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  1. #21
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    So, in light of all of this information. Do we, as beekeepers in this era have a responsibility to try to undo what has been done?
    Should we be requeening?
    Should we be exterminating? (I hate even using that word)
    What should our course of action be if we find our swarm or whatever are AHB?
    The person that said that his AHB hive gave off 5 swarms a year...is that wise?

    I know the AHB's are supposed to be much more hardy then not, but at what cost? The more AHB stories you hear the more people will exterminate instead of relocate...

    Im just asking, please dont take offense to anything I have posted above.

    Thank you.

  2. #22
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    Default Spear chuckers

    Thousands and thousands of more or less Africanized colonies are shipped every year in to California to pollinate. They are mean, especially after building up or in a dearth. I wouldn't care to have them myself. BUT these guys in say southern Texas are able to consistently supply lots of strong colonies early in the year with out the collapsing and losses other areas are experiencing. The farmers like them, they are very active. Plus, lid popping inspections are kept to a minimum. In spite of all this movement of colonies, they are not established here in the central valley.

  3. #23
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    kaisfate,
    This is a topic that seems to engender a few divergent responses.

    Some want to "kill them all", die, die, die

    And others want to spread them as far and wide as they possibly can.

    I realize that, contrary to the belief of some, the genetics of this race of bees has been introduced earlier and intentionally to this country, before the invasion from the South. The accounts of those raising queens from this material to distribute freely to beekeepers throughout this country, only a few decades ago, indicate how supremely defensive they can be. I am right in the midst of an area reported to be rampant with AHB, and I believe I have witnessed, several instances where some of the undesirable traits, not so often mentioned, have shown themselves in swarms I've hived and colonies that were "taken-over" by fist sized swarms of, possibly AHB bees. How some of these colonies, though not overly defensive, when opened for inspection, would almost completely run off the combs and out of the hive, clustering in a collar around the outside upper edge of the top super. Try finding the queen when most of the bees from the hive are clustered in this collar and those remaining on the combs are "running", clumping on the edges of the frame and dropping in small clumps onto the ground.

    - - - - -

    I am continuously working to keep the majority of my colonies headed by queens of predominantly EHB ancestry, though all of the queens I produce myself are open mated, thus they have varying degrees of potentially AHB influence. So, if a colony begins to exhibit undesirable traits, I just give them a new queen cell after removing their unwanted queen.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #24
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kaisfate View Post
    So, in light of all of this information. Do we, as beekeepers in this era have a responsibility to try to undo what has been done?
    Should we be requeening?
    Should we be exterminating? (I hate even using that word)
    What should our course of action be if we find our swarm or whatever are AHB?
    The person that said that his AHB hive gave off 5 swarms a year...is that wise?

    I know the AHB's are supposed to be much more hardy then not, but at what cost? The more AHB stories you hear the more people will exterminate instead of relocate...

    Im just asking, please dont take offense to anything I have posted above.

    Thank you.
    Managing bees in areas with AHB presence is certainly not as simple as it was before their arrival. My personal approach is to keep a close eye on the temperament of my hives and re-queen with queens of known genetics any that are consistently aggressive when conditions (weather, nectar flow, time of day, etc.) are optimal for them to not be so. I also keep plenty of drone frames in hives headed by a queen of known genetics in an attempt to reduce the influence of AHB drones. At this point, I have not had any of my hives require more drastic action. At least half of my hives are of feral origin and so far none have proved to be unmanageable with this approach. Re-queening with Cordovan queens is another option that allows you to have a more visual indicator of when the hive supersedes and could be at risk.

    As for what to do if you find out your hive is Africanized, I would think that your choices are clear, either attempt to re-queen or destroy the hive. I am pretty sure that at this point it is not legal to knowingly keep AHB's in most states.

    The AHB problem is an ongoing battle and until such point that those who regulate beekeeping in our state/country acquiesce to them, we must continue to "fight the fight". I think that it is abundantly clear that we will never be able to eradicate them, but it does appear to me that there has been some measure of success at mitigating their influence.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  5. #25
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    Default Knowing what you have

    I think the thing that bothered me about having AHB's was that I was totally green and had purchased the bees I had from a local pro. He assured me the were EHB stock and their actions were normal honeybee activities. I knew nothing of swarm prevention at the time and relied on his guidance. I only found out the truth just before I left the area to come to Georgia. A fellow hobbiest, familiar with AHB, that I finally located took the hives I had and requeened them. He said that his group practiced annual requeening to keep the aggression under control. In my case it was the "mentor" who was more a problem than the bees.

