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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

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    Sorry to ask what may sound like a dumb question, but I have not been able to find the info in any of my books. When drones are mating with queens, is it known how far the drones will travel to a mating area? Do mating flights generally take place in the immediate vicinity of the hive(s)? The reason I ask is simple. I am in Texas and the AHB's are getting closer. If I let my hives requeen themselves, what is the likelihood of the new queen mating with a feral AHB drone, if there are any in the area? Is there a distance from known areas with AHB that is safe to assume this is not a problem? Thanks for any info.

  2. #2

    Post

    HI

    When I took a queen raising class they suggested having drone colonies in all directions a half mile away from the breeding yard. Queens will choose depressions in the horizon to mate in. There are drone congregation areas that will have drones from many different areas, typically within a 4 mile area but as far as 10 miles. If a queen mates with as many as 15 drones any one of them could be AHB if they are within a 10 mile area. If you let your hives open mate then I would monitor them closely and requeen if they become aggressive. good luck

    Phillip

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,113

    Post

    I'm no where near any Africanized bees, according to reports (I'm in Nebraska) but I currently have some agressive bees that meet the description. I wouldn't worry so much about it, just requeen if they get aggressive, and remember if you're being attacked without sufficient defenses, run away quickly, run far away! Serpentine doesn't hurt if you don't get carried away. It's the only way I've ever gotten rid of them and they still follow me for 100 yards or so.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Post

    Thanks for the responses, they were very helpful. Michael, what is serpentine? or was that a typo? Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,113

    Post

    It's when you don't run in a straight line, but you curve back and forth. Seems like it throws them off more. I think they are good at straight lines.

    Serpentine, as in snake like.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Post

    Michael- thanks for the clarification. I thought you were talking about some type of product. I fear that if I ran in a serpentine fashion, I would fall on my face. That should really make things nice in a bunch of AHB's

  7. #7

    Post

    hello
    I am commercial breeder of queens and your question on how far drones will fly?
    I would say the closest drone wins the battle=and they most always mate within a 1500sq. ft. area as wittnessed by most beekeepers.
    hope this helps=and they are no dumb questions in beekeeping=48yrs here still learning
    Don

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Post

    Fat/Beeman, thanks for the info. Sounds like I should be fairly safe for the time being, but I'll be on the lookout for severe disposition changes in the hives for the next few years. That's a smaller mating area than I expected. I do suppose that the more hives you have, the less likely that inbreeding is a problem. How many hives do any of you suggest for a hobbyist beekeeper who wants some surplus honey? Would 5-10 hives be enough to help with genetic diversity?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    What's the evidence for a 1500 square foot area? There are plenty of accounts of bees mating close to or in the apiary, but equally there are plenty of accounts of large-scale mating assemblies which must attract bees from far and wide. I don't think there's a simple answer to this one which fits every situation, but one thing's for sure, there's a lot more research to be done before we really get much idea of what goes on.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    Hi all

    Robert wrote in reply:
    What's the evidence for a 1500 square foot area? There are plenty of accounts of bees mating close to or in the apiary, but equally there are plenty of accounts of large-scale mating assemblies which must attract bees from far and wide.

    Reply:
    He didn't say near or far, just when they mate they were in a 1500 square foot area approximatley. Remember the drones are congregrating, and the queen is going there, and then, in fast succession they hit upon her.

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby

  11. #11
    Kevin S. Lunsford Guest

    Cool

    Hello,
    Yes you have a time bomb. In this area we have stopped getting Buckfast queens from Texas. The Weavers have known for many years that they have AHB drones in their mating yards (and have told us so). ABJ reported 5% AHB mating even if you saturated the area with your race. Mean bees will depend on when the sperm is used (it will mix). You may have just a few mean girls or it will seem that all of them are mean for a while.
    Kevin

  12. #12

    Lightbulb

    Thank You for the reply Kevin. No more trips to the bee yard without the veil. I will work the bees like we work 480 volts. work it HOT. James

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

    Smile

    The following URL maybe of some help.
    http://members.aol.com/queenb95/gene...l#anchor521928

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    Kevin wrote:
    Yes you have a time bomb. In this area we have stopped getting Buckfast queens from Texas. The Weavers have known for many years that they have AHB drones in their mating yards (and have told us so). ABJ reported 5% AHB mating even if you saturated the area with your race. Mean bees will depend on when the sperm is used (it will mix). You may have just a few mean girls or it will seem that all of them are mean for a while.

