Africanized Honey Bees in Puerto Rico
The Africanized Honey Bee was made notorious from press releases as the “killer bee,” and is a result of matings between the African bee subspecies and European honey bees. These bees are not easily distinguished from domestic honey bees and have spread throughout the southern United States. These bees can be found around the nation and are a common problem here in the San Juan and Ponce neighborhoods. Because they’re so aggressive, they are known to be dangerous when they build their hives on properties.
Africanized Honey Bee Habitat
Africanized honey bees are less selective than other bees when seeking out a potential nesting site. Colonies are smaller and have been found in water meter boxes, cement blocks, barbecue grills, cavities in the ground, and hanging exposed from tree limbs. European honey bees are rarely found in these locations as they prefer larger nesting sites like chimneys and tree hollows. Humans inadvertently provide multiple nesting sites for these bees, which is the primary reason Africanized honey bees are frequently encountered by humans.
Africanized Honey Bee Behavior, Threats or Dangers
Africanized honey bees can be a public health concern because they are more likely to sting than other honey bees. Although these are more unpredictable and defensive than domestic honey bees, they generally react only when their nests are threatened. Africanized honey bees are provoked to attack sources of loud noise and vibrations, as well as large, dark-colored moving objects that occur within 50-150 feet from the colony. Africanized honey bees have been known to pursue their victims for more than 500 feet.
Africanized honey bee venom is no more dangerous than that of domestic honey bees. However, these bees will attack in greater numbers, which poses more danger to humans. If you spot a nest being formed on or near your property, always contact a professional bee control company.
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