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Swarms and Africanized Honeybees in So. Arizona

During most swarms here in Southern Arizona, the mated queen from the hive leaves with the primary swarm and there can be a number of virgin queens in the primary swarm also. I have seen upto 4 virgin queens in a swarm. There also maybe some secondary after swarms with virgin queens.

Since we have the Africanized Hybrids here in the area and a Africanized colony may swarm several times in a year, the Africanized colony also produces small “take-over swarms” with mated or virgin queens which can quickly move into a hive, kill the resident queen and take-over the hive with a Africanized queen and her genetics. In time your nice gentle colony takes on the defensive and aggressive traits of the African Hybrid.

This is a video from a Beekeeping friend, Monica King who has much experience with Africanized bees…on being mindful when outside in our area and watching for Africanized bee colonies, and not having colonies that are Africanized (they are NO fun!)

Most Beekeepers in S. Arizona mark our queens so we can tell if the colony has the intended queen or a possible Africanized queen. We have to be watchful of our colonies to keep them free of Africanized bees.

Honig Trail Apiary, SE Arizona FLOW Ambassador