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General Information

Killer bees are hybrid honey bees with a fierce attitude. They are also an invasive species and are slowly moving northward in the United States. Killer bees invade and colonize European honeybee hives, extending their interbreeding as they migrate. This leads to less honey production and a much more significant threat to humans, animals, and native honeybee species.

Due to their aggressive nature and exponentially higher defense response, their stings can be fatal, especially if an unwitting victim is allergic to their venom. If you feel that you are facing an invasion of killer bees on your property or inside your home, learning all you can about their behaviors will help you keep your family and pets safe. Remember that killer bees can be deadly, and in most cases, the aid of a professional pest control agency is recommended.

What Are Killer Bees?

The Africanized honeybee or killer bee is a result of a mistake made by researchers in Brazil. The East Africa lowland honeybee was brought into Brazil in 1956 as part of an experiment to increase honey production by breeding them with western honeybees. In 1957, 26 swarms of the hybrid bees escaped from their quarantine and made their way north through South America into North America.

Killer bees are very aggressive and will destroy native honeybees by invading their hives. They do this by entering a European honeybee hive and eliminating the queen to establish a queen of their own. Once this has been accomplished, they interbreed with the remaining native bees and continue to expand their numbers.

As a result of this forced colonization of local honeybee hives, they reduce honey production and disrupt the environment’s delicate balance as they spread further north. Like native honeybees, killer bees have a hierarchy consisting of a queen and workers, but they have many more bees tasked with defending the hive. They also maintain a larger alarm zone around their hive estimated to be 100 feet or more. Killer bees will attack intruders without provocation or warning and may pursue a perceived threat for a quarter of a mile or more.

Unlike European honeybees that nest in trees or occasionally in wall cavities, killer bees will nest just about anywhere. Their nests have been observed inside of grills, tires, and under the eaves of roofs. This makes them a more significant threat due to their adaptive nature and willingness to create nests anywhere.

The killer bees’ aggressive nature and defense habits make them a serious threat to wildlife, pets, and humans alike. If you feel that you have a killer bee infestation on your property, inside a barn, or potentially in your home, you will need to take the proper precautions to avoid an attack and contact professionals to handle the situation.

What Do Killer Bees Look Like?

Killer bees are very similar in appearance to honeybees native to the United States. They are black and yellow with six legs, one pair of wings, antennae, and are fuzzy. Differences to the average observer are not noticeable other than their behavioral traits. They have shorter wings than European honeybees, but this is only measurable under a microscope and isn’t a reliable means of identifying killer bees.

Image via Flickr by dlplumer

Where Do Killer Bees Live?

Killer bees can now be found in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and California. They are expected to continue their northern migration, though they aren’t very successful in colder regions. Scientists believe that killer bees will adapt to cold weather, making them impossible to stop. Suppose you live in Phoenix, Arizona, Austin, Texas, or Las Vegas, Nevada, and you are experiencing an influx of killer bees threatening you, your family, or your pets. In that case, Bulwark Exterminating is conveniently located in your area and is ready to serve.

Common Problems With Killer Bees

There are a few significant concerns to address when it comes to killer bees. They are an imminent threat to U.S. native honeybee populations, a threat to agriculture, food production in general, and overall honey production. They are also capable of killing off or interbreeding with the native honeybees, with the ability to wipe out the European honeybee entirely. This would cause industries that produce candles, polish, honey, floor wax, and more to lose their ability to meet these products’ demands.

These concerns aside, they also pose a significant health risk to wildlife, livestock, pets, and humans. Their overly aggressive nature makes them extremely dangerous, with some killer bee attacks resulting in over 500 stings. These types of attacks can be fatal to even people without allergic reactions, but for those who do have allergies to bee venom, an attack may very well be a death sentence.

Avoiding killer bees is best when possible, but this may not always be an option. They are highly sensitive to faint vibrations and sounds, prompting them to attack. Unprovoked attacks also occur when killer bees are swarming to form a nest in a new location. Keeping your distance is the best line of defense, but if you happen to find yourself where there are lots of possible killer bees present, back out of the area as quietly and quickly as you can.

How To Get Rid of Killer Bees

There are more natural alternatives to getting rid of killer bees, such as using soap and water and more conventional methods like pesticides, but for an untrained individual to attempt to perform such treatments can be detrimental. The elimination and removal of killer bees from your property are best left to a trained exterminator with the proper protective equipment. Bulwark Exterminating has the expertise you need to eliminate the threat of killer bees.

Protecting your family and pets from the threat of killer bees is of the utmost importance when you live in an area where they are known to live. Learning all you can learn about killer bees’ behavioral traits and what to do when you encounter them will help you avoid unnecessary exposure and keep you safe.

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