Africanized Bees

Now that the weather is turning warm and we’re seeing more bees we’re receiving many inquiries about KILLER BEES’.  WHAT A MISNOMER!!  The correct name is ‘AFRICANIZED BEES’. Their species originated in Africa where they colonized near the ground or in vacated animal burrows.  Over a vast period of time they evolved into a very protective species because everything that likes honey (which is almost everything living) raided their home, their food stores (honey) and/or killed their queen.

Some of the questions asked are:  ‘Are the bees I see Africanized?’  Most likely, it has been estimated that aprox. 97% of the bees have cross breed and the traits of the Africanized bees seem to dominate in the cross.

‘What do I do when I see bees in my flower garden – will they harm my children or me?’  No, just leave them alone; they are only foraging for food and water.  Unless they are swatted or feel trapped, they will not bother you.

‘There’s a bunch of bees on the tree in my front yard about the size of a. …(golf ball to basketball).  Are they dangerous and what should I do?’  First of all, yes, they may be dangerous if disturbed.  Secondly, call a professional to eliminate them!  This is not something for the do-it-yourselfer!  They can get really angry and aggressive when disturbed.  The bees are swarming at this point and are looking for a new home.  Their new home could well be inside the structure of your home.  This is when removal could be very expensive because a wall or the roof may need to be opened in order to remove them.  Actually, when bees are swarming is the best and least expensive time to eliminate them.  One customer saw a swarm in her yard and decided to take ‘wait and see’ approach.  We had to remove them from the 2nd story roof!  We’ve had to remove tiles, lift up the roof sheeting, and remove stucco, wire mesh, and Styrofoam from 3rd story boxed eaves.  That colony contained approximately 50 lbs of honeycomb!  Just think about the repair bill after we removed the bees and comb!

‘Doesn’t the fire dept or police take care of the bees?’  No, the fire department has their hands full with fire related problems and the police dept. takes care of crime.  Pest control is considered a private matter.

Just remember, when you see bees foraging, think about all the wonderful honey they provide for us.  When you see bees swarming, think about prompt professional removal!

Mr. Pratt’s experience with bees started when he was quite young. He shared his father’s hobby of raising bees. That was about 60 years ago. Before moving to Las Vegas from Washington State, about 10 years ago, he was an Agriculture Consultant in the Columbia Basin. With the exception of a couple years off, he has since been a pest control professional in Las Vegas.
By Keith Pratt
Owner of Keith’s Pest Control

Call us now to resolve your bee problems at 702-242-8668!
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Keith Pratt 702-242-8668