First seen in the United States in the 1980s, Africanized honeybees are the “killer bees” you’ve no doubt heard about. What makes them so dangerous? While the sting of any bee can be dangerous to those who are allergic, Africanized bees are far more aggressive than other types in protecting their colonies. They will chase and attack humans or animals that disturb their “defense zone,” and swarms of agitated Africanized bees have been known to pursue their targets for the length of four football fields!
These bees are also much more likely to switch locations than domesticated European honeybees, making them less predictable. And their aggressiveness means that over time they will displace other bee colonies. Human and animal deaths from Africanized bee stings are reported every year.
This hybrid bee came into being after African bees were brought to Brazil in the 1950s to increase honey production there. Swarms of the bees escaped, crossbred with European-type honeybees, and spread throughout South and Central America—and then into the United States. It’s actually not possible to tell if honeybees are European or Africanized without doing laboratory tests. In either case, Anderson Pest Control’s trained technicians will first determine whether the bees are in fact honeybees and whether they’ve established a colony on your property.
Control must start with locating and removing the hive, along with any honeycombs, honey, and dead bees. It’s essential to completely eradicate the honey smell—it will attract other insect pests as well as bees. Removing a hive established within a wall or under flooring sometimes involves some structural work, so it’s important to discuss all the steps of the removal process with our technician. Excluding bees in the future often involves repairing or screening any openings that allow them to get in. Typical places include building eaves, chimneys, and vents. Applying an appropriate residual pesticide will help discourage the bees from returning, and traps may also be used to dissuade them.
Whatever work needs to be done, it’s extremely important that all necessary safety measures are taken during the removal of the hive and bees. Our pest control technician will work closely with you to ensure the protection of residents, neighbors, and pets. Your safety is our first priority.