With the development of urban areas in South Florida, the problem of wildlife invasion into the private home of the city’s residents has become more and more severe. And even though in the case of bees, the threats are not so poignant as with other wildlife species, that does not mean that bee invasions cannot cause damages or raise health concerns for the humans and animals that come in contact with a bee swarm or colony.

Nesting Sites

Bees will choose a nesting site in many places where people may disturb them. Nesting cavities may include: buckets, cans, empty boxes, old tires, BBQ grills, or any container ranging in volume from as little as 2 to 10 gallons or more. Bees may also choose to nest within rarely used vehicles, lumber piles, holes and cavities in fences, trees and the ground, in sheds, garages, and other outbuildings, between walls or in the open, low decks or crawl spaces under buildings.


Africanized bees are becoming well established in the wild population of honey bees in Florida. The Africanized bee appears identical to European honey bee and share a few similarities:

  • Neither species is native to the United States.
  • They look the same.
  • They protect their nests from predators by stinging.
  • Each individual bee can sting only once and then dies.
  • They have the same venom, in the same quantity.
  • They pollinate flowers and produce honey and wax.

However, the Africanized bees respond more quickly to disturbances by people and animals within 50 feet of the nest. They also differ from the European honey bee in the following ways:

  • Sense and respond to vibrations from power equipment within 100 feet of their nest.
  • Sting in larger numbers.
  • Will chase an enemy up to a 1⁄4 mile or more.
  • Nest is smaller cavities and sometimes underground (e.g. water meters and animal burrows).