July 2022 by Blas

“Is it possible to tell an African honey bee from a regular or European honey bee by looking at it?

  African honey bees are slightly (approximately 10 percent) smaller than European honey bees. However, this size difference is very subtle, and it is nearly impossible to differentiate between the two without specific measure- ments and/or laboratory testing. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services uses a morphometric test called FABIS (Fast African Bee Identification System) to identify African bees in their laboratory. Samples they test are usually sent in from feral colonies that have been eradicated from throughout the southeastern United States. If a bee’s identity remains questionable after FABIS testing, FDACS will use a more comprehensive morphometric test, USDA-ID (Universal System for the Detection of African honey bees), to confirm the colony’s identity.”