    I would not choose to keep AHB but if that was the only choice, one could adjust to the differences and go on.
    ! ! ! 4 years and STILL a bee-ginner ! ! !

  6. #26
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    Default

    Instead of saying they are agressive over and over again, why dont people atleast try to use selective breeding to get a gentle strain of africanized bees will be much easier to work with.??

    Its easy to keep complaining about a problem, instead of trying to find a solution for it.

    There are a lot of africanized bees in south america which are much gentle than what is currently in north america. this was achived through selective breeding and good management skills.

    Not all africanized bees are extremely aggressive, every strain of bees have gentle bees in them. We just have to select from those to make it easy on us and others.

    Check the bees from Brazil and Argentina which were very aggressive once and how they have changed over time to bee a much gentle bee through selective breeding.............

  7. #27
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    Default African bees demonstrate the biological reality of race

    Here's an interesting article on so-called "Africanized" bees.

    http://www.earthfiles.com/news-print...ry=Environment

    In this age of political correctness, we are often told that the taxonomic category of race is only a social construct; an illusion. There is also the school of thought that behavior is infinitely malleable, and has nothing to do with genetics. The existence of the African race of bee disproves both of these rather unscientific ideas, and shows the necessity for keeping this taxonomic distinction. Race is a biological reality. You might want to keep that in mind the next time someone tries to tell you that race is "only a social construct", and that to believe otherwise is "racist".

    I don't have references handy, but I do recall reading somewhere that very little hybridization with European honeybees has been taking place. What happens instead is a kind of "white flight" of the insect world, with European genetics quickly vanishing in invaded areas, since virgin queens appear to prefer mating with African drones. If so, this could quash hopes of producing a stable hybrid which has the relative gentleness of the European bee along with the vigor of the pure African strain. Also, no one seems to consider that the characteristics of aggression and vigor may be genetically linked in the African bee. But it's conceivable that it might turn out to be the case that you can't have one without the other.

  8. #28
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    Default

    So, does anyone know for sure where the AHB is located in the states as in how far they have already traveled into the country.
    I am hearing alot of different things.
    What about packages that come from say Georgia or some of the other states, is there any possibilty that they are going to be spread through packages at this time?

  9. #29
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    Default

    So, of all these reported AHB bees, who has actually had DNA done and confirmed? Morphological studies are unreliable in determining AHB if any small cell bees are present.

  10. #30
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    Here is the official usda map:


    http://www.ars.usda.gov/Research/doc...d=11059&page=6

    If you look at Florida, and then look at the north easternmost county, that is me. Orange county Florida is right on the edge.

    That color says 2005, and this is 2009, so I think this is the main year of infestation, because I caught 5 swarms in my own yard in empty supers just waiting to go back onto the hives. These things are aggressive, but also prolific.

    I am requeening as quickly as possible as I believe they are africanized.
    Troy

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross View Post
    So, of all these reported AHB bees, who has actually had DNA done and confirmed? Morphological studies are unreliable in determining AHB if any small cell bees are present.
    Morphological studies are unreliable IMO mostly because there were never any regional mapping of Morphological characteristics of feral populations done prior to the AHB arrival that would have established a basis for comparison. In Texas and other parts of the country there is also a significant presence of Apis lamarkii in the feral populations. Apis lamarkii (the Egyptian honey bee) are nearly identical morphologically to Apis scutellata. Small cell bees may cause some confusion in a few of the morphological characteristics that are related to the Thorax size and Fore wing length of the bees, however, I don't think raising EHB on small cell comb could change other more distinctive characteristics such as Discoidal shift, Cubital index, 4th tergite Tomentum width and 5th tergite Overhair lengths, etc. As mentioned above, without a basis for the feral population prior to the AHB arrival, it seems rather unscientific to assume what they should be and then estimate the degree of Africanization based on their variation from those assumptions. To me it is no better than assuming that a hot hive is Africanized on that basis alone. I do believe that when combined with temperament and other behaviors, detailed morphological studies on hives can provide enough suspicion to warrant re-queening or other corrective measures. But if you want to remove all doubt, IMO DNA analysis would be required.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  12. #32
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    Default

    Your link doesn't work.

