African honey bees were originally brought from Africa to Brazil in the 1950’s in order to create a more suitable bee for the warm South American climate. A hybridized bee with both European and African honey bee traits eventually spread north and south from Brazil, reaching the United States officially in 1990. According to the National Atlas, africanized honey bees are still slowly making their ascent further into the United States. There is hope however, that these bees can be “re-domesticated” and learn to adapt into a more human friendly honey bee as they have in Brazil.
The Africanized Honey Bee was orignally introduced to Texas in 1990; now they are found in much of the south, from Louisiana to Southern California. The European Honey Bees usually “swarms” every 12 months; the Africanized Honey Bee “swarms” about every six weeks, and the swarms can break off and become multiple swarms. Bees swarm when it is time to find a new hive. The Africanized Honey Bee becomes very defensive when protecting a hive, creating particularly dangerous swarms. The Africanized Honey Bee travels several times per year in a fairly defensive state, which increases the chances of becoming a problem for humans.
No, the hybidized African bee does not do so much harm as the original African bees. But what is necessary to consider is if the quality and quantity of honey produced worth the geneticc alteration.
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