What You Need to Know about Africanized Bees in Tucson

Back in the 1990s, the impending arrival of Africanized bees—known colloquially as “killer bees”—in the United States sparked something of a minor panic. To this day, some people will react to every bee sighting by wondering if they’ve just seen a “killer bee.” If you live in Tucson, Arizona, do you have to worry about Africanized bees? The answer is yes, you do—but you can protect yourself by learning as much as possible about these infamous creatures.

What are Africanized bees?

Africanized bees are not a natural species, but an artificial hybrid created in the 1950s by a biologist who was trying to develop a more productive honeybee. Unfortunately, the bees ended up escaping, and they slowly spread throughout the Americas. As the new bees cross-bred with other bees, they soon became the dominant species in one region after another. In the Southwest, most of the honeybees you encounter are likely to be Africanized.

Why are Africanized bees dangerous?

Contrary to popular myth, Africanized bees don’t have more venom than other types of bees. However, they are much more likely to attack than other bees if they perceive a threat. They are highly aggressive, and they will descend on intruders in much greater numbers than other honeybees. Hundreds of people have died in recent decades after being attacked by Africanized bees.

When are Africanized bees most visible?

Bee season in Tucson lasts from March to October, which is when you’re most likely to encounter the pests.

What should I do if I encounter Africanized bees?

If you see a bee, don’t go near it—and if you see a beehive, stay away. A single hive can contain tens of thousands of bees, and an attack can be fatal. If you’re stung by a bee and have a bad reaction, call 911. If you have bees on your property, seek out professional bee removal immediately.

For the safe, professional, and reliable pest control services you need in Tucson, Marana, and the surrounding areas, you can always depend on the experts at Essential Pest Control. To schedule your free consultation, contact us today through our website or by calling (520) 886-3029.

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