Although they look alike to untrained eyes, Africanized honeybees are much more dangerous than European honeybees. In Spring, they anoint new queens and, along with hundreds or thousands of worker and drone bees, leave their hives to establish a new colony, a process called swarming. Once a swarm lands to establish a new hive, they become dangerous.
While other honeybee colonies might send a couple dozen bees to attack a threat, an Africanized honeybee colony will send hundreds. Their stings aren’t any more potent; it’s the vast number of stings they inflict that make their attacks deadly. Africanized honeybees are also known to pursue a threat much farther than other honeybees.
What to do if attacked
If you’re attacked by aggressive honeybees, cover your face and run as fast as possible in a straight line to the nearest shelter – like a car or house – away from other people or pets.
Never attempt to hide from attacking bees by jumping into water, as they will just wait for you to resurface. Once safely inside, try to remove any stingers; avoiding squeezing the stinger, which could inject more venom. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately.
Controlling Africanized honeybees
Don’t try to handle an infestation on your own. If you see a ball of honeybees on trees, walls or buildings, or flying in and out of holes in structures, keep people and pets away and call us at 520-625-2381.
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