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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    tulsa, ok usa
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    Just got back from my local beekeeping meeting and am somewhat depressed about the AHB. I would like to hear from any backyard beekeepers in AHB territories about what experiences they have had with neighbors and city officials.

    The advice was not to catch swarms and use marked queens of known genetics. Which is fine with me but I am worried about the neighbors.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    tulsa, ok usa
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    Well? I know we have to have one or two?

    [This message has been edited by magnet-man (edited November 05, 2004).]

  3. #3
    jfischer Guest

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    They tried to make it to the keyboard,
    but the bees got 'em before they could
    boot their workstations.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    South Padre Island Tx
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    29

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    Hi
    well Im no expert but i do live in deep south Texas . I only use marked queens just so i can keep track of them.
    As for the neighbors . The neighbors know im pretty crazy but not stupid enough to put an ahb hive in the backyard if I want to stay married , and most of the neighbors are older retiree types and dont care at all about the bees.
    . As for the city ive checked the codes and not one word about bees in city limits but.... Im not going to run down there and tell them about the hives ,lots of bad publicity in the local news about them, seems like the prefer dogs,horses and old men for targets.
    As for the ahb swarms just requeen it does wonders rather quickly.
    Just remove 1 colony of ahb and I think you would make a quick decision about putting them in the neighborhood or removing another 1 for that matter, it can get real exciting in a hurry ,nothing like driving home in the full suit with a cab full of angry bees as passengers

    Like I said im no expert just my personal experences

    Malcolm

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    hartley,texas,USA
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    65

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    Ihave some hives near Uvalde. An area well infested with AHB. usually people understand when you explain how you manage your hives {new Queens every year , requeening immediately if you find an unmarked queen ordering Queens from safe areas etc }. However out of sight out of mind is always a good idea. I do know some beekeepers with remote bee yards who just give in to the AHB and just suit up completely. They come right out and tell you their hives are likely most if not all AHB.Everone always asks if your bees are AHB they are comforted when you can tell them how you can be reasonably sure they are not.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    tulsa, ok usa
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    Malcolm and Chris thanks for your feedback.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    hartley,texas,USA
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    65

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    another point ,people in AHB areas are more inclined to pay to have any swarms removed .

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    tulsa, ok usa
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    [This message has been edited by magnet-man (edited November 06, 2004).]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    san antonio.texas USA
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    487

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    I keep bees in outyards in South texas. I am aggressive in requeening and maintain EHB hives with only an occational problem hive. In my area around San Antonio there are very few communities with beekeeping restrictions for city dwellers. We have had very very few incidents regarding city beekeepers as most are careful to keep marked EHB queens. A few people have been visited by code compliance responding to neighbor concerns. When code compliance ensured the hives were not a menace, nothing else was said. Some have mentioned to city officials that perhaps it is a good thing to have our nice EHBs competeing with the local AHB for availabe resources. A little honey and education with a concerned neighbor can go a long way. I would recommend to anyone wanting to keep bees in a AHB area to consider keeping their bees in an outyard. I recommend against removing established colonies in an AHB area for two main reasons. It is too easy to have a stinging incident. It is illegal in texas to receive money to remove bees unless you are a certified pest control technician.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    tulsa, ok usa
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    Beemaninsa? Oh I get it: Bee Man in San Antonio. I always like to figure out what everyones name stands for. I have magnet-man because that is my eBay name. I used to sell a lot of magnets on eBay. Made a nice profit on them too, but that was over 4 years ago.

    Well back to the question. Is it legal in Texas to keep AHB colonies for honey production in outyards for honey production?

    Was there any discussion about prohibiting the keeping of AHB?

    [This message has been edited by magnet-man (edited November 08, 2004).]

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    san antonio.texas USA
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    magnetman
    The Texas State Apiary Inspection Service currently has a regulation that states; It is illegal to retain AHB swarms or colonies except for research. All swarms observed or captured in a quarantined area should be destroyed.TAC 71.7 b 5
    I know a person who had some bees in an outyard tested and came up AHB positive. My guess is that he either had scheduleing problems with an inspector or didn't immediately correct the problem. He had to go to court for keeping AHBs. I believe it is a class c misdemeanor.
    I understand that the regulation may be under review. There are a couple of problems with this regulaion that I can see. Without genetic testing a beekeeper doesn't know that his bees are AHB. Are landowners retaining AHB swarms on their property in violation? I suspect the intent of the regulation was not to outlaw bees in Texas, but to have beekeepers take care of suspected AHB hives in their managed colonies. I don't know if this was previously mentioned.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    5,159

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    >Without genetic testing a beekeeper doesn't know that his bees are AHB.

    I was inquiring about testing at the county extension office. They gave me a bottle and told me to put one to three bees in and mail it to KSU. I asked about genetic testing and found out that they only measured the bee wing to establish wether it is AHB.

    I believe that small cell bees and AHB wings are the same size.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    tulsa, ok usa
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    Bullseye Bill it sounds like your county extension office is confused. To do a FABIS test (Fast Africanized Bee Identification System) they need about 50 bees. The tester will take ten bees selected at random and calculate the average length of the wing. If the average length is greater than X then the colony is not Africanized. If it is less than X, the test is inconclusive and PCR DNA testing needs to be done.

    As to the value of X it is in my African Honey Bee book but I canÂ’t find the page.

    You can send your bees down to Oklahoma and they will do the DNA testing for $50. It is cheap when you think about what they have to do, but it is more than the bees are worth.


    [This message has been edited by magnet-man (edited November 09, 2004).]

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I hear a lot of references in the news to DNA testing for AHB, but I can't seem to find any actual scientific papers about a DNA test.

    FABIS will just tell if it's a small cell (natural sized) bee or not. Not very useful, in my opinion for anything other than exterminating the only naturally surviving bees on the continent.

  15. #15
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    Mike, The African Honey Bee has a whole chapter on DNA.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    tipton,okla, usa
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    7

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    the doc that talked at the oba meeting told me that the fabis test factors small cell bees from 4.9 comb. Also we all have to remeber that this bee has been in the usa since the 40 or 50s as baton rouge tested them and imported semen and queens from dr kerr. But it still can`t change the fact that they are unprodictable and will either abscond, or swarm at the drop of a hat. also they don`t like to make alot of honey stored in comb they plan to leave. I have looked at and killed 458 wild swarms in the last 10 weeks here in sw okla and can honestly say i do not want any of these bees in my 1000 hives as you can bearly work them. The sad part is that we have many who have never seen or been around them who seem to be exburts on the subject. I don`t claim to know it all but if you cross a Hereford bull to a polled angus cow you will get a black bald calve. WE DONT WANT OR NEED ANY PURE BREED ANGUS IN SW OKLA FOLKS. The public already has enough hate for the bees and the kids under 25 coming up dont for the most part know where their food comes from let alone how it is made. I just hope that we don`t get a knee jerk reaction from all this and get regulated out of bees and the pollination game as so many depend on us for their food. As always keep bee`ing next years almost here.

  17. #17
    Join Date
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    tulsa, ok usa
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    Gary, what type of work do you do that allows you to locate and access 458 wild swarms in 10 weeks?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Raymond, Mississippi, USA
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    177

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    Considering he said he has 1000 hives I think its almost obvious.... Can't really do beekeeping as a "hobby" at 1000 hives. : )
    SippyBee

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