Are Africanized Bees
Really a Credible Threat to Canadians?

  1. Most of Canada is outside the natural range of unmanaged honey bees -- of any variety. 

  2. Knowledgeable and professional beekeepers often have difficulties maintaining even EHB (European Honey Bee) populations in most of Canada even after going to great bother and expense.

  3. Even using heroic measures, beekeepers often have trouble keeping EHB colony numbers up because a very considerable percentage die off naturally every year --  even when well managed, and periodically natural factors combine to present owners with catastrophic losses.

  4. The few (EHB) colonies that escape and manage to get established in the wild have very high annual attrition rates and usually die out within a few years.

  5. In most of Canada, where beekeeping is practiced, we rely on either extensive inputs, manipulation and/or imports to maintain our colony numbers.  In fact, the cost, in terms of both skilled labour and/or money, of obtaining and maintaining bee colonies limits Canadian honey production.

  6. These facts explain why we find it so hard to maintain and raise replacement bees here in Canada and why we need to import replacements annually!  Even the winter hardy EHB types are not native here, and do not self-propagate well here.

  7. Obviously, since Africanized Honey Bees (AHB) are much less adapted to our environment than EHB are, AHB -- given their habits of maintaining small clusters and scant stores -- demonstrate no credible risk of becoming established in Canada.

  8. Even a deliberate introduction of AHB would be certain to die out quite rapidly, and aggressive AHB would not stay established in Canada long-term, unless given extensive and continuing assistance from man.  That would not happen.  In fact, any bee colonies showing unusually aggressive characteristics -- and even occasional EHB colonies can show aggression -- are quickly eliminated by the beekeeper or by authorities.