Three decades of “Africanized” honey bees in California
California Agriculture 77(1):15-20. https://doi.org/10.3733/ca.2023a0004
Published online June 27, 2023
“Africanized” honey bees (AHB) have been part of California's agricultural and natural landscapes for nearly three decades. Prior to their arrival in 1994, leading honey bee experts expressed concern over the potentially disastrous impact of AHB on California agriculture and public safety. Despite these concerns, the state's agricultural production has not been significantly impacted by AHB. However, some evidence suggests that the abundance of AHB in natural habitats can have negative consequences for native pollinators. At the same time, AHB may provide a genetic resource for improving managed honey bee health. We recommend updating the term “Africanized” honey bees to more accurately reflect their biology and to avoid unfortunate connotations.