Bees on the rise

Spring is here and bees are on the rise in Tucson.

More importantly the Africanized honey bees also known as killer bees are very active. How did they get here you ask, well about 60 years ago, a beekeeper in Brazil accidentally released 26 Tanzanian queen bees and their swarms into the wild. The bees had been brought to South America from Africa in an attempt to increase honey production. Once escaped, they thrived.

By the early 1990s Africanized bees began showing up in the southern United States, including Arizona, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Invasive Species Information Center. It is estimated that 90-95% of honey bees are the Africanized hybrid.

Africanized bees look very similar to other honey bees and they also serve the useful function of pollinating plants. Their sting is the same as other honey bees. However, nesting habits and most importantly their temperament have earned them a bad reputation.

What makes these bees so dangerous is their willingness to sting in great numbers. They can pursue a so called threat for up to 1300ft or quarter mile. Africanized honey bees patrol a wide parameter and are very protective of their nests. If you are rammed or bumped by a few bees, that is your warning and it is time to move-fast!

If you find yourself come across a bee nest, call a professional.  Professionals like Essential Pest Control can determine whether the threat needs to be eliminated or if the nest can be relocated by a beekeeper. It is strongly recommended that you not try to handle an aggressive hive on your own. Bee attacks are to blame for several human and animal deaths every year. Essential wants you to please “bee” safe.


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