Africanized honeybees (AHB) are descendants of escaped African bees imported from Brazil in an attempt to improve honey production. AHB arrived in Southern California in 1994, colonizing Riverside County in 1998. They have essentially displaced feral European honeybees in Riverside County, and are now the dominant wild bee encountered.
•Both have that same appearance
•Can sting only once
•Have the same venom
•Produce honey and wax
•Africanized honeybees are very aggressive
•Guard a larger area around their hive
•Become upset more easily
•Chase victims up to 1/4 of a mile
Outdoor Recreation and Bee Safety
Be aware of AHB activity when you work or play outdoors. Outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking and yard work can put you at a greater risk of unknowingly disturbing a colony of Africanized honeybees. If you find a colony, leave them alone and keep others away.
•Do NOT operate power equipment around bees. Loud noises and sound
vibrations may provoke bees nearby.
•Do NOT throw rocks, shoot, burn, or spray water on a bee hive.
•Do NOT wear dark clothing when working outdoors. Bees target dark
•Honeybee hives can be found in:
•Under picnic tables
•Stacks of firewood and many other unsuspecting places
When are AHB Dangerous?
Foraging bees are interested in gathering food and usually ignore people when they are collecting pollen and nectar. They are NOT DANGEROUS at this time unless threatened.
A swarm is a large group of bees that look dangerous, but are NOT DANGEROUS. They are resting and will probably move on within one or two days to find a permanent home.
Africanized honeybees become dangerous after they establish a nest or hive. Once disturbed, hundreds of worker bees are sent out to defend the colony. Stay away from nesting bees. They can be VERY DANGEROUS. Do not allow nesting bees to exist on your property.
If Attacked by AHB
•Run in a straight line
•Cover and protect your head (pull jacket or shirt over head)
•Find shelter in a building or car
•DO NOT JUMP IN WATER
•Remove stingers when safe
•Seek medical attention
•Report a multiple stinging incident
•Remove the stinger as soon as possible
•Scrape the stinger(s) with your fingernail or dull thin object
•Wash the sting area with soap and water
•Apply an ice pack for a few minutes to relieve pain and swelling
•If serious reactions (i.e., dizziness, difficulty breathing, blood pressure
drop) seek medical attention immediately
AHB and Your Pets
•Never pen or tether animals near a bee hive.
•Provide access to an indoor area where your pet can escape from a bee
If bees attack your pet:
•Call 911 for emergency
•Don’t try to rescue an animal being stung unless you have protection. The
bees may also attack you.
•Call your pet into a car or building or release the animal to run.