These are Africanized Honey Bees, an aggressive hybrid of the European Honey Bee. They are also known as “Killer Bees.” This name, however, is a bit sensationalized. Africanized bees are less tolerant of disturbances than their purebred European cousins, but they do not seek out people to kill.

A sure sign that you are dealing with hybrid bees is a hive in an unusual location. European Honey Bees typically build their hives in a hollow tree or some similar above ground cavity. Africanized bees, on the other hand, will often build their hives in the ground as is the case in these pictures.

These bees have chosen a cast iron water pipe for their home, and on the day I found them they were busy coming and going. The grass all around the hive had been been left uncut and allowed to grow up tall. The landscapers obviously knew what kind of bee they were dealing with here.

Honey Bees coming and going from their hive.
Notice the bright yellow clumps of pollen collected on some of the bee’s legs.
There is a bee hive in this water pipe.

The bee hive in context.

Observations Details

County Dallas
City Garland
Date Aug 23, 2009
Time of Day Afternoon
Temperature Hot (greater than 89°F/32°C)
Weather Clear
Habitat Commercial-Business Park
Type of Behavior Working
Gender Female
Maturity Adult
Observer Chris Jackson
Main Article Honey Bee Observation Location