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Africanized Honey bees

What Are Africanized Bees

What Are Africanized Bees


Africanized Honey bees


October 19, 1990, a honeybee swarm unlike never before took over a small south Texas town in the United States. Africanized honeybees dramatically labeled as "killer bees" are the result of honeybees brought from Africa to Brazil in the 1950s in hopes of breeding a bee better adapted to the South American tropical climate. 

These honey bees reached the Brazilian wild in 1957 and then spread south and north until they officially reached the United States on October 19, 1990.

Actually all honeybees are imports to the New World and are not native. Those that flourished here before the arrival of Africanized honeybees are considered European honeybees, because European colonists introduced them in the 1600s and 1700s.

Honey bees

Africanized honeybees are so called because it was assumed that the African honey bees spreading out from Brazil would interbreed with existing feral European honeybees and create a hybridized, or Africanized honeybee.

Africanized bees are labeled as having an aggressive nature that make them less than desirable for commercial beekeeping, nevertheless they are the main type of honeybee for beekeeping outside of North America. Africanized bees are also considered superior breeders and build hives very quickly much more quickly than other bees. 

Africanized bees focus on gathering pollen, which can feed the young, rather than nectar, which is more easily converted into honey. Africanized bees are also considered superior honey producers and pollinators outside the U.S.

What Are Africanized Bee

Africanized bees do not exist in nature or science. The African honeybee is a subspecies, native to most of the central and southern parts of Africa that breed with the European bee thus becoming “Africanized”.

All bees need two different kinds of food. One is honey made from nectar, the sugary juice that collects in the heart of the flowers. The other comes from the anthers of flowers, which contain numerous small grains called pollen. Just as flowers, have different colors, so do their pollen. 

Most bees gather only pollen or nectar. As she sucks the nectar from the flower, it is stored in her special honey stomach ready to be transferred to the honey-making bees in the hive. If hungry, she opens a valve in the nectar “sac” and a portion of the payload passes through to her own stomach to be converted to energy for her own needs. 

When her nectar “sacs” are full, the honeybee returns to the hive. Nectar is delivered to one of the indoor bees and is then passed mouth-to-mouth from bee to bee until its moisture content is reduced from about 70% to 20%. This changes the nectar into honey.

Most bees gather only pollen or nectar.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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