Somehow AHB have apparently gained the reputation as a "Super-bee". They fearlessley go where no bee has gone before.
Maybe the AHB's I've had the fortune/misfortune to experience were just the wimps of the AHB world. Somehow between scientific investigation, rumor, and media hype AHB's have grown to be quite an Urban Legend. Before ya know it there will even be Vampire Honeybees.
From what I've read about AHB, they seem to have many, less-than-desirable genetic traits, most annoying and undesirable would be a heightened level of defensiveness. To make matters worse they have reproductive strategies and behaviors that help them to preserve these AHB traits in their offspring. However, I don't perceive African honeybees to have exclusive claim to these traits. I've personally seen most of these traits in presumably EHB's decades ago.
Now, here I am, presumably in the heart of the AHB invasion and it just doesn't seem as insidious as I would expect it to be with all the hype I've heard about the "Killer Bees". They are foul tempered when they have large populations and there is no flow on, when the weather is cooler and overcast, and generally whenever a hive of EHB would have a tendency to be more aggressive too. They do seem to be elusive. It seems kind of suspicious that intricate biometric measurements need to be performed to positively identify AHB's. If they are so extremely insidious as the hype portends them to be, then why do so many of the bees involved in alleged AHB incidents turn out not to be AHBs once the biometric tests are performed and why can't they be more easily identified if they are so different in behavior from the EHB's? A "Star Trek" episode comes to mind; one where a storm during a transportation event sends the away team to an alternate universe. One of Spock's lines in that episode, "It is far easier for a civilized man to behave like a barbarian than it is for a barbarian to behave like a civilized man." My question is this: if AHB's are such barbarians, how is it that they so easily pass themselves off as EHB's? Another question: how is it that EHB's are so often mistaken for AHB's?
For my mind its because, "Bees will be bees". It is a well accepted fact that wild animals (make no mistake, bees are wild animals) often behave in unpredictable ways. Even the family pet can turn unexpectedly on its master. Sometimes these behaviors can be explained, but often they cannot.
I no longer have "fear" of my "somewhat AHB's" attacking me or family and neighbors. I've been attacked more viciously by some certain EHB colonies decades ago than any AHB has ever done and I've discovered that management techniques used to help keep EHB's calm works well with AHB's too. What is most annoying about AHB's is that they always seem nervous on the combs, never just calmly going about their business once I open a hive for inspection, that the queen's are even more nervous and usually hide out somewhere off the combs, but mostly that they seem more difficult to requeen. I finally discovered that using nucleus colonies and push-in cages overcomes this difficulty.
Bottom line: Where are the "Killer Bees" I've heard so much about?