Africanized “killer” bees look so much like regular honeybees that the only way to tell the two apart is by measuring their bodies. A dangerous stinging insect, Africanized bees have different wing measurements than honeybees.

They have even been known to chase people for over a quarter of a mile once they get excited and aggressive, however, they can only sting once because their stingers are barbed and tear off when they try to get away.

Africanized "Killer" Bee Identification


Golden-yellow with darker bands of brown

Shape & Structure



½" long


Africanized bees have small colonies, so they can build nests in unique places. They have been known to live in tires, crates, boxes and empty cars. Worker bees gather both pollen and nectar from flowers to feed to the larvae and other members of the colony.

Habitat & Behavior

These bees defend their colony and attack when threatened. Africanized bee venom is no more dangerous than regular honeybees. However, these bees tend to attack in greater numbers, which poses a significantly greater danger to humans, especially those who are allergic to bee stings.

Prevention & Treatment

If you are chased by Africanized bees, run in a zigzag pattern and seek shelter in a house or car. Do not jump in water. The bees will just wait around for you to come up for air. Use caution when handling items on your property that could house an Africanized bee nest. Inspect items carefully for signs of infestation before moving or otherwise disturbing. Because of the aggressive nature of these pests and the enormity of their nests, a pest control professional or beekeeper must address an Africanized bee infestation.