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  1. #141
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    lake geneva wi
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    Here is a good site that shows large scale AHB keeping in Brazil.
    http://www.cearapi.com.br/en/certification.html
    Yes they are more disease rest. highly productive too. You can't really compare production #s to temperate EHBs because of the completely different climates.
    EHBs just do not thrive there so you can't compare.
    It is not just as simple as incorporating AHB genetics and then dealing with it like you would EHB. You have to make big changes in your operation and style.
    Some things just are not doable in an AHB yard.
    Last edited by JBG; 08-22-2009 at 08:11 AM.

  2. #142
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBG View Post
    They aren't chasing people thru the streets of Brazil because there is not urban or suburban hobby beekeeping there as we know it due to AHB. Check out the Thomas post on Honduras as well as the basic Delaplane First lessons book. Delaplane is one of the best for brevity and accuracy. Once you get deeper into Brazil and start dealing with bees you will hear many many stories of people dealing with aggressive colonies.
    I agree with you but some folks actually believe that's what's going to happen up here if AHB take over. It's the sensationalist attitude that I'm against, like the maps we've been looking at. My county has been AHB positive for a long time yet I don't believe that I've encountered AHB to this date. Meanwhile folks from up north describe us as being over-run by AHB. I feel there's too much misinformation and not enough realistic information out there.
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  3. #143
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Anderson County, Texas
    Posts
    1,254

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    Since the AHB issue has popped up on this forum again, I thought that I would 'bump' up this thread in which this issue has been exhaustively discussed previously, lest some good points are left out which have previously been discussed. Also, please take note of all of the referenced studies and maps within this thread dealing with the problem.

    Kindest Regards
    Danny Unger
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  4. #144
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Galt, CA
    Posts
    881

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    Where do you send a sample of the bees to find out what their genetics are? I have a hot hive here, and it was THE LARGEST swarm I have taken yet, it took 2 hive bodies to hold them all.

    Craig

  5. #145
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    lake geneva wi
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    Galts CA. Hmmm. The current test is a morphological and not DNA/genetic and for CA I dunno but you could always ask Beltsville
    http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/site_ma...de=12-75-05-00

  6. #146
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    lake geneva wi
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    If you have a place to keep them safely they are super producers and don't require all the nasty chemicals. So don't blindly follow whatever advice you hear. The experience is that they advance to their environmental limits so in those areas it a if you can't beat 'em kind of proposal. Plus once they get established they tend to calm down alot.

  7. #147
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Honduras
    Posts
    228

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by beyondthesidewalks View Post
    I have traveled throughout South America on business and there are not scares about AHB. There aren't people dying everyday from AHB. AHB are not chasing people through the streets of Brazil. In all of my travels down there I've not even heard mention of AHB. In short, the arrival of AHB in the US has not been that big of an event. People and beekeepers in sustained AHB areas are coping just fine. Life will go on.
    For the most part for me your statement is true. People here in Honduras have learned to cope with Africanized bees. They know that they have to be careful around any colonies that they may run across. If there is a problem feral colony, they will find someone who knows how to deal with them (remove them or kill them).

    Beekeepers know how to deal with these bees. They are going to get ornery when you start to open the hives so the beekeepers take their precautions. I make sure I’m well suited and sealed. If I get some stings (and I usually do) I can handle them. But what always worries me is that some person or cow or dog or horse might just by chance be coming by the apiary and get a bunch of stings (even though I try to keep my yards far enough away from roads and other traveled trails that might be used). That is always in the back of my mind.

    And there still are accidents even though africanized bees have been in Honduras for more than 20 years. About six weeks ago I got a call about a house here in town that had an ahb colony in an overturned barrel in the back yard. The people didn’t even realize there were bees there. But they came home that afternoon and found their dog dead. Something happened to set them off and the poor dog that was tied up too near to them couldn’t get away. Luckily none of the other neighbors got stung.

