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Before and after photos of a bee trap.Bee Removal Services

In 1956, researchers in Brazil, trying to hybridize a bee better suited to tropical conditions, attempted to breed Africanized Honey Bees (AHB) with the European Honey Bee (EHB). It was hoped that the defensive genetic traits of the AHB would be mellowed by the docile traits of the EHB. That did not occur.

AHB Timeline

  • 1957 – 26 AHB queens escaped from a breeding facility in Brazil
  • 1990 – AHBs had reached Texas
  • 1995 – AHBs became established in California
  • 2002 – AHB became established in Florida
  • 2008 – 26 Florida Counties had reported AHBs

AHBs exhibit strong defensive traits that have led to labels of “aggressive” or “killer” bees. The stories of attacks on humans and animals have been a result of defensive behavior when the nest was disturbed.

Differences between EHB & AHB

  • AHB defend their nests with less provocation, responding to disturbances by people or animals 50’ or more from the nest.
  • AHB responds in greater numbers than the EHB, nearly the entire nest for the AHB.
  • AHB will pursue for longer distances, 30’ for EHB compared to 300’ for AHB.
  • AHB swarms as many as 16 times a year. EHB swarm once or twice a year.
  • AHB are not selective of nesting sites and will quickly inhabit most any void, space, hole or cavity, in ground or above. EHB are more selective and prefer drier sites above ground.

Photo of bees on fence.

Photo of bees on fence.While the behavioral differences between the EHB and AHB are distinctive, DNA testing is the only means of positive identification. Because DNA testing is slow and impractical, Pest Control Operators have been empowered by the State of Florida to protect public safety when it comes to feral bee nests.

If you discover a bee swarm or hive, do not disturb it and contact a certified pest control professional that is trained to deal with bees. We have been trained by the University of Florida and can be found on the State of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services “Bee Nest and Swarm Removal Contact List”.

A complete job includes both the removal of the bees and the comb. Once we eradicate the bees, we will remove the comb or make arrangements to have the comb removed. If the comb is not removed, it becomes infested with secondary pests and remains a strong attractant for future swarms.