If you have no idea what an Africanized bee, sit tight, I will explain what that is in the minute.
Let’s start with the definition
What is an Africanized bee ?
There is a very interesting history here actually.
In 1956, bees from the southern part of Africa were taken into Brazil to mate with the largely European bee population. The African bees were naturally hardier and more likely to survive harsh conditions – a trait that is desirable if you are a bee-keeper who wants a stronger bee. They are also more aggressive and have the ability to cause human death by their sting. Hence the popular name, you might have heard “killer bee”.
Well, some of these bees escaped from where they were being kept and finally migrated into the US around 1994.
These bees then mated with the European bee population here and gave rise to a population of Africanized bees which are now prevalent mostly in the southwest United States.
Are The Bees Invading My Home Africanized ?
This question is actually complicated to answer.
The media with its usual hype has reported numbers as high as 95% of bees in San Diego, California for instance are Africanized. This is not close to the truth at all.
An Africanized bee looks very similar to the European bee so you cannot tell the difference by simply looking at them. Scientists however can tell the difference via the DNA of the bees.
In fact, a scientific study that was released in September of 2015 showed that amongst bee-keepers, only about 13% of the bees on bee farms in San Diego county are actually Africanized. In the wild however, while up to 65% of the bees sampled had African genes, the real percentage of Africanized bees (There is a difference ! You always learn something new when you read) is closer to 30%.
Based on these findings, while it is possible to that a hive on your property was built by Africanized bees , based on statistics, it may not be the case at all.
A Word of Caution
Now with that being said, I want to mention that Africanized bees will not attack or sting until they have been disturbed.
In instances where people have been stung seriously stung by Africanized bees, it most likely happened because the hive was disturbed (intentionally or accidentally but such details do not matter to a bee) and these creatures being what they are, were simply defending themselves against the disturbance.
So, my word of advice to you is that, since we cannot really tell an Africanized bee from their more docile European counterparts simply by looking at them, play on the side of caution and don’t disturb the hive by poking it or throwing stones or spraying insecticide on them.
Found a bee-hive on your property ? If you live in the Greater San Diego area, call Dave at 760-224-3040. We removes the bees, the hive & all the honey and will perform any repairs that need to be done as well.