Friday, August 10, 2012

Africanized Honey Bee

Africanized Honey Bee - The Africanized Honey Bee is a hybrid of one of the several European Honey Bee subspecies (Apis mellifera mellifera, A.m.carnica, A.m.caucasia, or A.m.linguica) and the African Honey Bee (Apis mellifera scutellata). The hybrid is virtually indistinguishable in the field from the common honey bee. The AHB will set up colonies in all the same areas as the European Honey Bee (EHB) and will also nest close to or in the ground. The most noticeable difference between the two types of bees is that AHB is extremely aggressive in defense of the colony. At any perceived threat, bees can "swarm" out of the colony and attack, stinging in large numbers, sometimes in the hundreds.

The way the AHB defends its nest is the main problem. AHB will respond to any threat to their nest and it does not take much for them to feel threatened. A person walking within 50 feet of a colony can trigger an attack. Operating power tools or power lawn equipment can trigger an attack from as far away as 100 feet. The AHB will respond in higher numbers than the EHB and more bees will sting the victim. AHB will chase a victim 1/4 to 1/2 mile and will remain agitated for an hour or more after an attack. This could cause a problem for someone arriving after an attack and walking into the areas where the agitated bees are. Sting for sting, the AHB is virtually identical to the EHB. The fact that more of them will sting a victim makes them more dangerous. Some people are allergic to bee stings. If you start swelling or have trouble breathing, see a doctor. If you are stung many times, see a doctor whether or not you have symptoms.

We declared Los Angeles completely colonized in April 1999. This means that we would not be surprised to find AHB anywhere in the county. Once an area is colonized, it usually takes 2-3 years until they are widespread enough to be found throughout the area. Realistically, it will not be commonly found above 3000 feet, especially over winter. In the Antelope Valley we expect it to move in seasonally when food and water are available. It will probably not be commonly found in the Antelope Valley as a year-round resident.

Africanized Honey Bee Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Arm Aritn

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