    In the newspapers here there are several stories every year about bee attacks, and every once in a while someone is killed. Here are a couple, mainly about colonies causing problems in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa. They are in Spanish but these also have some photos.

    http://www.hondudiariohn.com/nacionales=4221.php

    http://www.heraldohn.com/Tegucigalpa...-en-la-capital

    http://www.heraldohn.com/Sucesos/Edi...nia-Villanueva
    ----------
    Tom

  8. #148
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Honduras
    Posts
    228

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBG View Post
    If you have a place to keep them safely they are super producers and don't require all the nasty chemicals. So don't blindly follow whatever advice you hear. The experience is that they advance to their environmental limits so in those areas it a if you can't beat 'em kind of proposal. Plus once they get established they tend to calm down alot.
    Some of my africanized bee hives can be super producers but I find it to be real variable. I might pull 60 pounds out of one and the one right next to it might not have much of anything to harvest. I go back later on and that second one now has honey to pull but the first one doesn’t. And both hives seemed to be strong and in good shape for production. Part of the problem might be that I just use top bar hives, which I can make very cheaply but doesn’t always maximize honey production. Like was mentioned, production here shouldn’t really be compared to production in parts of the North America with ehbs, but down here it is definitely profitable.

    Management can be tough, especially if you like to get into the hives and play with the bees. Small hives are fine to work with but not the big ones that you want for honey production. I tend to do a real hands-off type of beekeeping. I make sure all the hives have a good amount of space and let the bees do their thing. I then only really enter them to pull honey or later feed. All my new hives come from mainly swarms I capture (which is real easy here). Getting into to the hives to do splits gets them too riled up for my taste.

    If you are going to do migratory beekeeping with Africanized bees, make sure your boxes are in good shape. Leaky boxes would be a nightmare. I don’t think you would really want to haul the hives with their entrances opened, like they do when going to the almonds. Here the migratory beekeepers put on a screened cover for ventilation and close up the entrance and any other small holes. If there is a hole, they will come out.

    And then there would be the constant worry about law suits in the States. Luckily here in Honduras there aren’t lawyers looking for whatever little minor incident to turn into a law suit. It still worries me though.

    As far as diseases go, I see very few (if any) problems in my hives. I will lose some but that mainly seems to be caused by them running out of stores. They abscond. Africanized bees won’t stay in their hives and starve to death. If they start to get low on honey, they leave—and like right now. This is the problem that I have with the last swarms I catch before the rains start and the flowers stop. They have very little reserves and abscond if I don’t constantly keep supplemental feed on them.

    On the other hand, they can very well pack away a lot of honey for survival during the dearth period—if they have a big enough nesting cavity. I see some feral colonies that have continuously inhabited the same hollow tree or crevice in the rocks for years. One of their problems is, and it has been mentioned already, they aren’t too particular about where they build their nest. Lots of times the cavity is fairly small. This following picture is of a colony my wife got several weeks ago. They had moved into a drainage box located next to this house. It was probably about the size of a deep lang box. I don’t think these girls would have been able to store enough away to survive a winter up north. (There are actually two more just like this one that I need to capture sometime this week.)

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...adedrenaje.jpg

    ----------
    Tom

  9. #149
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    watson,ar
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    Have not had to deal with AHB YET! They are two counties west of me and will without a doubt make it to my neighborhood.
    A friend of mine had a colony of black bees a few years ago. You got within 50 feet of that hive and they were "bumping" you. Any closer and you got stung! Told him I would not keep this hive. He liked them because they produced a lot of honey.
    Will wait and see what happens when they do make it to my neighborhood.

  10. #150
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    piedmont, KS
    Posts
    242

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by deltacornbread View Post
    Have not had to deal with AHB YET! They are two counties west of me and will without a doubt make it to my neighborhood.
    A friend of mine had a colony of black bees a few years ago. You got within 50 feet of that hive and they were "bumping" you. Any closer and you got stung! Told him I would not keep this hive. He liked them because they produced a lot of honey.
    Will wait and see what happens when they do make it to my neighborhood.
    well i'll tell ya, if you like several thousand bees hitting you at one time when you go to the hive and open it, then you should be able to deal with AHB's. I had 4 hives that i got last year that were africanized. Ended up requeening. This years bees are a dream, their docile almost comatose except for working like they should.

    I have my two hives right next to the house and walk up to them every day to check without any veil or whatever. last year the hives had to be located 150 feet away just to keep them from assaulting me.

    the hives from last year never survived this winter. They didnt build up any stores to speak of and i ended up having to feed, and they ended up starving when temps got down to -8 and they couldn't get to the sugar.

