Learn about types of bees that sting people and other animals. Different types of bees have different ways of attacking, stinging, and injecting venom into those they perceive as threats. Although the majority of the bee types don’t attack people some do and can cause serious damage.
Types Of Bees That Sting
The types of bees that sting includes the Killer Bees which are also known as the Africanized Honey Bee. The other types of bees that sting includes the Honey Bees as well as the Bumble Bees.
This type of bee will rarely sting. However, they do attack when stepped on or roughly handled and feel threatened.
The venom of the honey bees contains histamine and mast cell degranulating peptides. It also contains melittin, phospholipase A2, hyaluronidase, and acid phosphatase.
Honey bees are flying insects and close relatives of wasps and ants. They live on nectar and pollen.
They are social insects that live in colonies consisting of a single queen, hundred drones, and thousands of worker bees. They use the nectar collected to create sweet honey.
After collecting nectar from plant blossoms, they transport it to the hive. During transportation, their stomachs break sucrose down into two simple sugars, fructose, and glucose.
Young bees remove water from the sugar solution using 2 methods, they pass nectar from bee to bee and drink the water out of the nectar by absorbing It through their stomach wall.
They also create heat and airflow in the hive by vibrating their wings and flight muscle.
The honey bees are aggressive especially when they are queenless (don’t have a leader). They are also aggressive when there is a shortage of nectar-producing flowers within a radius of 2-3 miles.
They are also aggressive when they are robbed of their honey. During rainy weather, honey bees also become aggressive.
Honey bees are a symbol of wealth, good luck, and prosperity, they are super important pollinators for flowers, fruits, and vegetables, thus helping other plants grow, bees transfer pollen between the male and female parts allowing plants to grow seeds and fruits.
They live in hives and the average worker bee lives for just five to six weeks, the queen can live up to five years and can lay 2500 eggs. Check this post on Types of bees in a hive.
They inject venom only once and usually die minutes after delivering their sting. After the sting, they release an attractant pheromone that attracts more bees to attack and sting the threat.
The bumblebee sting has smoother and small barbs compared to the stings of other types of stinging bees. It can also sting animals repeatedly.
The Bumblebees have round bodies covered with soft hair making them appear and feel fuzzy. They feed on nectar which they collect from flowers and store in their nest. The pollen they collect they use to feed their young ones.
Bumblebees are often found at higher latitudes. They are gentle, they do not form swarms like other bees and attack when truly provoked.
We can say that Bumblebees are good pollinators. They also make small nests that are often close to the ground. The nests can be found in stone walls, under clumps of grass, in hollow trees and stumps as well as abandoned mouse holes.
Bumblebees often stay close to home and don’t fly very far away from their nests.
Killer Bees or Africanized Honey Bee
The Killer Bee is also known as Africanized Honey Bee and it originated from Africa, south of the Sahara Desert.
African honey bees can execute a mass sting attack of hundreds or even thousands of bees. They leave the stinger and attach the venom gland where the stinger is embedded into the skin.
If you are ever stung by the Killer bee, remove the sting by scraping off the embedded stinger rather than squeezing it with tweezers. Otherwise, you will squeeze more venom into the skin.
The four life stages of a killer bee are egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. It takes 21 days for a regular Killer worker bee to fully develop from an egg, 16 days for a queen, and 24 days for a drone.
Killer bees are dangerous because they attack in large numbers. They also tend to swarm more frequently and fly further away from the nest compared to other types of honey bees.
These types of bees also have greater defensiveness even when in a resting swarm. Just like other bees, the killer bee makes honey with the collected nectar. The taste of the honey, as well as the color, depends on the source of the nectar used by the bees.
If you have ever been stung by bees even if it was just one bee then you know it is not a joke. The reaction can even be dangerous especially if you are allergic to the sting.
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