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  1. #1

    Question

    It's been ten years now, I wonder if Dee Lusby still believes this?
    http://www.beesource.com/pov/ahb/tcjun93.htm

  2. #2
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    Yep, sure do still believe it and still have the USDA government files on hand showing the importations of AHB used in government breeding programs for years.

    It's like saying down in S. Africa now you are Americanized with your bees.

    Never have seen the bad traits with our bees, but then we use no dopes of chemicals, drugs, acids, essential oils, and melted down our big combs. All things that make bees out of balance and cranky!

    So you Texans still believe the political ticket no matter how many bees you lose? Nothing wrong with working with a natural system you know. Been done for millions of years.

    Yep, see nothing wrong with the bees. Never have and don't believe I ever will.

    Sincerely,

    Dee A. Lusby

  3. #3

    Lightbulb

    Dee,
    Please continue to believe as you wish - all I can say is that if you don't see a big difference between AHB and your typical European honeybee, then either you've never been around AHB or you've conscientiously choosen to defend a ten year old quote which has obviously turned out to NOT be the case. (I'm not talking about your "documents" here - I couldn't care less about that aspect - I am talking about the aggressive genetics of AHB being dominate).

    Hopefully you Arizonians aren't "buying" Dee's political ticket! There is a big difference between AHB behavior and European honeybee behavior.

  4. #4
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    Well when talking african bees what specific race are we talking? Africa is a big place! Are we talking about montacola, egyptian, scutellata, punic, and other races? I believe egyptian bees have been in US since 1866 and punics were brought northeast USA a little later. So african bees have been here for quite some time now with little dramatized impact pumped up by the media (they don't even know it). In this veiw Dee is correct. But I think you are specifically talking scuttelata here are you not txbeeguy? I don't know if I exactly know what being so called "africanized" means as there are many african races. I think its a big mistake to associate african = aggresive. For example if the entire state of AZ where africanized by montacola what does that have to do with aggressiveness? The term AHB's is such a broad statement. Now this isn't to say that scutellata isn't a more aggresive race of bee. I guess my point is that talking AHB's (all races) doesn't = aggressive evil killer bees. With that said Dee is likely talking about all african races where you are talking just one of many.


  5. #5
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    Just because a colony is NOT aggressive does not mean it does not have African genes. Just because a conly IS aggressive does not mean it DOES have African genes.

    Certainly I've never seen such vicious bees as I had a year and a half ago and they meet all the criteria as far as behaviour but my guess is that they had those genes the generation before they got mean.

  6. #6

    Arrow

    > The term AHB's is such a broad statement.

    I don't think it's a broad statement.

    It has ONE broadly recognized meaning (in the popular press as well as among beekeepers). AHB (Africanized Honey Bee) means the progeny of that race of Apismellifera scutellata brought to the western hemisphere many years ago. I don’t think anyone is saying "African = aggressive" what I do know to be true is that, "Africanized = aggressive".

    > I don't know if I exactly know what being so called "africanized" means as there are many african races.

    No one is denying there are multiple races of honeybees in Africa. You say you don’t know what being "Africanized" means. Again, in the popular press as well as among the vast pool of American beekeepers, if you ask them what is meant by the term "Africanized" honeybee, they would tell you in no uncertain terms they mean the progeny of Apismellifera scutellata (i.e., AHB).

    So you can play word semantics all you want but it doesn’t change the commonly accepted understanding of the terms.



  7. #7
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    >>As for the 130 documented killer bee attacks on humans so far in Texas - this is "just normal" for honeybees, Lusby said. She said no formal bee sting records were kept before killer bees arrived there 2-1/2 years ago, so no one can say that is a higher attack record than before.

    Normal?
    Do the beekeepers in Texas refer to that temperment in bees normal?

    Ian

    [This message has been edited by Ian (edited October 21, 2003).]

