What are Africanized bees?

Africanized bees are notorious within the Americas for their aggressive behaviour. It has even been speculated that these fierce little pollinators may be the answer to declining honeybee numbers. Their behaviours have earnt them the terrifying nickname of ‘killer bees’, but relatively few deaths are caused in proportion to the number of colonies. Known only in North, Central and South America, Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata Lepeletier) are infact a human bred subspecies, first bred by scientists in Brazil to be a new honey-producing champion for warmer climates. Family oriented and nest proud in nature, these bees will aggressively defend their hive, and they have a tendency to go all out and be hyper aggressive when responding to a threat.

How dangerous are these ‘killer bees’?

It is estimated that roughly a thousand stings could kill an adult human. Unluckily by nature Africanized bees attack in numbers far exceeding that figure, their nickname comes as no surprise. These bees are also very determined. Human victims have reported taking refuge underwater to avoid the stings but the bees are willing to wait. These nasty pests are alleged to have continued their assault when their targets came up for air. It is vital that you keep your wits about you when in areas where these bees are present due to the danger they can put you in very swiftly.

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