Spatial distribution of Africanized honey bees in an urban landscape Academic Article uri icon


  • Africanized honey bees overlap in resource use with humans in urban environments, creating concerns over public health and safety. We obtained data on Africanized honey bee colony removals from water meter boxes in the greater Tucson metropolitan area from 1996 to 2008 to identify characteristics associated with the spatial distribution of Africanized honey bees across the city. Two generalized linear models were constructed to predict the occupation of water meter boxes based on land use, lot/structure characteristics, and the presence of colonies in neighboring water meter boxes. More than 8000 colonies were removed from water meter boxes during the 12-year study period. Colonies were more likely to occupy water meter boxes associated with residential (versus commercial) locations, smaller lots, older structures, closer distances to vacant land, and higher percentages of neighboring water meter boxes with colonies. Occupied water meter boxes and boxes with multiple occupancies were concentrated in South Central Tucson, suggesting this area provides abundant resources for honey bees and that well established, source colonies exist in this area. Locating and removing these source colonies may be the best approach for controlling the Africanized honey bee population in the greater Tucson metropolitan area and similar settings. Also, the regular removal of colonies from water meter boxes is important for the control of Africanized honey bees in the greater Tucson metropolitan area. 2010 Elsevier B.V.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Baum, K. A., Kolodziej, E. Y., Tchakerian, M. D., Birt, A. G., Sherman, M., & Coulson, R. N.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Baum, Kristen A||Kolodziej, Elizabeth Y||Tchakerian, Maria D||Birt, Andrew G||Sherman, Michael||Coulson, Robert N

publication date

  • March 2011