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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Buda, Texas
    Posts
    922

    Default Again, a little knowledge, and bad info for the public

    I could not believe what I was seeing when I saw this newscast. A swarm of bees, nice and normal looking in every respect, being gathered up by a beekeeper (or perhaps a "bee-haver") and labeled, "probably Africanized". And even if they were Africanized, why does the female beekeeper want to take them back to her beeyard to raise more AHB? Totally irresponsible and incorrect.

    http://www.myfoxaustin.com/myfox/pag...d=1.1.1&sflg=1

    Who can blame the media for fear-mongering when we have this type of representation amongst us?
    "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. " John 10:11

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,893

    Default

    I don't see what outrages you about this clip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Buda, Texas
    Posts
    922

    Default

    It's not outrage, odfrank. It is disbelief and frustration because bees are being given an undeserved sinister reputation, by fellow beekeepers, no less. There is enough public fear out there already without it being stoked in this manner.
    "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. " John 10:11

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Cedar Bluff, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    141

    Default

    I thought the only way to know for sure if they were AHB was to have it tested at a lab.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    4,893

    Default

    I viewed it again and she said nothing sinister. I agree that a swarm of bees on the sidewalk outside is not the best place for them. She said "probably" africanized, and had a nice bee vac, maybe more than a "beehaver".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Buda, Texas
    Posts
    922

    Default

    No, odfrank, she did not say anything sinister, and I never said that she did. And yes, she does have a nice bee-vac.
    I have no interest in turning this into a tailgater-style debate and will leave it at that.
    "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. " John 10:11

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
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    5,080

    Default

    Did you say "NICE" bee vac. Unless there's more to it than I seen, I'm betting she killed every bee there. I seen no ventilation at all.

    edited..........My boo-boo. I didn't see the box the first time, only the vac. I thought it was being used direct. I see the difference now.
    Last edited by iddee; 06-01-2008 at 05:30 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,893

    Default bee vac

    I just assumed it was fancy commercial bee vac. He is vacuuming carefully, maybe has some kind of insert in the yellow bucket? I believe everything I see on TV and the internet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Johnston, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    554

    Default

    Oh My! I just cut out bees from a fallen Oak, the bees had been living in the hollowed out base... near and under the ground!!! They were probably africanized
    Unfortunatly we couldn't get our Bee-Vac working...

    If the bees were gentle enough to work w/o protection, that indicates that they had not started making their home yet, meaning... that the bees, if left alone, would probably leave in a few hours. Therefore I don't think "what's her name" should have concluded they were probably africanized because they were clusting in the ground, and then go publicly announce that the bees were probably killer bees (a term I discourage fellow beeks to use, especially to the media!).

    If they really were africanized, I hope the Vac did kill them, and I don't think the beek should entertain thoughts about keeping them.

    Maybe I'm just ignorent... any experience Texas beeks want to chime in?

    -Nathanael
    Beaches' Bee-Haven Apiary http://beachesbeehaven.com
    Aiken Beekeepers Association http://aikenbeekeepers.org

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Default

    What I find rare is that the commentator had a bit more sense than the reporter or the "keeper". He said they seemed to be pretty calm for africanized bees, he clearly didn't think they were. Well, no stuff.

    Perhaps the 'keeper' had some stock in sensationalizing the bees and making them out to be ahb, perhaps a larger paycheck?

    I find the reporters screw up all the information you give them. You try to educate them and then they go and tell their story with wrong information. Like last week when they wanted to interview me because ahb was found just 60 miles from our city and the Dept of Ag is saying they would be here by the end of summer.

    I'm telling them there is no story and I have not seen any when a big swarm flies up and surrounds us. So now they have footage of hiving a gentle swarm and mixing the information and video with ahb. I thought the whole thing turned out poorly.

    Well if it doesn't bleed it doesn't lead. If there is no news, make some.

    BTW, that bee vac is the one that Brushy Mountain sells.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    546

    Default

    I think the biggest knowledge problem in the media and in the public on AHB is this. Most people feel that bees are Africanized or European. There are different levels (breeding,genetics) of these bees. Thats why they call them African"ized" honey bees and not African honey bees. The European and Africanized bees cross mate, and certain traits of the africanized bees present themselves at different levels. An example... My great great grandfather had great big ears. Does this mean I, or my children will have great big ears? No, but the trait is in our gene pool. Yes, it could show up in one of my grandchildren, so I, would be considered "big-ear"ized!