  13. #33
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    Default

    mr smith says:
    There is also the school of thought that behavior is infinitely malleable, and has nothing to do with genetics.

    tecumseh:
    humm this idea would seem to conflict with the work of one of my wife's early mentors (who won the nobel for his work). I do however suspect you are somewhat confused in regards to your prior comments in regards to genetics vs race. from what we know NOW... certain genetic predispostion MAY BE somewhat to highly malleable and other (behavioral characteristic) almost set in stone (typically associated with basic survival instincts). this variation (which by the way exist in almost all things you can measure) still require a somewhat to highly artifical SCALE composed by man. the advance of KNOWLEDGE tends to modify this scale in an almost constant fashion.

    based upon what I have read in the old literature... the first africanized hive was found in California and a post morteum of the hive suggested it had shifted back to european bees quite quickly. steve taber wrote that he had distributed africanized semen across the us of about 20 years prior to this discovery. mr taber also suggest that the dispostion of the africanized hybrid varied highly based upon location (altitude, temperature and humidity being the variable considered).

    here the indirect question of this thread is handled quite simply... you take a sample to the Texas bee lab and have them tell you what you have. as far as my own testing here on the edge of this problem... prior years fairly extensive sampling suggest that the time of year in which queens are reared and large numbers of commercial yards near by do make a significant difference in the outcome of a queens mating.

    thanks ya' gene weitzel for you comments concerning morphological characteristics. I say this because it does seem some small cell folks seem to maintain some fear that their efforts will be confused with maintaining africanized stock. I will also tag unto your comments that these morpohological characteristics have NO relationship to the defensive/aggressive behavior of honeybee. that is... morphological characteristics to do predetermined aggressive behavior.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    .......... I will also tag unto your comments that these morpohological characteristics have NO relationship to the defensive/aggressive behavior of honeybee. that is... morphological characteristics to do predetermined aggressive behavior.
    Not sure I understand what you were trying to say here. My comment was intended to suggest that a hot hive that displays other common AHB behaviors (like excessive swarming, nervousness and hypersensitivity to vibrations) along with sharing similar morphological characteristics of Apis Scutellata would cast enough suspicion on the hive to warrant intervention by the beekeeper but would still not necessarily be definitive without the added certainty of DNA analysis. I would think that most responsible beekeepers would probably intervene anyway since those behaviors are not desirable rendering a morphological analysis moot. I would also go on record and state that IMO morphological studies of bees that display the behaviors that we value as beekeepers would be a waste of time if one were trying to determine the risk that AHB behavior could surface in subsequent generations. DNA analysis, IMO is the only way to definitively identify such risk.
    Last edited by Gene Weitzel; 04-08-2009 at 09:13 AM.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  15. #35
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    Default

    Here is another map:

    http://www.stingshield.com/all-us.htm

    In Oregon, many of us like to go out into the woods, by walking, horseback, or 4 wheeling. The prospect of AHB in the woods and an unsuspecting or unknowing public is not a pleasant one. The adjustments required by beekeepers and finding locations of apiaries which are remote, accessible, and yet providing good forage will make beekeeping more difficult. I am hoping that Southern Oregon is north of their northern limit of infestation, but time will tell.

    Larry

  16. #36
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    From what I have read, feral AHB colonies do much better in temperate areas that more closely approximate the climate in the savannas where they originated and then of course the more tropical areas like FL. This may be why feral bees in west Texas, parts of central Texas, NM, AZ and southern CA seem to have a higher degree of AHB characteristics than other areas across the South. My area in east Texas has a pretty good presence, but the latest studies I have seen indicate that it is in the 25 - 30% range and has not changed much in recent years. They don't seem to compete as well with the EHB in the areas near me with sizable commercial beekeeping influence. They are able to establish themselves in the more wilderness type areas where EHB preferred cavities are more scarce and resources would not support EHB's very well (AHB are not nearly as selective and are quite satisfied with smaller cavities and even ones that are below ground level, they are also more mobile and will "chase" resources as needed). In resource rich areas that suit them, they can build up into enormous colonies. In the resource scarce areas, they easily adapt by maintaining a small more mobile colony, absconding as needed to find new resources. I don't know if your wilderness areas would fit the bill for them to be successful at establishing a viable feral population, my suspicion would be that it may not, but as you say, time will tell.
    Last edited by Bizzybee; 07-28-2009 at 05:33 PM. Reason: Unnecessary quote
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  17. #37
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    Default touche

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross View Post
    more bs bashing
    sorry pal but my claims have now been supported here by Tom Laury's spear chucker post and Joseph Clemens post and elsewhere. Its not like i fell off the turnip truck yesterday.

