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Africanized Honeybees

There are no reports of Africanized honeybees (AHB) in Canada. One swarm of AHB was collected from a ship in the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia a number of years ago but the swarm was destroyed immediately.

Africanized honeybees are found in Brazil, Central America and their range has expanded to the southern United States. Biologists believe that the Canadian climate is too cold to support colonies of Africanized honeybees over winter. 

The difference between Africanized and European bees can be summarized as follows.


Africanized Honeybee (AHB)

European Honey Bee (EHB)

Chase distance

up to 400 metres (1/4 mile)

up to 50 metres (50 yards)

Agitation time after colony disturbed

8 hours or longer

about 1 hour

Reaction distance

React to operation of power equipment within 30 metres
(100 ft)

No reaction to power equipment


Sense movement within 15 metres (50 ft)

No reaction to movement

First sting time

0.3 seconds

9.2 seconds


wing slightly smaller, visibly the same as EHB

wing slightly larger, visibly the same as AHB


stings once but 8 to 10 times more bees sting than EHB

stings once but one tenth the number of attackers than AHB


Pollinate flowers

Pollinate flowers


Swarm frequently

Swarm occasionally in spring

Egg to Hatching

18.5 days

21 days

Average production

20,000 bees, 25 lb honey

60,000 bees, 100 lb honey