African Honey Bee Essay

1248 WordsNov 4, 20095 Pages
The African Honey Bee is classified under the subphylum Hexapoda, class Insecta, order Hymenoptera, and genus Apis mellifera. The Africanized honey bee was a result of the mating that occurred between African bees and European honey bees of North and South America due to human interferences. In 1956, a geneticist brought African honey bee queens to Brazil with the idea to develop a better honey bee, which would introduce genetic material from the tropically adapted African bees into the original European bees, thus hoping that this would breed better honey producers. Unfortunately, in 1957, bees from the experimental colonies escaped and began breeding with the local Brazilian bees, causing them to quickly increase in population and spread throughout South and Central America. They soon spread to North America, primarily in the southern states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, and southern California. All honey bees live in colonies. Each colony consists of a queen, several hundred drones, and between 30,000 to 50,000 workers. Because these colonies are extremely specialized, no individual bee, even the queen, is able to live alone or establish a new colony. In both European and Africanized bees, the queens are responsible for reproduction in their colonies. Their drones mate with the queen, while the workers, or sterile females, collect nectar and pollen and defend their colony. European and Africanized workers have stingers as their defense mechanism. When either type of bee stings a human or animal, it leaves both their stinger and their venom sac behind, and this soon after leads to the death of the bee. Also, although the African honey bee looks like the original European honey bee, it can be differentiated by its slightly smaller size and its more aggressive behavioral characteristics . The African honey bees spread had been so increasingly

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