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Main page : Stinging Insect Information : African Honey Bees

African Honey Bees ( "Killer Bee" )

killer bees in a water meter

African Honey Bee (Apis mellifera scutellata)

Honey bees are comprised of races (or subspecies) of which the African Honey Bee (scutellata) is one.Nearly identical in appearance to the races of European Honey Bee, the only reliable method of identification is by genetic analysis or comparison of wing size. The behavior of the African bee IS very different from its European cousin. They will nest ANYWHERE. Water meter boxes are a very common nesting site. Image courtesy of Insect IQ

African honeybees in a utility pole

African Honey Bee (Apis mellifera scutellata)

Tree holes and woodpecker damaged utility poles provide suitable habitat for African honey bee colonies. Image courtesy of Insect IQ

African killer bees on an exposed nest

African Honey Bee (Apis mellifera scutellata)

African Honey bees will make external, exposed nests much more readily than european honey bees. These bees have been given the Killer Bee designation by media. Image courtesy of Insect IQ

African killer bee & European honey bee on comb

Honey Bees

African Honey bee on left, European Honey Bee on right

African Honey Bees are generally slightly smaller and darker than European honey bees, but there is quite a bit of color variation within species. DNA testing or another morphometric wing measurement procedure is the only way to determine if the bee is AHB or not. Image courtesy of United States Department of Agriculture

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