Honey bees are comprised of races (or subspecies) of which the African Honey Bee (scutellata) is one. This is the subspecies that media has dubbed " Killer Bee".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
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Tree holes and woodpecker damaged utility poles provide suitable habitat for African honey bee colonies. Image courtesy of Insect IQ
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 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
Africanized Honey Bee educational poster. Courtesy of Florida Dept. of Agriculture's Dept. of Plant Industry, Apiary Section.