from their continent of origin.
And yet, we have Africanized bees on our soil, and they may pose a threat to you. If you notice them on your property, you have to act quickly and wisely.
We can help you with these and other pests you may need to be removed from your abode. So, don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule a swift removal.