    Ross, I sense you are protecting a TX queen selller? I am not intending ton bash southern queen producers as there are many good beekeepers in the south. I'm just speaking from 50 plus years of experience and knowledge and have no axe to grind.

    It does not take a Phd to figure out that if south of the border is 100% nasty girls that eventually the same fate will be seen in southern USA. My claim of the north being the repository for EHB genetics is also supported by University Researchers who feel more beekeepers up here should be raising their own queens. In fact a rssearcher who shall remain nameless in her well known queen rearing, course materials in the introduction, gives a short overview of why raise queens in the north and the short answer provided is to keep the AHB genes out!

  18. #38
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    mr smith says:
    There is also the school of thought that behavior is infinitely malleable, and has nothing to do with genetics.

    tecumseh:
    humm this idea would seem to conflict with the work of one of my wife's early mentors (who won the nobel for his work). I do however suspect you are somewhat confused in regards to your prior comments in regards to genetics vs race. from what we know NOW... certain genetic predispostion MAY BE somewhat to highly malleable and other (behavioral characteristic) almost set in stone (typically associated with basic survival instincts). this variation (which by the way exist in almost all things you can measure) still require a somewhat to highly artifical SCALE composed by man. the advance of KNOWLEDGE tends to modify this scale in an almost constant fashion.
    The notion that man somehow creates (or socially constructs) races by the process of describing them is nonsense. Man no more creates races by describing them than he creates species by describing them, or genera. A lot of people have trouble with this point because of political correctness and its application to Homo sapiens. Yet, even in an age when races can be told apart by analysis of DNA, some continue to cling with an almost religious fervor to their belief that race is an artificial distinction that man creates.

    My point is that genetically-based variation in animal behavior, along with the morphological characteristics by which races are delineated, doesn't require anything by man. It exists independently. If man were to vanish from the earth tomorrow, the various races of bees could still exist. African bees would still have all of their same characteristics, and be quite different than European bees. The existence of racial hybrids, far from disproving the objective reality of race, is actually an argument in favor of it, since without objectively separate races, hybrids would be impossible.

    With the advance or (in the case of political correctness) retreat of knowledge, our descriptions of this reality may change, but those descriptions don't affect the underlying reality itself.

  19. #39
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    my smip via gene weitzel:
    morphological characteristics to do predetermined aggressive behavior.

    the to do should have been 'do not'. or prehaps more precisely stated.. the correlation between morphological characteristics and defensive/aggressive doesn't present much informtion. I would agree (at least I think we are agreeing here???) that a list of behavior characteristics tells you much more than morphological consideration

    mr dingler writes:
    Ross, I sense you are protecting a TX queen selller? I am not intending ton bash southern queen producers as there are many good beekeepers in the south. I'm just speaking from 50 plus years of experience and knowledge and have no axe to grind.

    tecumseh:
    well you do seem to bring up this 'selling point' at every opportunity and with little evidence to support your claim. It does seem like you have a ax to grind give how often you bring up this issue.

    bug continues with:
    It does not take a Phd to figure out that if south of the border is 100% nasty girls that eventually the same fate will be seen in southern USA. My claim of the north being the repository for EHB genetics is also supported by University Researchers who feel more beekeepers up here should be raising their own queens. In fact a rssearcher who shall remain nameless in her well known queen rearing, course materials in the introduction, gives a short overview of why raise queens in the north and the short answer provided is to keep the AHB genes out!

    tecumseh:
    you are projecting a trend here without any evidence to support the claim... perhaps a phd would have alerted you to the mental error (but then again perhaps not). matter of fact gene weitzel presented a bit of evidence to suggest you claim has no bases in reality. if you can believe what steve taber wrote it would suggest that africanized blood lines have existed even in northern states for quite some time.

