There are about 28 subspecies or geographic races of the “honeybee”, Apis mellifera, which originated in Africa and migrated northward into Europe and Asia. This race is possibly the most aggressive of them, but all races can interbreed with one another. The AHB was deliberately imported into South America in 1957, but then moved on its own steadily northward, eventually entering Texas in the early 1990’s. It has since expanded in the U.S. and now is found from southern California to Florida. Workers are extremely defensive of their colony and will rush out by the thousands to attack a perceived intruder. Reports state they will chase a person or a dog up to a quarter of a mile or further in their attempt to attack. They tend to swarm more frequently to establish new hives and may invade and take over existing hives of the European Honeybee (EHB).
Attempts at elimination of a colony of the AHB should be done only be properly trained individuals, as improperly approached could create a serious hazard to people or pets in the area. Swarm traps are available for capturing swarming bees and queens. When the bees do attack it is important to leave the area quickly and to get indoors if at all possible, as the bees become disoriented indoors and may halt the attack.