Did you know there are hybrid killer bees that can chase you for more than a quarter of a mile? The Africanized Bee is a dangerous stinging insect that first appeared back in the 1950s, when local Brazilian Honeybees mated with Southern African Bees.
The species was originally quarantined, but several swarms escaped and spread through South and Central America, winding up in California by 1985. By the time the 1990’s rolled around, permanent colonies of Africanized Killer Bees had migrated from Mexico into Texas – today they can be sighted in a variety of US states, including Oklahoma, New Mexico, Southern Nevada and Arizona. With their golden yellow and stripey brown bodies, Africanized Bees look almost identical to the domestic honeybee, and it can be hard to tell these predators apart from their more benign brothers. There is one tiny difference though, Africanized Bees bodies tend to be slightly smaller, but you probably wouldn’t notice this minute detail, if one was trying to sting you!
As they have small colonies, they’re able to make nests in bizarre places, like mailboxes, holes in the ground, and even in tires. Because they appear so similar to the ordinary bee, the only real way to know if you have a killer bee issue is to call out a pest control professional. The official advice is, if you live in an area known to be frequented by this species, you should watch out for their nests – do you live anywhere near where these dangerous creatures buzz around?