Appearance-wise, there’s no difference between a European honey bee and the hybrid Africanized version now common in Florida.
But Africanized honey bees will defend a nest much more vigorously. So it pays to treat any honey bee colony with extreme caution, says UF entomologist Dr. Jamie Ellis.
- To spot a colony, look for bees darting in and out of structures such as sheds, hollow trees, lumber piles, grills and parked cars or boats that aren’t moved frequently.
- If you locate a colony, don’t try to spray or remove it. Call a professional.
- If you find yourself near a colony, move away quickly.
- Don’t swat at bees.
- Make sure young people in your home know to leave bees alone.
Dr. Ellis discusses honey bee stings (BugWeek@UF video):
Dr. Ellis discusses honey bees and Africanized honey bees (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services video):
Want to see more bee-related material, or more about flying stinging insects? Maybe info on removing paper wasp nests safely, or how to attract native solitary bees to your yard? Let us know!