That is a combination smoker and leaf blower.
That is a combination smoker and leaf blower.
Forgive my ignorance, but after a bad experience with some peeved bees, I just wanted to ask:
What sorts of programs are out there to combat Africanization?
None that I know of. Texas A&M had swarm traps along Hwy 105 from Sour Lake, up to I-45, but that was only to check the progression of them north. The traps have been down for over 10 years now. They have said that all hives now have some Africanization in them. As time goes on, the traits get watered down, more and more. It is very seldom that you get a hot hive, but when you do, you have to weigh your options of destroying them or requeening them .
Another option is to get a ventilated suit. Yes, they are a bit costly but you stay cooler and don't get stung. I find the hard part of working with ahb is to trying to ignore all of the noise and having bees all over me and just get my work done.
>Next time you can talk with your state bee inspector, ask him about the colony we re-queened in Kittery. It was a Buckfast package that came out of Texas. Absolutely ferocious. Tore up the neighborhood, and started a war among neighbors.
I had some of those. If that was as nice as I could get for bees, I would give up beekeeping. On the other hand, I've handled supposed AHB in the Virgin Islands and they were fine. I've handled Dee Lusby's bees and, while I would prefer my bees a bit nicer, most of them were tolerable. I also remember some of those "German" black bees that were intolerable back when I was starting out and doing cut outs.
OK - this is my personal rant - What I don't like is how AHB is used as a blanket term for aggressive bees. I live in an AHB hybrid area and we only rarely find truly aggressive bees. The ferals are mostly just runny and a little unpredictable. Unworkable or truly mean bees are not that common. I have found quite a few wild hives that test out as EHB that were far more aggressive than most of the African hives I deal with. Dark and mean - and usually high up in the mountains. In either case - they are just wild bees. Wild Africans are like the wild black bees of old - maybe not quite as mean.
What many people either forget or simply don't know is that in certain areas of our country, some of the african genetics has been here since the 1500's (AMI and Iberian). It is nothing new, especially in the Desert Southwest, where it is suspected the Spanish introduced them. I have heard say it is something close to 25% in many areas, and maybe higher. I am sure this has an effect. Now Texas bees are a different genetic critter, and I have not experienced them. There is no genetic record of AMI/Iberian type bees in that region. Those conditions are more conducive to Scutellata. I have seen lot's of bees that test as african here, but only a couple that acted like classic Scutellata. I doubt most people could tell the difference in them and regular bees in most cases, yeah they can be a little wild, but they are not like people describe the Brazilian bees - and they are quite at home in our cold temps.
Also as the Brazilian bees move northwards, they express more EHB dna traits that result in them being more like the old Black Bees of old. Apperantly the nuclear DNA is different than the Mitochrondrial DNA and different traits can be expressed based upon the survival conditions. Mito DNA never changes only shows where the mother came from. Maybe these are the bees I am seeing?
It floors me how little is actually known, as a whole, by most beekeepers on this subject and how dogma seems to guide everything. They are just naturally selected wild bees in the end. We should not be making distinctions and dividing them up as it leads to people making profit from killing our feral bees. Just my opinion.
What we should be doing is breeding the non-aggressive/non-runny ones and letting their genetics spread. Can't speak for Texas bees though - you guys have a much stronger Brazilian influence.
how about allowing calm nice bees to make as many drones as they want? I have said for a while now that purposely trying to limit the number of drones in our supposedly "good" hives is very detrimental to the fight against AHB. Might get a little less honey, but we might just win the genetic war.
That's exactly how to do it, though the queen carries most of the temperament genetics, to my knowledge. Use lots of virgin queens and let your drones spread far and wide.
Cross post from another Forum I am a member of:
I have run across non-africanized that are just as bad, but Texas does have a problem with the mean ones.
NO! Brazil loves them. The bees are not getting meaner the farther south you go. Everything is the same. Only the USA is perpetuating the myth. Rome traded with Africa for so many years their bees turned yellow and Italians are not worried about it either. As a matter of fact no one anywhere around the mediteranian is worried. The FABIS test says small cell bees are Aficanized. Queens have been traded to and from Africa too many times to count.
I am not entirely sure the problem in Texas is not because they bred meaner bees by killing most of the feral colonies for so many years. And you are correct about Brazil. Mr. Kerr was definitely a political target when all this started years ago, due to his human rights activism, and we are definitely carrying on what their old dictatorship started.
There are mean African bees out there, but where I live, I just don't see that many - and from what I understand the ferals around here were probably African (North African) to begin with long before the Brazilians showed up. I tested all my bees regularly before the testing was discontinued by the state this year, and was surprised in several cases by what showed up being African. I don't think their test proves anything and simply set's things up to destroy wild bees, usually for profit. That is economic growth right?
Honeybees are dangerous sometimes. You always need to be careful. Horses have been reported to have been stung to death in the 1800's in the northern USA.
Way before Brazilians showed up. I think people want their bees to be fuzzy little pets sometimes. They are wild critters with a little bit of breeding behind them. All bees can be dangerous, that is why we were bee suits.
That's true, but nevertheless there are bees out there that along you to handy them as if they are small, cuddly animals. I believe that feral bees should remain territorial, but only to a reasonable extent (alarm zones remain manageable and aren't too invasive) simply for the reason that I believe all animals should have a means of self-determination and survival. However, for the bees we handle in our fields, and provide residence to, I have absolutely no problem with full-out domestication. We're not exactly milking wild cattle anymore are we? We're milking DAIRY cows.
I agree with maintaining a healthy poplation of wild bees and most of what you mention. I think that it is what will save us in the end; we are in dire need of hardy survivors due to a plethora of reasons.
drmanhadan You cannot domesticate honeybees because the virgin queens are attacked by every drone in the air as soon as the leave the hive. Drones can enter any hive they want as long as that hive is not short of nectar. Only artificial insemination would control genetics. I have never found a "wild" beehive to be any different from one in a box. I have not seen the true BLACK bees for 25 years.
There are a lot of dark feral bees out there, and quite a few I have seen that would seem to fit the description of AMM, but most are hybrids of many different genetic sources - including African. At this point, they are a mixed race of dark bees. In the end - they are just wild bees, some more so than others. Not some alien creature as some would have us believe.
I think the move back to darker bees is a product of natural selection taking place, more than any one genetic factor.