Partially Africanized bees found in hives in Monroe County, Tennessee were tested and are only 17% Africanized. The bee colony has been depopulated. So far these are the only bees of this type found in Tennessee. State Apiarist, Mike Studer, is surprised these bees are just finding their way to Tennessee. They are already in Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida.
To be considered Africanized bees, they need to be 50 percent Africanized according to the USDA. The bees that were found in Monroe County were purchased from an out-of-state dealer. Beekeepers need to be aware and monitor their hives for aggressive bees. You certainly don’t want to be around a hive full of angry bees.
Will a sting from partially Africanized bee hurt worse than a regular bee if it stings you? No, the sting is the same. What is different is that partially Africanized bees behave differently than our honeybees. They are more aggressive, so if you were to try to destroy their nest they would fight back. And it wouldn’t be just one or two who would go after you, it would be a whole lot of bees. So one bee sting wouldn’t be too bad, unless you are allergic and then you would have a problem. You just don’t want to get into that type of unsafe situation.
There are some hard and fast rules you need to follow if you happen to come across a nest belonging to partially Africanized bees. First, run as fast as you can. Use your shirt, jacket, a towel or anything handy to cover your head. These bees aim for your head first. Don’t stand still or get trapped in a space where these nests could be. Try to get inside a shelter, home, car or any place they can’t get you. If someone is being attacked by these bees don’t jump in to help, you will be their next victim.