    Reply:
    Can you be more precise with actual publication cites where you are getting your information from as I am not following what you are saying hype wise? As I have seen no actual DNA verifying AHB in Arizona, I would like to see some also in Texas other then measurements.

    Sincerely,

    Dee A. Lusby

  15. #15

    Smile

    Hello

    Being an outdoor electrician mainly commerical, oilfield, and hiline I am very concerned about AHB we have a lot of snake, wasp,alligator,wild hog,rat,black widow, and other vermin encounters. but when I am 600 yards out in chest deep brush changeing a line fuse an encounter with ahb could be bad being I never could run far in 100 degree heat at 80 percent hum. Yesterday I caught my 6th swarm/hive cut out this year they had been there 5 days and they had a lot of comb but no brood to defend. and today they are calm and happy? One member of the local bee club caught a swarm last year " the easyest swarm i ever caught" two days later he opened it up and they swarmed him chased his dogs away and killed all his chickens. he killed them out and sent some off somewhere and they replyed that they were AHB. but this might be like when you have a house fire if the inspector can not find a cause it is always an " electrical fire " its easy. the bees I had in the late 70's were very mean when we robbed we had hundreds of stinger in our pants and shirts , we never thought about braveing going into the brood section great producer and survivers but mean with a memory. This my first year back with bees, spured on by my wifes love of honey and having to cut a hive out of a live electrical panel I bought 3 3#packages from r.weaver and when robbing this july I could have done so with out a veil. The other bees we have are not bad either. Where are all these killer bees. are they beeing watered down by migratory beekeepers?

    Have a good labor day as I wait for my next cotton gin service call

    James

  16. #16
    Kevin S. Lunsford Guest

    Wink

    Hello,
    "Hype" Dee? Your own article supports what I have said, read Bee Culture Jan. 1998 pg. 28-34. Quote: "Virgin queens are placed in mating nucs and open-mate with local drones-source pretty much unknown-which, it seams, has worked so far relative to progeny. But Tuscon is pretty much Africanized, so this may change". Also read the next article about Arizona, "African Honey Bees, and Lester Hines" (both written by Kim Flottum). Quote: "Like EHB's, AHB swarms are usually gentle, having no home to defend". That is why you can get your swarm home and days later your "chickens" are dead. As for DNA testing, I take it that you don't want your 4.9 bees mistaken for AHB by simple measurements-and I can see the point.
    Kevin

  17. #17
    Kevin S. Lunsford Guest

    Wink

    Hello,
    "Hype" Dee? Your own article supports what I have said, read Bee Culture Jan. 1998 pg. 28-34, "Beekeeping on the fringe, with Ed and Dee Lusby".Quote: "Virgin queens are placed in mating nucs and open-mate with local drones-source pretty much unknown-which, it seams, has worked so far relative to progeny. But Tuscon is pretty much Africanized, so this may change". Also read the next article about Arizona, "African Honey Bees, and Lester Hines" (both written by Kim Flottum). Quote: "Like EHB's, AHB swarms are usually gentle, having no home to defend". That is why you can get your swarm home and days later your "chickens" are dead. As for DNA testing, I take it that you don't want your 4.9 bees mistaken for AHB by simple measurements-and I can see the point.
    Also read Bee Culture, May 1999, pg 6-Inner Cover by Kim Flottum. This is about Tom Glenn in Calif. Quote "If you want to raise naturally mated queens in an area that is Africanized, you will be able to, with extensive drone saturation. At best 95% of the drones will be European, and 5% will be Africanized.". AHB were found 10 miles from Mr. Glenn's apiary, now he only sells AI queens.
    Kevin

    [This message has been edited by Kevin S. Lunsford (edited September 05, 2002).]

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