Africanized Killer Bee

By: Anacaren Chavez

  • Africanized honey bees also known  as "killer bees", are a hybrid of the Western honey bee species.
  • The first permanent colonies arrived in Texas, from Mexico, in 1990.
  • In 1994 studies found that only 15 percent of bees had been Africanized; this number had grown to 90 percent by 1997.

What's the big deal?

  • Heighten defensive behavior
  1. Tends to swarm more frequently and go farther than other types of honey bees
  2. Guards the hive aggressively, with a larger alarm zone around the hive
  3. Has greater defensiveness when in a resting swarm, compared to other honey bee types
  4. Deploys in greater numbers for defense

Spread into the U.S.

The spread of killer bees from 1990-2003

Killer Bees

In areas of suitable temperate climate, the survival traits of Africanized colonies help them outperform European honey bee colonies.

  • superior work ethic.
  • are consistently up and out of the hive earlier, often at the crack of dawn
  • reputation as superior honey producers
  • show a higher resistance to several health issues


  • Africanized Honey Bees affects the honey industry (with an annual value of $140 million dollars) and general pollination of orchards and field crops (with an annual value of $10 billion dollars)
  • Mate with EHB (European honeybees)
  • Can be costly for farmers
  • Affects tourism (California, Texas, Arizona and other
    southern states)

Killer Bee Attacks