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Killer Bees? Should We Move? - Apis mellifera

Killer Bees? Should We Move? - Apis mellifera
El Paso, Texas, USA
April 25, 2009
Found in a neighbors tree. No hive visible, just massive, active swarm. Later bees flew off in a cloud, just like in the cartoons, right over our heads!


Moved from ID Request.

I was going to frass as the individual bees are so small that I wasn't sure ID was possible, but when the picture is full size (only viewable by editors), I don't know if it's close enough for Dr. Ascher or someone like him to make an ID.

Suggestion for Miss Megan: with a picture like this, try cropping in a little closer so the bees aren't so small.

ID is only one consideration
It's a good illustration of swarming behavior. How many such images do we have?

By the way, there can't be that many species that swarm like this- as far as I know just Apis mellifera- but I could be wrong.

good points
Both good points. Hopefully Dr. Ascher or one of the other hymenopterophiles (say *that* with a mouth full of mashed potatoes three times fast!) will give us some guidance.

i think you're safe
I suspect that Africanized bees wouldn't have been as happy with you close taking pictures. I suspect those bees are plain vanilla European honeybees looking for a new place to inhabit. There are people on here that know vastly more than I do about these insects, so wait for their comments.

Might be Africanized
Africanized bees aren't as defensive when they don't have a hive to protect. When they settle down and start a hive- that's when you want to stay away. One characteristic of Africanized bees is the tendency to swarm much more frequently, which argues in favor of Africanized.
If you do find a hive, it's best not to try removing it yourself- many of the deaths from bees are from people trying to do just that. You really need a beekeeper or a pest-control person who has experience with bees.

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