Africanized honey bees are effective pollinators, and in some cases may even be more efficient than European honey bees because they are more active, move more quickly, and will forage during cloudy, cooler conditions, light rain, and much earlier and later in the day. Additionally, they carry more pollen than European honey bees and, outside of the United States, both honey - for which they hold the world record on production - and pollen are harvested from these bees. They also can effectively forage during times of weak nectar and pollen flow because they are opportunistic foragers that dart quickly and forage individually. However, commercial management of these bees is unlikely for several reasons, the first being the risk of managing them due to the bees' defensive behavior of the hive. They will defend it at a much greater distance away and have a much lower threshold for alarm behavior than European honey bees. These bees also have lower flower fidelity than European honey bees, visiting many different flower types and lowering the chances that pollination will occur. Africanized honey bees also abscond, or leave the nest to start a new one, up to 12 times a year.
- Africanized Honey Bee, Texas A & M University Department of Entomology
- Africanized Honey Bees, Keith S. Delaplane, The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, January 2006
- Africanized Honey Bees, USDA Agricultural Research Service
- Are Africanized Bees more efficient pollinators than European Bees?, John Carlson, Mad Sci Network, May 11, 1999
- Behavior Characteristics of the Africanized Bees, Apis mellifera scutellata, Elizabeth L. Sears, Colorado State University
- Focus on: Africanized Honey Bees in the Americas, Bee aware: Notes and News on Beekeeping, Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium, April 2002
- What's Buzzing with Africanized Honey Bees?, J. Kim Kaplan, Agricultural Research magazine, USDA Agricultural Research Service, March 2004
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