Difference between African bee and honey bee
African bee vs honey bee:
Bees are fascinating creatures and their behavior too provides a rather interesting study. There are several types of bees of which the African bee and the honey bee are just two of them. Although they are very difficult to identify separately and do look very similar, this article seeks to emphasize the subtle differences which sets the two apart.
What is the African bee?
The African honey bee also known as the Apis mellifera scutellata, is known to be more defensive and hence, more aggressive than other. They are native to southern and central Africa and are also known as “killer bees” because of their aggressive nature. And yet, unlike wasps and hornets they can only sting once after which they die shortly. It was brought to Brazil as a result of an attempt to augment the honey production in the 1950’s and the accidental relase of 16 queens in to the Brazilian environment resulted in their spreading throughout South America, Central America, and also, into the United States.
What is the honey bee?
The European honey bee, more commonly known as the honey bee is of the Apis mellifera speices and is considered as being more docile and gentle in nature. They were fist introduced to USA in the 1500’s by European explorers and hence the name European honey bee came to use. The European honey bees are more popular among bee keepers because of their gentleness, the abundance of their honey production, storage choices and also, because of their colony splitting tendencies.
What is the difference between the honey bee and the African bee?
Both the honey bee and the African bee belong to the Apis mellifera species and in appearance too they bear a strong appearance to each other and one cannot easily tell them apart. And yet, the honey bee is said to be slightly larger than the African bee. Also, the honey bee and the African bee differ in their temperament as well. While the honey bee is more gentle and if their hive has been disturbed, they may send out 10-20 guard bees in response to disturbances up to 20 feet away. And yet the African honey bees are much more aggressive and will respond almost immediately once disturbed. And usually, once disturbed, they will remain agitated for several days whereas the honey bees will settle down in one or two hours. The African honey bees may send out several hundred guard bees in response to disturbances up to 120 feet away and while their stinging rate would weigh at 100-1000 stings, the honey bees may rate at 10-20 stings.
While the swarms of honey bees are often larger, the swarms of African bees are smaller with fewer individuals in them. Also, while the European honey bee will nest in dry cavities above the ground, the African bees are known to nest in underground cavities with a high moisture content. And also because of the large colony sizes, the honey bee nests are easily detected whereas the African bee nests are often not.