Winston, my dog, and I were out for a run. He stopped to sniff something fabulous beside this Banyan tree. I was intently watching him when I heard the Banyan talking…well, it was more like buzzing. I glanced to my left and in a small little cave inside the banyan, a hive on the move had decided to take a rest. I don’t think the bees will make this their home. I will have to check back later this week to confirm.
Unfortunately, most bees in Florida today are a hybrid of the European Honey bee and the African bee. The Africanized bees tend to have certain behavioral traits that make them less desirable to be around and for bee keeping. Specifically, as compared with the European bee types, the Africanized bee:
- Tends to swarm more frequently and go farther than other types of honey bees.
- Is more likely to migrate as part of a seasonal response to lowered food supply.
- Is more likely to “abscond”—the entire colony leaves the hive and relocates—in response to stress.
- Has greater defensiveness when in a resting swarm, compared to other honey bee types.
- Lives more often in ground cavities than the European types.
- Guards the hive aggressively, with a larger alarm zone around the hive.
- Has a higher proportion of “guard” bees within the hive.
- Deploys in greater numbers for defense and pursues perceived threats over much longer distances from the hive.
Given those facts, and the fact that I am very allergic to one sting. I left promptly. But I wanted a picture, so I came back armed with my Epi pen, just in case. I am glad I did.