Africanized honeybees left are hybrids of European right and African ones Apis mellifera. They emerged in Brazil in the s, when introduced African honeybees bred with domestic European ones. To understand their success, a team led by Matthew Webster at Uppsala University in Sweden analysed the genomes of 32 Africanized honeybees Apis mellifera. Genes on this DNA segment have been linked to reproduction and foraging, and these traits might have propelled the wide spread of killer bees.
What Do Africanized Bees Look Like?
Got a tip?
The Africanized bee , also known as the Africanized honey bee and known colloquially as the " killer bee ", is a hybrid of the western honey bee Apis mellifera , produced originally by crossbreeding of the East African lowland honey bee A. Since then, the hybrid has spread throughout South America and arrived in North America in Hives were found in south Texas in the United States in Africanized honey bees are typically much more defensive than other varieties of honey bees, and react to disturbances faster than European honey bees. All subspecies are cross-fertile. Geographic isolation led to numerous local adaptations. These adaptations include brood cycles synchronized with the bloom period of local flora, forming a winter cluster in colder climates, migratory swarming in Africa, enhanced long-distance foraging behavior in desert areas, and numerous other inherited traits.
Biochemists have tracked down the brain chemicals that make so-called killer bees such ferocious fighters. The compounds, which seem to be present in higher levels in the much-feared Africanized honey bee, can make less aggressive bees turn fierce, according to a new study. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology in Urbana, who was not involved in the work. Honey bees are incredibly territorial, fighting to the death to defend their hive with painful stings. But killer bees—hybrids of the relatively docile European strain of honey bee and a more aggressive African relative—are particularly fierce. The hybrids emerged after African bees were imported to Brazil in the s.
The Africanized bee is a hybrid species of the Western honey bee. The Africanized bee was first identified in Brazil in the s, but it quickly spread through Central and South America after a handful of swarms escaped quarantine. The first Africanized bees in the United States were discovered in at an oil field in California. Then, in , the first permanent Africanized bee colonies arrived in Texas from Mexico. Africanized honey bees are dangerous stinging insects that have been known to chase people for more than a quarter of a mile once they get excited and aggressive. Africanized "killer" bees look so much like domestic honey bees that the only way to tell the two apart is by measuring their bodies. Africanized bees are slightly smaller than their counterpart. They are golden yellow with darker bands of brown. Because Africanized honeybees look so similar to European honeybees, contacting a licensed pest control professional is the best way to know if there is an infestation. Look for signs of nests in unexpected places.