Africanized Honey Bees

“Africanized honeybees are not to be feared, but they are to be respected. By understanding how they behave, you can avoid close encounters with AHBs or respond appropriately if a problem develops.” ~Dr. Eric Mussen

7/31/17 CALIFORNIA STATE LEGISLATION: AB 861 (Dahle) Africanized Honey Bees  This bill would provide that a city, county, or city and county may, by ordinance, establish procedures for the abatement of a hive or comparable apparatus where Africanized or overly defensive honey bees are present.

Read Dr. Mussen's article Africanized Honey Bees in California.  Dr. Mussen Honored by California State Beekeepers Association. 

If you are attacked by bees: Call 911!!!

What to do if attacked by Africanized honeybees - The U.S. Department of Agriculture:

1. Run away quickly. Do not stop to help others. However, small children and the disabled may need some assistance.

2. As you are running, pull your shirt up over your head to protect your face, but make sure it does not slow your progress. This will help keep the bees from targeting the sensitive areas around your head and eyes.

3. Do not stop running until you reach shelter, such as a vehicle or building. A few bees may follow you indoors. However, if you run to a well-lit area, the bees will tend to become confused and fly to windows. Do not jump into water. The bees will wait for you to come up for air. If you are trapped for some reason, cover up with blankets, sleeping bags, clothes or whatever else is immediately available.

4. Do not swat at the bees or flail your arms. Bees are attracted to movement, and crushed bees emit a smell that will attract more bees.

5. Once you have reached shelter or have outrun the bees, remove all stingers. When a honeybee stings, it leaves its stinger in the skin. This kills the honeybee so it can’t sting again, but it also means that venom continues to enter the wound for a short time.

6. Do not pull stingers out with tweezers or your fingers. This will only squeeze more venom into the wound. Instead, scrape the stinger out sideways using your fingernail, the edge of a credit card, a dull knife blade or other straight-edged object.

7. If you see someone being attacked by bees, encourage that person to run away or seek shelter. Do not attempt to rescue the person yourself. Call 9-1-1 to report a serious stinging attack. The emergency response personnel in your area have probably been trained to handle bee attacks.

8. If you have been stung more than 15 times or are feeling ill, or if you have any reason to believe you may be allergic to bee stings, seek medical attention immediately. The average person can safely tolerate 10 stings per pound of body weight. This means that although 500 stings can kill a child, the average adult could withstand more than 1,100 stings.

TIPS: What to do if Attacked by Africanized Honey Bees:

What to do if you discover a swarm or colony of bees in LA County:

Summer Safety: How to Avoid Bee-Swarm Attacks - Scientific American 6/13/16

For Beekeepers regarding AHB, please refer to our Best Management Practices: /best-management-practices/

General Information:

Killer Bees-Africanized Honey Bees! What Are They and Why Are They Here

Map of the spread of Africanized Honey Bees per year

Government Agencies re: Africanized Honey Bees:

U.S. Customs & Border Protection Article (8/27/07)

CBP Finds Africanized Honey Bees on Vessel

County of Los Angeles, Agriculture Commission Weights & Measures

Los Angeles County West Vector & Vector-Borne Disease Control District

Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania - Best Management Practices

Tennessee Department of Agriculture

Utah Department of Agriculture and Food What's Buzzing About Honey Bees!

Sutter-Yuba Vector Control

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service-Carl Hayden Bee Research

Educational Institutions/Research Organizations provide Advice, Guidance, Information:

University of Arizona, Africanized Honey Bee Education Project

Alabama Cooperative Extension System

University of Florida IFAS Extension

University of Georgia, Cooperative Extension

Oklahoma State University, Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

University of Georgia Extension

University of Riverside, Entomology Department

University of Tennessee, Agricultural Extension Service

Utah State University, Cooperative Extension



April 8, 2019 Man Dies After Being ‘Covered in Bees’ While Removing Hive From Backyard

March 1, 2019 Swarming Bees Kill Dog, Attack Two Women in Santa Clarita


July 17, 2018 Woman Stung 200 Times After Being Swarmed by Thousands of Killer Bees Expected to Survive

September 26, 2018 Man Stung 160 Times by ‘Killer’ Africanized Honey Bees Has Heart Attack


May 11, 2017 Two Women Stung By Honey Bees While Hiking in Mission Trails:

April 3, 2017 Ceres Bee Colony Attacks Beekeeper, Neighbor, Two Dogs

February 23, 2017 2 People Injured, 5 Dogs Die After Bee Swarm Flares Up in Norco Home

February 21, 2017 Boy Swarmed by Bees Taken to Phoenix Hospital


May 27, 2016

May 26, 2016

May 16, 2016

May 14, 2016  (Note: This particular attack by honey bees may not have been Africanized Honey Bees.)


7/7/2015  Killer Bees Terrorize Florida Neighborhood

6/20/2015 Man Killed By Swarm Of Bees While Mowing Lawn

3/27/15  California: Swarm of Killer Bees Sting, Kill 3 Pet Dogs Officials Say

3/22/15 Man Stung 100's of Times at Baseball Game in Utah


10/9/14  Killer Bee Attack Leaves 1 Dead, 4 Injured in Arizona

7/24/14  Honey Bees Sting Texas Man About 1,000 Times

3/10/14  Woman, Teen Hospitalized With Hundreds of Bee Stings Following Collision,0,5944930.story

3/7/14 100,000 Killer Bees Attack Park Rangers in Florida; Rodney Pugh, David Seledon Stung Hundreds of Times [Video]

3/6/2014 Bees Swarm Palm Desert Neighborhood, Woman Stung 1,000 times

2/17/14  Swarm of Killer Bees Attack Spectators at "Tope" Costa Ricaoney-bees/


11/7/13 Africanized Bees Kill Pit Bull, Injure Another In Florida Neighborhood

8/3/13 Africanized Honey Bees Attack in Peoria, AZ

7/26/13 Thousands of Bees Attack Couple, Kill Horses in Pantego, TX

6/18/13 Killer Bees in Tennessee? (with Video)

6/6/13 Killer Bees Leave Texas Man Dead, Woman in Serious Condition  (with Video)

3/16/13 Swarm of Bees Kills Puppy in California

3/5/13: Dog Dies After Bee Attack


California Couple Hospitalized After Bee Attack(Fox25News - July 25, 2012)

Man Dies After Honey Bee Attack - City Warns Residents of Bee Dangers(Nogales Intl. - July 17, 2012)

16 Dogs Aattacked by Africanized Bees; Three Critical(LA Times - June 8, 2012)

Killer Bees Swarming Into Oklahoma( - April 26, 2012)

Tennesssee Africanized Bees Discovered After Beekeeper Stung(Huffington Post - April 11, 2012)

Personal Accounts from LACBA Members:

2012 LACBA President, Jim Lindsey's son was attacked by Africanized bees while working in their apiary resulting in multiple bee stings. Due to this unfortunate incident, Mr. Lindsey has closed his family run apiary. However, Jim is a passionate beekeeper and will maintain a few gentle European hives. 

2011 LACBA President, Clyde Steese, was attacked by Africanized bees while working in his apiary and rushed to nearby hospital. 300 stings were found on a single sleeve before they stopped counting. The aggressive Africanized hive which had infiltrated his European colony has been destroyed. Clyde continues to maintain bees in Los Angeles county and travels his bees to almond pollination. 

In these cases, the docile honey bee hives had been taken over by aggressive Africanized honey bees.

We'd like to thank Derek Roach of Pro Pacific Bee Removal for the following Graphic.

Pro Pacific Bee Removal - Africanized Honeybee Facts