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 Africanized honey bee (Apis mellifera scutellata)




Africanized honey bee | Apis mellifera scutellata photo
adult Apis mellifera scutellata in Florida

Photograph by Jeffrey W. Lotz, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Africanized honey bee | Apis mellifera scutellata photo
Closeup of Africanized honey bees (AHBs) surrounding a European queen honey bee (EHB), marked with a pink dot for identification.

Photograph by Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, United States. License: Public Domain.  (view image details)

Africanized honey bee | Apis mellifera scutellata photo
Africanized honey bee (left) and European honey bee (right) on honeycomb. Despite the color differences here, normally they cannot be identified by eye.

Photograph by Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, United States. License: Public Domain.  (view image details)

AFRICANIZED HONEY BEE FACTS

Description
The Africanized honey bee, also known as Killer Bee, is a hybrid of the African honey bee (Apis mellifera scutellata). These bees are similar in appearance to the Western honey bee but have different behaviour, and have a greater tendency to swarm and migrate to new areas in search of food. They are also more aggressive in defending the hive, and have a proportionally larger number of bees assigned to guarding the hive. This defensive behaviour gives rise to the common name "Killer Bees" - they sting in greater numbers, but the effect of an individual bee's venom is much the same as the Western Honey Bee. The Africanized honey bees are the main honey bee kept by beekeepers in Central America and northern South America.

Other Names
Killer Bee

Size
about 2cm long

Environment
Africanized honey bees require a habitat with plenty of flowering plants to produce food, suitable habitats include including woodland, parks and gardens

Food
The best collect nectar and convert it to honey which is stored in their hive.

Breeding
The queen bee is the only fertile female in the hive, and she lays all the eggs and deposits them in cells made by the other worker bees. When the egg hatches it is fed by worker bees that tend to the inside of the colony. The larva is then sealed in a cell to pupate and emerges as an adult bee.

Range
Africanized honey bees are found in South America, Mexico, and have spread into southern states of the United States

Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Hymenoptera
Family:Apidae
Genus:Apis
Species:mellifera scutellata
Common Name:Africanized honey bee


Relatives in same Genus
  Western honey bee (A. mellifera)