  8. #8
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    Txbeeguy I don't mean to under play or make word games here. I'm not even saying that hybidized scutellata aren't aggresive bees.I guess what I was trying to say is that the term AHB is a very poor choice of words due to the fact that there are many african races. I realize what the coined term means. My point is that any african race that is hybridized with EHB is technically africanized. This is reguardless of what the media's coined term. As beekeepers we should be a little more specific as what the race we mean. I just think that the term africanized is too general. Please note that I'm not denying the exisistence of the coined AHB, but saying that the term AHB "can" imply other than just scuttelata. I didn't mean to imply any more or less than this.

    Clay

  9. #9
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    WITHOUT furthering the word play and thus referring to the original statement, I will add my comment.
    I have never had a "africanized hive" that I know of. I did have a particularly nasty hive I've referred to a number of times last year. As nasty as this hive was, I have never and could not imagine the video documantation of "africanized" bees that I've seen being fake or made up. To suggest that aggressive "africanized bees" do not exist, is blinding. And to suggest that it was somehow fabricated as a govermental spending ploy, is somehow odd to me. To say that the problem does not exist because I have not had any in my apiaries is absurd. Never been to China, but I'm sure its there.

    I've seen video on the Weaver family in Texas and others, and the procedures that they implement to combat the spread of "africanized" bees. And yes I believe that through the migration north, and the breeding with other strains, that the "africanized" bee will over time blend nicely as a more productive strain for beekeepers. There is a distinct difference in what a normal hive and a "africanized" hive will do and how they react.

    And by the way, where does culling of drone brood come into play, when referring to "doing things the natural way". Referring to the way bees are, that they have been for millions of years, would tend to make me think that NO manipulation is needed or accomplished. And yet manipulations of any level, is not the way things have been for millions of years. Are we not all "exploiting a given enviroment but also decimating it to a moonscape", on some level. I'll accredit Point of View contributor, Yoon Sik Kim for that last comment.

  10. #10
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    Cant remember where I saw or read it (my mind must be slipping)but there is a guy in southern cal doing bee removals .He is takeing the africanized(ok scuttelized) bees out to his yards and says they are more productive than Euros and dont need any mite treatments.I dont recall what he said about the temper but cant imagine it was good.There is so much conflicting information about these bees that I will just have to wait before giving any opinions.I hope their temper will moderate in time.But they are here now and will have to be dealt with.I appreciate hearing reports from those dealing with them right now-keep us posted!

  11. #11
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    Hi all,

    Interesting reading what you have all posted.

    Yes, there are many strains/races of bees that were brought to the USA early on and without problem.

    It is strange too that AHBs have not also been found in domesticated managed colonies by beekeepers within the State of Arizona.

    Many beekeepers that come see our bees feel that they are no different then bees they themselves keep and many feel that they are in fact gentler.

    I know that Canada just opened up their border to USA bees and in doing so said they don't see the threat of AHBs to be too great to not let USA bees back in for their beekeepers to use.

    What is agressive to some, are not to others. What is AHB in name to some is not to others also.

    But it makes for good stories and discussions. Some of us have lived the talk and walked the walk for decades as the name for usage became more popular and know it's full history. Many new beekeepers do not and probably never will and are free to believe what they will.

    Agressive bees are never to be tolerated. Don't think they ever really have been, for you cannot make bees with them in actuality. You want bees you can work for production and make more splits from.

    So what else do you all feel is agressive bees? How do you breed to get rid of the problem if it is a problem to you?

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby

  12. #12
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    It is amazing that the original importations into Brazil could have had such a far reaching effect.Whoever made the original selections in Africa must have picked the worst of the worst as far as temper goes.Seems like they could have looked a little harder and found some better tempered bees to ship to Dr.Kerr.These bees are surely breeding to some extent with the bees being moved around for almond pollination here,but I havent heard a thing about any agressive bees and in fact mine are gentler than ever.I personally wont tolerate vicious bees.

