What is the difference between Africanized and European honey bees? You can not tell the difference between the two simply by looking at them with the naked eye. Behavioral traits are one of the only tools we have to work with when it comes to identifying Africanized honey bees.
Africanized bees respond more quickly with a much higher show of aggression and defend the Hive with much greater numbers than the European honey bee.
Both bees look the same and sting in defense of themselves or their nest, both can only sting once, and have the same venom.
Africanized honey bees are slightly smaller (but because the bees look so much alike only a laboratory analysis can tell them apart).
Both honey bees are the same species.
Africanized bees can sense a threat from people or animals 50 feet or more from their nest and sense vibrations from power equipment 100 feet or more from their nest.
European bees get defensive of their hive in a much smaller area and will only give short chase whereas Africanized bees may pursue a victim 1/4 to 1/2 mile and have been known to hover over water to wait for their target.
Africanized bees will remain agitated for an hour or more after an attack and can spread out their attack for several hundred feet in all directions from their Hive attacking anything they feel a threat.
European bees swarm once maybe twice a year if conditions are right, Africanized bees swarm a lot more frequently to establish new nests up to five to six times a year.
Africanized bees will also nest in smaller cavities and sheltered areas and aren't nearly as picky as European Honey bees when it comes to finding a new home
Away from the hive foraging bees have the same temperament they are just trying to gather food and water, they have nothing to protect and are not looking to sting anyone unless they feel threatened which is the same for any living creature.
Both bees can and will move their entire colony if food and/or water is scarce. When this happens these swarms can be a lot more temperamental and the chance of an unintentional attack increases drastically.
Africanized bee is often called "killer bees" which can be true under the right circumstances but the media and TV have blown it way out of proportion.