    I'm not discounting some very hostile africanized swarms or bees, but people need to be aware of genetic traits, and what the "ized" means in africanized. It means, they carry the traits, but are not all-out guaranteed to be a swarm of killer bees.

    BTW - Great Great Grandpa's giant ears problem is fiction.
    Find A Beekeeper - Swarm List
    "There's nothing wrong with me, it's the rest of the world that has a problem"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lavaca county, Texas
    Posts
    497

    Wink

    Well . . .

    Supposedly, it's "common knowledge" here in Tejas that *most* feral bee hives are *likely* to be AHB. Um, okay.

    What exactly that has to do with a *swarm* which has at least a 50-50 chance of being EHB, I'm not sure. But there you go.

    I *have* noticed that anyone who learns I keep bees, immediately chimes in with their NEAR DEATH (small red bump) bee sting experience that must have been caused by AHB because it happened here in Tejas within the last 10 years. Sheesh.

    So for the media and the (mis)information mongers, I offer a quote from Robert A. Heinlein:
    I shot an error in the air.
    It's still flying -- everywhere.


    Summer

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Posts
    82

    Default Quick Killer bee question.

    Won't their killer habits be diluted over the population of regular ol' sweet non-killing type bees that are out there? THey have to be getting sweeter over time. Right? When was the last killing that we know about. (Yes, I am saying killing on purpose to get a rise. I think "killer bee" is over the top and not very helpful in describing Africans) But the questions are serious. Thanks

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Johnston, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    554

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by staythecourse View Post
    Won't their killer habits be diluted over the population of regular ol' sweet non-killing type bees that are out there? THey have to be getting sweeter over time. Right? When was the last killing that we know about. (Yes, I am saying killing on purpose to get a rise. I think "killer bee" is over the top and not very helpful in describing Africans) But the questions are serious. Thanks
    There's where the AHBs have an advantage. AHBs produce more dones than your average european, they also kill any non-Africanized drones that happens to wander into their hive, and their queens hatch a little earlier than regular europeans, meaning that if you have a africanized tainted hive the queens with the most africanized traits will hatch first and dominate the colony.

    -Nathanael
    Last edited by Beaches' Bee-Haven Apiary; 06-01-2008 at 07:51 PM. Reason: forgot to add my "cool: face!
    Beaches' Bee-Haven Apiary http://beachesbeehaven.com
    Aiken Beekeepers Association http://aikenbeekeepers.org

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Default

    I didn’t see much wrong with what the beekeeper on the video said.

    I feel you have a duty to advise persons that know nothing about bees, your best judgment based on your own wealth of experience. If it scares the public, so be it, but err on the side of caution and public safety.

    I often will tell onlookers that there is a chance the bees might become defensive.

    I tell them to keep pets and children from disturbing the swarm.

    I tell them there is a 'chance' they an be Africanized bees, yes, even here in PA with all the movements of bees up and down the eastern states.

    I might give them a guesstimate based on my experience, what to do about the swarm. And provide what options they have and what the swarm may do.

    I may state:
    If you leave the swarm there, IMO:
    * There is a good chance it will fly away and you will never see it again.
    * There is also a chance it may fly into a void in a structure on your property.
    * There is also a chance it may fly into one of your neighbors structures.
    * There is also a slight chance it will stay right where it is to build a nest.

    This is certainly not meant to scare anyone, it is meant as an advisement based on my experience.

    I adopted this procedure of total advisement, after a person I suggested to leave the swarm be and it will fly away, had the swarm fly into their house, and instantly made what would have been a $60.00 swarm removal, a $400.00 extraction, plus repairs.

    If you are aware of highly defensive bees in your area, and you neglect to relay that word of caution to bystanders who BTW are not bee suited as you might be, same as in your beeyard, you could be held liable in a lawsuit.

    I already told my pest control partners to be wary of the potential for defensive or Africanized bees in our area, and the Bee Department for PA is already developing a Africanized bee plan. So why keep this a secret and risk the publics health for the sake of good press?

    Joe

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Posts
    82

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beaches' Bee-Haven Apiary View Post
    There's where the AHBs have an advantage. AHBs produce more dones than your average european, they also kill any non-Africanized drones that happens to wander into their hive, and their queens hatch a little earlier than regular europeans, meaning that if you have a africanized tainted hive the queens with the most africanized traits will hatch first and dominate the colony.

