Bee Aware ... Look, Listen, Run
The Africanized honey bee (AHB) population has grown and will continue to grow in Florida due to its numerous pathways into the state and the lack of effective eradication products or techniques.
AHBs were brought to Brazil in the 1950s for testing as possible alternative pollinators and honey producers because of their reputation of being hardy in tropical environments. At the time, their defensive nature and ability to reproduce in greater numbers were not well understood. Some were accidentally released and have spread throughout South and Central America, Mexico and the southern U.S.
The department monitors 500 bait hives placed throughout the state, primarily in port areas, along Interstate 10 and on the Florida-Alabama border. The bait hives are checked on a three-week cycle based on the reproduction habits of the AHB.
To prevent stinging incidents, Look for bees and Listen for buzzing when working or playing outdoors and always be aware of your surroundings and potential hive locations. If attacked, Run away with your face covered, get inside a car or building, call a licensed pest control to remove the hive; dont attempt to remove it yourself. Seek medical attention if needed.
It is important to note, managed honey bee colonies (bee boxes often seen in agricultural fields) are an important part of Florida agriculture because they pollinate foods we eat, including fruits, vegetables and nuts. For more information, call the Division of Plant Industry's toll-free helpline number at 1-888-397-1517.
- Bee Nest and Swarm Removal Contact List - This list is for reference purposes only. It is an Excel file. Select individual county pages at bottom left.
- Africanized Bees: The Challenge - Video
- Africanized Honey Bees in Florida [ ]
- The Africanized Honey Bee Brochure [ ]
- The Africanized Honey Bee Brochure (Spanish) [ ]
- UF/IFAS African Honey Bee Extension & Education Program
- FAQs on the African Honey Bee
- Africanized Honey Bee Fact Sheet [ ]
- What's the Buzz on Bees? - Honey Bee Elementary Education Program [ ]
- Africanized Honey Bee Activity Sheet [ ] (for kids)
- NAPIS Link - African Honey Bee (AHB)
- USDA Update March 6, 2006
- Florida Fire Chief Training - What Every First Responder Needs to Know About Africanized Honey Bees
- Pest Control Operator Poster
- For bee sting information, call the Florida Poison Information Center Network at 1-800-222-1222. (Available 24/7)