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.

His tips:

  • 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):




African Honey Bee – UF/IFAS “Featured Creatures”

African Honey Bee Extension & Education Program – UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department

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?

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