Africanized honeybees a.k.a. killer bees, are physically almost indistinguishable from the European honeybees common to this country. It takes an entomologist and a microscope to tell the difference.

However, disturb a hive and you will quickly (and painfully) learn the difference for yourself. If it is the hive of a European bee, a few dozen bees will come after you and chase you for maybe a hundred feet and give up.

If you are unfortunate enough to disturb the hive of the African bees, hundreds of angry bees will begin aggressively sting and pursue you for hundreds of yards.

Each type of bee can only sting once per bee and the impact of that individual sting will be the same. The key is that the number of Africanized bees attacking will be far, far greater. Fortunately, these insects have only reached the most southern parts of Texas at this point. Most entomologists believe that they cannot survive our cold winters. They also are unsure of what affect interbreeding with large numbers of European honeybees will have on their aggressive natures.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.


Types of Insects

"Name That Bug Page"


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