January 10, 2016
Gardeners in Arizona Warned About Africanized Honeybees
Although we are amidst the winter months, it is never too early to begin thinking about the dangers of the Africanized honeybee and what threat they will pose to us when the spring and summer months come around. According to a post on TriValleyCentral.com, Arizona residents are being warned once again to protect themselves against the dangers of Africanized honeybee and given different ways they can protect their homes, their families, and themselves from the aggressive nature and painful stings of these insects.
While Africanized honeybees have not been an issue in the past few years, a wet winter, spring, and summer that is forecasted for the Arizona area has authorities concerned about resident safety. This species of bee needs the increased moisture and additional pollen production in order to survive, making them more active when the weather is moister, something that has not been the case in years past. It is predicted that Africanized honeybees, as well as other bee species, will be more active.
With this in mind, it is important for people to take the proper precautions to make sure they do not fall victim to these temperamental and sometimes dangerous insects. Domesticated bees are well managed by qualified professional beekeepers and pose little to no threat to humans or animals. Wild honeybees, on the other hand, are much more dangerous and unpredictable and it should be expected to see more activity in the coming months as the temperatures rise and flowers begin to bloom.
Standing water and blooming flowers contain two of the most important elements for both domestic and wild bee survival – moisture and pollen. While domesticated bees pose little threat, the more aggressive bee species can be a nuisance and even a danger depending on where they take up residence and how long they have been in that area when they are discovered. Gardeners and residents alike should also be aware of increased instances of bee “swarming,” especially for Africanized bees.
With the moisture and pollen conditions looking favorable for the upcoming seasons, more instances of swarming are expected, whether the bees are forming new colonies around a new queen bee or if they are moving locations and larger number of bees are expected to be active in the area. While Africanized bees can be dangerous, it is important to remember that they also provide a crucial function (just like the honeybees making Manuka honey) to our ecosystem by pollinating plants and crops that help us sustain the country’s agricultural needs.