The Africanized Bee Analogy

Africanized bees are hybrids of Western honey bees born from the crossbreeding of African and European bees.

In the late 1950’s Biologists in southeast Brazil wanted their European bees to produce more honey in a tropical environment. They interbred their bees with bees from Southern Africa. As a result a new hybrid of Africanized honey bees were born.

However, they somehow escaped by accident, and have migrated to the Americas reaching the Southwestern United States by the late 1990s.

Scientists have characterized the Africanized bee as more aggressive, especially in defense and offense. They attack in swarms of greater numbers as opposed to their European kin, attack from great distances, and tend to stay agitated for a long time. They have been given the nick name “Killer Bees.”

In contrast scientists, beekeepers and news reporters consider that the European bee is less aggressive and more gentler and kinder than their Africanized cousins.

Not all colonies of Africanized bees are aggressive and defensive. Some are more quieter and gentler. Brazilian beekeepers have learned to “re-domesticate” African bees to make them more manageable.

Fear of the Africanized bee have been widespread all over the United States. Films such as The Swarm helped to heighten fears of an impending killer bee attack. So far, an average of two people per year have been killed from killer bee attack. Yet, the fear of the killer bee invasion is pervasive among many Americans, particularly if they see a hive in or near their property. 

This information is strikingly similar to the history and plight of African Americans in many ways:

-The African slaves in the past and their descents up to the present have been used for the benefit of other men, in historical and societal terms, the white man. Is is similar to how African bees were shipped to Brazil for the purpose of man’s desire for the European bees to produce more honey.

-Black Americans are usually seen as more aggressive and violent than white Americans the same way Africanized bees are commonly seen.

-White Americans, by contrast, are viewed as less threatening and more kinder and gentler like the European honey bee.

-Many political and judicial strategies have been used to contain and control black Americans not unlike the way Brazilians beekeepers tried to make the African bee more controllable.

-Black Americans are seen with great fear in numbers. It is akin to the fear people have of seeing a large beehive in their area.  Plus, Africanized or killer bees are known to attack in large numbers. The fear of a vicious attack by a group of black people and the noted reports of riots and flash mobs help illuminate that anxiety among white Americans.

-The entertainment and news media help to exaggerate the fear of the black man the same way films about killer bees amplify the panic of a swarm attack.

-It should be noted that in the video, certain body parts of bees are compared just like certain body parts of blacks are compared to those of whites.

-It is most likely not a coincidence that killing Africanized bees for protection on the spot is an option much like murdering African Americans is always a potential option to protect society and lower crime.

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17 thoughts on “The Africanized Bee Analogy

  1. Wow. I mean, wow. I never thought about this before. I’m sitting here with my mouth open.

    It can’t be coincidence. Can’t be.

  2. Ok i ‘m a little slow connecting the dots here bear with me. What i’m trying to comprehend here is comparing Black males and African bees. Aggresive, bad, killers. Wow! Now that’s just insane. Madness pure madness. But this is how African American males are perceived in this country. “Hell this is how Black all around the glob are perceived. Bad, evil,aggressive. Just negative sterotyping of Black people. smh. Tell me how I’m doing so far Brotha Wolf. Did I get it half way right?

  3. I meant to say all around the globe this how Blacks are perceived. And stuck with these negative labels just wanted to see if my comprehension skills were on point today. Thanks.

  4. You know…last night I thought about this more clearly…The very dictionary separates us..Look up the very meaning if Black vs. White and you will see that this, this…hatred is everywhere!

    1. When I was a kid I noticed that. Funnily enough, it was brought to my attention while watching an episode of “The Jeffersons” when George says, “How come anything sad or bad is black?” I prompted me to look in the dictionary myself and see the stark contrasts between the definitions for black, mostly being negative, and white, mostly being positive.

      Also, in America, black is not only a racial term, it is a color term. And what many people have done is they take the color term, which is loaded with negativity, and apply it to the race and incorrectly reason that there is something bad or negative about black people. Dr. Lawrence Tenzer has written about this issue.

  5. He wrote a book “The Forgotten Cause of the Civil War: A New Look at the Slavery Issue” which speaks about the historical issues revolving around slavery and the Civil War. But his comments about the definitions of the word black were mentioned on an episode of Sally Jesse Raphael where she was speaking to women who had biracial children. One of the guests, a white woman, spoke about the racism involving her biracial children. Her white children announced that their white relatives would make racist comments about their biracial half siblings and he explained why blackness was viewed as a negative in American society.

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