Colony Defense by Africanized and European Honey Bees

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Science  01 Oct 1982:
Vol. 218, Issue 4567, pp. 72-74
DOI: 10.1126/science.218.4567.72


Africanized and European honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations showed quantitative differences in colony defensive behavior. Africanized bees responded faster and in much larger numbers than European honey bees and produced 8.2 and 5.9 times as many stings during two different experiments. Times to react to alarming stimuli were negatively correlated with the number of bees responding and to the total number of stings. The number of bees responding was significantly correlated to the total number of stings only for the Africanized population.