  11. #151
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Honduras
    Posts
    228

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    That´s one of the big advantages with the hot hives in the States, whether they are africanized or not—they can be easily requeened with ehb. It is not that hard to get ahold of replacement queens. There are lots of breeders. There is no reason that comercial and hobby beekeepers would ¨have¨ to deal with africanized bees.

    Here in Honduras, on the other hand, I really have no choice. Queens would cost me a pretty penny (or maybe I should say centavo)—even if I could find some close to me. They would probably be crosses between ahb and ehb or just selected pure ahb that are a bit more calm. But still probably not real calm like the bees one usually gets to deal with in the States. And then there is the problema about how these hives would compete against all the feral ahb hives—both in terms of honey production, posible take overs by ahb swarms and with the eventual mating of new virgin queens. It makes me wonder how crosses would even handle the normal bee diseases.

    I deal with africanized bees because I really have no other choice. I had to chance to work with a commerical beekeeper in Wisconsin for several years. Even on a bad day those bees were no where close to what I deal with at times here. Ehbs are definitly nice to work with.

    But on the other hand, I give thanks for not having the disease nightmares that many beekeepers have to deal with in the States. It makes me think sometimes whether it is worth the trouble having to deal with ornery bees but at the same time not worrying a lot about disease and not having to spend a bunch of money and time on disease treatments.

    ----------
    Tomas

  12. #152
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    beaumont,texas usa
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    i live in southeast tx ,try having 4 africanized hives in one bee yard they are tough saying it mildly they litt me up with a heavy bee suit with a long sleve shirt underneith the suit when you get within 200ft seeing distance of the entrance of the hive they are poring out ,coming directly at your facing i took samples and sent them to la and had antlized they were 71% -83% af . i had to burn one hive in its place because they were so hot, they get your other hive aroused also . i have to requeen every yr to keep the crap out my bee yards .

  13. #153
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    lake geneva wi
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    458

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    Collect them and we can get some BP executives to come out for a picnic on the south forty and an unfortunate honey spill can happen.

  14. #154
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orange, Tx, USA
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    504

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    Tim, Where did you send them, and how much did they charge? I have a couple of hives that I think are Africanized, too. They are not as bad as what you had, but they routinely are bad. And yes, if one hive gets mad, the ones around picks up the fever.

  15. #155
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,124

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chick View Post
    Tim, Where did you send them, and how much did they charge?
    Texas A&M will do it for free.

    http://tais.tamu.edu/forms/pdf/bee_id_howto.pdf
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  16. #156
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    lake geneva wi
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    458

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    Slow process. I have asked and asked for a quick field id test kit. The current test is mostly morphometric based isn't it? As in you do bee body measurements and plug them into a model that does the id. A fast dna test would be nice! In Brazil this is not an issue as all the honeybees are AHB.
    However, when they are on the march and in a harsh environment like TX they get more agressive. Lots of Texas critters are like that huh?

  17. #157
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Richardson, TX, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    I think I came in contact with Africanized bees this weekend!

    A friend of mine asked me to relocate an old hive that had been abandoned on some property he just purchased. When I starting moving the makeshift box hive, the bees started pouring out of the entrance, top and cracks along the sides and coating my bee suit. Even after putting about 200 yds of distance between myself and the hive they were still attacking me in large numbers.

    I am very glad I decided to wear my suit and my gloves since I almost started to move the hive without wearing them. It was just at dusk with barely any light and I figured they would not be too bothersome.

    Does anyone have any ideas on what they think I should do from here?

  18. #158
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orange, Tx, USA
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    504

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    haha. They get bothersome, at times. First thing, don't mess with them too late in the evening, and never after dark! Just smoke, and let them settle about 10 minutes after you smoke them. Give them a couple of more puffs, then do what you need to do.

  19. #159
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    lake geneva wi
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    458

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    Get an AHB sized smoker and requeen.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jgury/4102785413/

  20. #160
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Africanized Bees - Are they really that bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBG View Post
    Get an AHB sized smoker and requeen.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jgury/4102785413/
    And where can I get one of those smokers?

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