Worker honey bees are about five-eighths of an inch long and are brown or black with yellow-striped abdomens. Africanized honey bees are slightly smaller than the regular honey bee, but the bees look so much alike that only lab analysis can tell them apart.
Wasps are slender with a thick waist. Their "skin" is generally smooth and somewhat shiny, often with sharply contrasting black and yellow patterns. Their hind legs are narrow.
Yellow jackets are marked with black and yellow. They prefer to nest in the ground but can be found in wall voids and similar places. Their bodies are wider than those of the wasps.
Bees swarm when it is time to find a new home because of overcrowding, or other undesirable conditions. Swarming bees are loaded with honey and are not inclined to sting. If left alone, they will probably move on within a day or two.
If you need to have a swarm removed, call All Bee Bee Removal.
Bees sting in defense of their nest, their brood and their honey. Africanized honey bees are more likely to be defensive. It is impossible to distinguish the Africanized honey bee from the friendlier European honey bee without measuring or otherwise testing them. It is therefore wise to give all bees plenty of respect.
Many fruits and vegetables rely upon insect cross-pollination in order to bear fruit. The honey bee is the most reliable of these. As it visits flowers collecting pollen, it leaves traces behind, thereby performing cross-pollination. Wild bees populations are low, so colonized bees are transported to fields so that the crops will be pollinated.
How dangerous are killer bees?
The killer bee, or Africanized honeybee, developed in Brazil in the 1950s when breeders mated the African honeybee with local bees. They were trying to produce a bee that would produce more honey in the tropics but instead got a bee that was very aggressive and attacked animals and people. Killer bees have been slowly working their way north, and appeared in Texas in 1990.
But these killer bees are not as bad as they have been rumored to be. For example, they do not fly any faster than domestic honeybees, their sting contains less venom, and they are smaller than regular honeybees.
Smashing a killer bee, however, releases a chemical that tells all the other bees to attack. They will also defend their nests with much more vigor than domestic bees.
Hopefully, killer bees' aggressive nature will be bred out of them as they mate with more and more domestic bees in the north.