Congratulations to all on a great, thoughtful and for the most part respectful thread. Some well thought out posts here on a controversial subject. MP, as always with some good perspectives and a few good candidates for best post of the year. I hearby nominate post #27
I missed Jerry's presentation yesterday on the Monsanto issues but heard him today on his beliefs on AHBs. He appears to think his solution for Florida is suitable for all of us. That solution is that the AHB threat is such large a danger to the public that only licensed pest control companies with 12s of millions of liability insurance coverage should be permitted to deal with feral colonies in or near homes. I walked away from his presentation with the feeling that his opinion could be summed up as 'the only good bee is a dead bee'.
In Virginia we are at the very edge of climate where AHBs are even considered to be a major threat. The number one solution in our area is still requeen and not the flame thrower.
Hmm, I think I will withdraw this comment for the moment.
Yeah and I would like to withdraw post #62! Except for the part about MP
i just read a report put out by the Florida Task Force on AHB in 2004 and according to the paper we are all dead from the terrible African bee. It predicts massive death counts and thousands of attacks on animals every year. It is a gross exaggeration of the possibilities and is used to justify the demand for massive funding from the State legislature.
Some facts that you can check for your self.
The State of Florida has had over 500 swarm traps across the State since 2003 and they kill every swarm they catch. About 300 per year. About 40 of these show partial hybridization.
Prior to 1990 there were 40 to 50 deaths every year from bee stings in the entire US, About 1 death per year per state.
Since 2000 the figure has dropped to between 30 and 40. Probably because of the decline in the number of feral colonies.
From 1990 to 2004 there were 14 deaths due to AHB across 7 states. There have been four more that I can find between 2004 and now. There may be more but I cannot find them.
There have been two recorded deaths in Florida due to AHB since they arrived in the State around 2005. One was a 70+ year old man with Arthritis and severe allergic reactions to bee stings. He was stung 50 times.
One of the local inspectors popped the lid on a hive recently with only a smoker and no suit or veil. The colony came up in his face and put him in the hospital for 3 days. The bees did not test positive for AHB.
You are more likely to die in your bathtub than die from a bee sting in Florida.
There are 3 deaths per year in Florida from being hit on the head by a falling coconut. Is the State going to make us put fences around all the coconut trees?
Do not mistake me, I work the AHB on a regular basis and they can be very hostile or aggressive. I have a pop up tent that I put over the cut out before I start any extraction so I can contain the bees and my suit is armor plated. I have had so many bees on my veil that I could not see through it.
Without an agenda to exploit, the funding for the State Bee Dept would dry up. They need the problem and they will never do anything to solve it.
Just something to think about