Africanized Honey Bees
The estimation for wild bee colonies in Arizona, is 90% are Africanized Honey Bees (AHB). Because of this, all wild honey bees in Arizona are presumed to be Africanized.
According to Cary Hayden Bee Research Center located in Tucson, Arizona, all of the bees that have been genetically tested in the state of Arizona, show positive genetics of Africanization. Some show as little as 1%, where others show 100%.
There are other genetic bees that are brought into the state for backyard beekeepers. Bees like Italian, Buckfast, Russian, and Carniolians. These bees are much calmer and nicer. These bees do not stay calm and nice for long if they show proliferation of AHB.
Africanized Honey Bees are more aggressive and have a tendency to find milder hives and take them over. With any other bee variety, this is highly unusual. It only takes a matter of hours for AHB to take over another hive. Pest Control Phx AZ
Common AHB characteristics
- Infiltration of other hives, taking over and killing mild queens. This instantly changes a hive from a gentle grouping of bees to aggressive, defensive, killer bees.
- Large band of guard bees that make initial attack more severe and unexpected.
- Gang together with other Africanized swarms. A person may think there is only one swarm in a tree or wall, but there could be multiple swarms, each having their own queen.
- Hives are set up in unusual places; intertwined fences or open in a tree.
- They produce larger swarms than any other bee. Swarm size can be characterized as grapefruit size, football size, or small child.
- With proper conditions, they can swarm 6 to 10 times more than other honey bee varieties. This impacts bee population, beekeepers, community, and public safety. Pest Control Phx AZ
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