Africanized Honey Bees

What are Africanized honey bees?

The Africanized bee is a hybrid species of the Western honey bee. They were established when bees from southern African and Brazilian honey bees mated. This species was first discovered in the United States in 1985 in California. Today they are found in several parts of the United States, including in Arizona. Africanized honey bees look much like domestic honey bees. The only way you can tell them apart is by measuring them. Africanized honey bees are smaller in size than domestic honey bees. Adults grow to about 1/2 an inch in length, and their oval-shaped bodies are golden-yellow with dark brown banding.

an africanized honey bee flying near a flower in mesa arizona

Are Africanized honey bees dangerous?

Africanized honey bees are a dangerous species of stinging insects and known as "killer bees." Their venom is no stronger than that of a regular honey bee, but they are quite aggressive, sensitive to disturbances and large attacks. They are known for chasing their targets for more than a mile and will wait above water for their victims to emerge. Like most other species of stinging insects, their venom is strong enough to trigger allergic reactions and anaphylaxis in some people.  Take great care when around Africanized honey bees and other species of stinging insects.

Why do I have an Africanized honey bee problem?

Africanized honey bees are on your property because they provide a suitable place to nest and feed. Africanized honey bees gather pollen and nectar from flowers to feed to the members of their colony. Properties with lots of flowering vegetation, trees, birdbaths, ponds, and other water sources are attractive to Africanized honey bees.

Where will I find Africanized honey bees?

Africanized honey bees live in smaller colonies than honey bees, and they are not nearly as shy as honey bees. This means they place their nests in some unique places. Common nesting sites include:

  • tires

  • crates

  • boxes

  • abandoned cars

  • grills

  • under outdoor furniture

  • in outdoor play sets

  • mailboxes

  • utility poles

  • under roof eaves

Residential properties, unfortunately, provide Africanized honey bees with plenty of opportunities to nest.

How do I get rid of Africanized honey bees?

Partner with a trusted pest control expert to control aggressive Africanized honey bees. At All Clear Pest Control, we offer family-friendly and eco-friendly residential and commercial pest control services to quickly and safely resolve your Arizona property’s stinging insect problem. Our trained technicians provide the inspection, treatment, and preventative services needed to eliminate Africanized honey bees and stop their return. For a free estimate or to learn more about our bee and wasp service, reach out to us!

How can I prevent Africanized honey bees in the future?

Put into place the following preventative measures to minimize future issues with Africanized honey bees:


  • Repair holes along your roofline.

  • Do not overplant flowering plants and trees on your property.

  • Remove piles of debris and other items, and unused structures from your property.

  • Trim overgrown vegetation from around your home’s foundation.

  • Remove water sources by maintaining gutters, getting rid of birdbaths, and repairing leaky pipes and fixtures.

  • If you notice bee activity on your property, immediately contact a professional to identify the infestation and safely remove the nest.


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