Killer bees have certainly worked up a reputation for themselves over the years, and it’s no surprise why people fear these swarms of aggressive bees. These Africanized honey bees look almost identical to a common honey bee except for the fact that they aren’t as nice. A European honey bee is typically more docile and produces more honey. They were introduced into the United States from European settlers as a way to make money off the production of honey. Killer bees, on the other hand, were a scientific experiment.
Killer bees were discovered when a Brazilian scientist crossbred the European honey bee with bees from Africa, which were known for being aggressive. Since the honey bees were not doing well in South America, the scientist felt that this new breed of bees would tolerate the heat better and produce more honey. This new strain of bees, the Africanized honey bees, were born into the wild and have migrated north ever since this point in 1956.
It’s still up for debate as to how far north killer bees will travel, but in California, they’re definitely a threat. The first recorded migration was in Texas, followed by the first attacks and deaths. Killer bees are aggressive and they fly in swarms. They can chase their victim as much as a quarter of a mile. For California residents, it’s important that you bring pets indoors if you suspect a hive of killer bees. Prevention is the best form of pest control in Los Angeles.
If you are to have an unfortunate run-in with killer bees, run back from where you came from as quickly as possible. Cover your face and neck, which are the most commonly attacked places. Once the bee stings, it dies, but the stinger is left in the skin and continues releasing venom for a few minutes. If possible, remove the stinger and seek shelter in a car or home. Avoid nesting areas as well. While Africanized bees are not that common in highly populated areas, if you suspect activity, contact a professional exterminator in Los Angeles immediately.