    marla spivak certainly does have an iron in the fire here and would likely list a whole array of reasons (not one over compelling reason) for folks to take her course and produce queens 'locally'. I support her efforts entirely.

    a numero uno mr smith snip:
    The notion that man somehow creates (or socially constructs) races by the process of describing them is nonsense. Man no more creates races by describing them than he creates species by describing them, or genera.

    tecumseh:
    then one could expect some bioliogical entity like nosema to have been in the same designation since the invention of the species/sub species classification.

    your NOTION is extremely old school and most folks who think about such stuff would find the content of your writing quaint and also highly misleading.

    you contant falling back on the boogy man of political correctness speaks volumes... which is absolute NOISE on the informational level.

    a numero twoooo mr smith snip:
    If man were to vanish from the earth tomorrow, the various races of bees could still exist. African bees would still have all of their same characteristics, and be quite different than European bees.

    tecumseh:
    so the knife (defined and built by man) that defines where a species might find itself would still exist? since current dna genetic information suggest pretty conclusively that the european bee originated from africa... your last sentence (given sufficient time) is absolutely incorrect.

    numero threeo snip via mr smith:
    With the advance or (in the case of political correctness) retreat of knowledge, our descriptions of this reality may change, but those descriptions don't affect the underlying reality itself.

    tecumseh:
    there ya' go again... tossing out that political correctness boogey man without presenting anything to support your quaint notion.

    reality is what it is but it is seen through very much human eyes and process via a grey matter computer with bias(s) already built in. a casual review of what Einstein wrote would suggest to almost everyone that it ain't always the same.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    a numero uno mr smith snip:
    The notion that man somehow creates (or socially constructs) races by the process of describing them is nonsense. Man no more creates races by describing them than he creates species by describing them, or genera.

    tecumseh:
    then one could expect some bioliogical entity like nosema to have been in the same designation since the invention of the species/sub species classification.
    You are again conflating the name for the thing with the thing itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    your NOTION is extremely old school and most folks who think about such stuff would find the content of your writing quaint and also highly misleading.
    So asserting the existence of a reality that is independent of what people think of it is something you want to derisively characterize as "quaint" and "highly misleading"? Are you serious? If that's the case, then I'll plead guilty. Yes, I DO believe reality exists apart from our ideas about it. Pretty wacky, huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    you contant falling back on the boogy man of political correctness speaks volumes... which is absolute NOISE on the informational level.
    You object to the term political correctness? LOL. I can think of a lot of other terms for those people who attempt to shut down debate on these questions by means of personal attacks, but none of them are so polite. This reminds me of the line in the Woody Allen movie "Annie Hall":

    Woody: I'm very anal.
    Annie Hall: Anal is the polite word for what you are!

    Actually though, political is exactly the right word, since it's apparent that those reality-deniers who claim that races are socially constructed do so for political, not scientific, reasons. They are frightened by the implications of the idea that human races exist, differing in outward form, temperament, aptitudes, and abilities, much like European and African bees do.

    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    a numero twoooo mr smith snip:
    If man were to vanish from the earth tomorrow, the various races of bees could still exist. African bees would still have all of their same characteristics, and be quite different than European bees.

    tecumseh:
    so the knife (defined and built by man) that defines where a species might find itself would still exist? since current dna genetic information suggest pretty conclusively that the european bee originated from africa... your last sentence (given sufficient time) is absolutely incorrect.
    The evolutionary origin of the European bee is not germane. The point is that the two races of bees are different NOW. Further, they would continue to be different NOW, regardless of the perceptions or even the existence of man.

    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    numero threeo snip via mr smith:
    With the advance or (in the case of political correctness) retreat of knowledge, our descriptions of this reality may change, but those descriptions don't affect the underlying reality itself.

    tecumseh:
    there ya' go again... tossing out that political correctness boogey man without presenting anything to support your quaint notion.

    reality is what it is but it is seen through very much human eyes and process via a grey matter computer with bias(s) already built in.
    "Reality is that which remains after you stop believing in it."

    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    a casual review of what Einstein wrote would suggest to almost everyone that it ain't always the same.
    Exactly. Reality and our beliefs about it are two different things. Glad you've finally come 'round.

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