    -Nathanael
    Thanks. They DO have the upper hand then.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Arundel, Maine USA
    Posts
    1,207

    Default

    you know, this is exactly the kind of garbage that is so unfounded, and just keeps adding to the stress on the beekeeping industry. What is this woman's problem? Maybe she ran out of bees and figured that by scaring the public, she would get all the calls in her neighborhood. After all, who wants to take the risk of bringing home "africanized" bees. As a "beekeeper" she should know better than to jump to conclusions about the breed of bees she was working with. I didn't see that guy wearing any protective clothing, and have a really hard time believing those bees were africanized. When dealing with the public, as educated beekeepers, we have to be intelligent about how we present ourselves and the bees. Claiming that those bees were africanized without any proof, leads quickly to panic and even more fear based on ignorance. That is the worst kind of fear. The damage this may have caused will take a long time to fix...

    I think you're right. She seems like a beehaver to me!
    Let's BEE friends

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fayetteville, AR, USA
    Posts
    144

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beaches' Bee-Haven Apiary View Post
    There's where the AHBs have an advantage. AHBs produce more dones than your average european, they also kill any non-Africanized drones that happens to wander into their hive, and their queens hatch a little earlier than regular europeans, meaning that if you have a africanized tainted hive the queens with the most africanized traits will hatch first and dominate the colony.

    -Nathanael
    correct, here is some more detailed info about AHB as an invader
    http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/v1.../6801058a.html

    Reproductive biology of scutellata—a proven invader
    The reproductive biology of the scutellata-derived 'Africanized honeybee' (hereafter AHB) has been extensively studied in the American neotropics (for an overview and references see Schneider et al., 2004). AHB has been shown to have a strong reproductive advantage over European subspecies.

    AHB colonies show a greater emphasis on pollen than nectar collection, and this pollen is rapidly converted into brood. AHB colonies produce more brood per adult worker than other honeybee subspecies, resulting in high growth rates and increased swarm production. Likewise, drone production is high, resulting in a mating advantage of AHB males due to numerical superiority at drone aggregations. Moreover, AHB drones tend to drift into other colonies, thereby suppressing drone production by the host colony. Male migration from AHB colonies into European ones was almost certainly an important factor in the displacement of European subspecies in the Americas.

    During queen rearing (prior to swarming or to replace the mother queen), AHB virgin queens may have a competitive advantage in colonies that have both AHB and non-AHB parentage. This advantage arises from AHB virgin queens developing faster than queens of other genotypes. Thus, if a colony has patrilines arising from both scutellata and non-scutellata males, it is more likely that a virgin from a scutellata patriline will inherit the colony because they tend to emerge first and kill their rivals.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio
    Posts
    350

    Default

    Couple things bother me about this. First of all, and I could be wrong, but that's a swarm - not an established hive. If it were an established hive, how is this "beekeeper" going to get them out of there with a bee vac? Good luck.

    Secondly, if they were AHB, why would you release them into the wild? It's my understanding that AHB swarms need to be erradicated, not relocated.

    The lady is well-spoken. Makes her all the more believable, doesn't it?

    Kudos to the news anchor. His question about why these "Africanized" bees are so gentle shows that he might actually know something about AHB's. Too bad he couldn't expound on that more.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    New Braunfels, TX
    Posts
    463

    Default Africanized Bees--Maybe

    Jeffrey,

    Both of us capture swarms in South Texas. We both know that a majority of these swarms are likely F1 or worse hybrids. I disagree with the Beek that indicated because the bees were near the ground, they were likely AHB; but I see her point. Swarms are usually not very defensive, either EHB or AHB. Let them build a couple of cells and that changes dramatically. Many Beeks around here will capture a swarm, hive them, determine if hot or not, then re-queen as necessary. I have been averaging a couple of calls a week asking for removals, and some swarms. Just had one for a swarm last Thursday and a hive today. I tell the callers about the same thing each time. If a swarm, I let them know that it will likely move on in a day or so, but could locate nearby. If a hive (cutout), I warn of the problems associated with removals, danger to neighbors, and expense. Then I refer them to pest control specialists. If anyone around San Antonio wants me to refer these calls to them, PM me.
    Hobbyist

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