  13. #13
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    >Whoever made the original selections in Africa must have picked the worst of the worst as far as temper goes.Seems like they could have looked a little harder and found some better tempered bees to ship to Dr.Kerr.

    If you read the notes by the USDA which was doing similar experiments, they couldn't keep the viscious streak out either. It would pop back up after a couple of generations. I don't think they were dealing with the same bees as Dr. Kerr.

    As far as what I consider mean bees, the ones I had a year and a half ago would attack you as you approched the hive from the back. They would pour out of the hole on the inner cover with the banana smell strong. Then if you pulled the inner cover, they would boil out of the hive. They would not leave when you left the hive, but would cling to your clothes stinging everywhere they could get enough purchase. Even with a full suit on it was scary. I've taken a lot of hives out of trees and houses and never had them that angry and all I did to these was open the top. I did not kill them. I split them up into smaller units so I could find the queen and manage them and I requeened them. The smaller units weren't as reactive, but were still mean. It took a month or so for them to get much better.

    The original queens were Buckfasts and quite nice, but the next generation were the most viscious bees I've ever seen. When every bee in the hive is trying to kill you, the banana smell is rife and they won't back off even after you've walked hundreds of yards away, I don't see how they can get more viscious than that.

  14. #14
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    I caught a swarm once(not from my hives)that was like that.I brought them home and as soon as they were settled in they began to search out and sting dogs and people well away from the hive.If you walked within 20 feet of the hive they would boil out.I got them out of here as soon as I realized their nature.I put them in an outyard and right after that a bear came in and destroyed them .I was happy.

  15. #15
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    I never thought I'd be happy for a bear loss, but I can understand your feelings.

    That's the way these were. I would be sittin on my back porch on the oppisite side of the house from the hives a good 200 yards from them and they would sting me unprovoked. I'd never seen anything like it and I hope I don't see it again, but I won't count on it.

  16. #16
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    I will say that it's one of the reasons I don't open a hive without at least a veil on. If you've ever seen bees like that you don't want to be totally unprotected.

  17. #17
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    >>I don't think they were dealing with the same bees as Dr. Kerr.
    From memory(a faulty thing)I thought the USDA lab was receiving scut drone semen from Dr.Kerr to test the viability of shipping it .I was told by one Cal. breeder that he raised some queens from this stock but problems developed with wintering ability of these bees.This was many years ago and he has long since passed on.

  18. #18
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    >The original queens were Buckfasts and quite nice, but the next generation were the most viscious bees I've ever seen. When every bee in the hive is trying to kill you, the banana smell is rife and they won't back off even after you've walked hundreds of yards away, I don't see how they can get more viscious than that.


    Most of you know that I too had the same nasties.

    This exact topic came up at the Kansas Honey Producers meeting last weekend, during a Q&A session with Marla Spivak after one of her presentations.

    She said that it was impossible for a queen breeder (of Buckfasts in Texas) to guarantee that a queen is not bred to an AHB. The only source for Buckfasts are in Texas, and that the breeders do a good job of flooding the area with good stud stock but it still leaves the possibility that a very small percentage of ferral studs are still available for breeding.

    BTW, she likes the term that Tom Glen (EAS 2002) gave to the male bees, Stud. It is a better term for a part of the breeding equation that is JUST as important as the queen itself. She also promotes using drone comb and insureing that our favorite colonys are producing enough studs for our own needs.

    I have found as a user of Permacomb, that when I put it in a deep, the lower part is filled with stud comb. I will be practicing this management with my best hives from now on.

    So, Hooserhiver, your a stud in my book, so where are we going to set up our yard?

    Studly Doright

  19. #19
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    >>I know that Canada just opened up their border to USA bees

    Dee, when did the boarder open? Can't find anyone to conferm this. Will you exagerate a little on what you know..

    Ian

  20. #20
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    "And to suggest that it was somehow fabricated as a govermental spending ploy, is somehow odd to me."

    Odd, yes. Believable, yes.

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