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Pestgon FactSheet

BEES: Africanized (apis mellifera)

The European Honey Bee and it’s hybridized form, the Africanized Honey Bee, sometimes referred to as the “killer bee”, are both common in Southern California. European Honey Bees and Africanized Honey Bees look identical. It is vitually impossible tell them apart in the field. Both are about one half inch long, having two pair of wings, the front being larger and longer. Their bodies are constricted in the middle and the larger aft portion is banded, generally black/dark brown and yellow. They are most often seen when collecting nectar on flowers or going and coming from an entrance to a cavity that is either in a tree, ground or a building. They may also be seen moving in a large swarm or collected together in an oval-shaped ball, hanging from a tree branch, often about the size of a football or smaller.

Honey Bees are social insects, having a hierarchy of a queen, workers and drones that form large colonies. The worker bees are the ones most commonly seen gathering nectar from various flowers. Individual bees are usually quite docile while foraging for food. They carry pollen and nectar back to the hive, which is tended by the colony to form honey. Pestgon, Inc., finds that, Honey Bees, including the Africanized Honey Bee, often start a hive in wall voids and attics of commercial buildings and other structures. Unlike Honey Bees, Africanized Honey Bees commonly build their nest or hive in ground holes, water boxes, woodpiles, air conditioner voids, electrical boxes, vents and many other voids, often in or close to the ground. If their hive area is disturbed they attack and sting the intruder in mass. They swarm often, are very aggressive and particularly vicious. They are known to chase a person as far as one quarter of a mile. Both man and beast have been killed by the brutal attack of Africanized Honey Bees.

Economic Impact:
Left unchecked, Africanized Honey Bees are more than just a nuisance, they are a serious liability. The longer Honey Bees are active in a wall void or attic, the more honeycomb they build up. Pestgon, Inc., always recommends, that after the bees are removed, the honey and the honeycomb be removed and cleaned up, or it will sour and liquefy and begin dripping into the building. Such a circumstance can cause untold damage to the structure, both inside and out, and complicate future pest control issues.

Management Methods:
The experts of Pestgon, Inc., are specially trained and licensed to remove Africanized Honey Bees. Pestgon provides highly qualified licensed general contractors to deal with the complexities of bee hive removal or any subsequent building repair.

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