View Poll Results: Will you continue to purchase packages/nucs from southern GA

Voters
57. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes

    28 49.12%
  • No

    18 31.58%
  • Not sure

    11 19.30%
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Thread: AHB in Georgia

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,300

    Default Re: AHBs in GA - Man dead

    It's funny (strange) to see beekeepers paranoid about honey bees.

    Due to inherent stubbornness, or determination, I kept (Tucson's version of AHB) for more than a decade, I did get a feel for many of the unique behavioral traits that are said to belong to this "hybrid swarm". If I'd had a huge colony of them, living beneath a porch or building, then after I disturbed them (intentionally or not), I might expect to have them respond defensively. But, wait, I've seen bees absolutely guaranteed to be non-AHB respond in very similar defensive ways when their large colonies were disturbed. And too there actually was a huge colony/nest of AHB living within a few feet of my back fence and I only realized they were there after the mobile home they were living under had been moved away. It seems they were a source of many swarms that subsequently became colonies of mine.

    These days I import queens known for the docile behavior of their workers, and breed from them. This has significantly changed the entire dynamic of my apiaries. But, since I can't yet afford to run my queen rearing operation in a remote location populated only with drones of selected pedigree, the open mating still produces a few queens that exhibit some less than desirable traits, but fortunately very few.

    --
    I say all this because I want to emphasize that a "hot" colony of EHB could just as easily have produced the same sorry result.

    What I'm really trying to say is, why does it matter what "race" the hot bees are. Any "hot" bees should be dealt with in the same way. Why does it matter if they are AHB or are not AHB? Why bother to test/analyze if their extreme defensiveness stems from Africa or Europe. If they exhibit undesirable traits, simply treat them appropriately for their behavior and be done with them. Requeen or eliminate. Once the genetics that fostered the inappropriate behavior has been eliminated, why does it matter where it originated?

    Concerning packages: The behavior of the bees that make up a package are no indicator of the colony the package will later become. Most, if not all packages are headed by queens that are not the mothers of the package bees they are shipped with.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,300

    Default Re: AHBs in GA - Man dead

    Countryboy,
    All the AHB swarms I've ever encountered in my vicinity have been extremely defensive. While they are still in the air, having just been issued, after they first cluster on a stationary object, and basically always. I hived many swarms like this near my home (I never managed to keep one in hive, unless they chose to go there on their own). To see if I could do it, I once retrieved a basket ball sized swarm, without using a veil, from about twenty-five miles away, in the heart of town. They had just clustered on a low bush, about three feet high. I knocked them into a deep 5-frame nuc which had its bottom side screened. I received about a dozen stings, mostly on my face, ears, and neck, but some on my arms, legs, and hands. I had two empty combs in the box with them. I fed them and kept them confined to the nuc for about four days. On the day I gave them an entrance I confirmed that their queen was there, and that she had laid at least one frame of eggs, some of which, had begun to hatch. The next morning I noticed very little activity around their entrance and discovered that they had absconded, leaving behind the eggs and just hatched larva. A couple of days later I discovered that this swarm had taken over another nuc, three nucs over from where I had them. They had ousted the virgin queen and had made this broodless nuc their own. I left them alone for a few months, until I was absolutely certain of the undesirable behavior (their true "personality"), then I killed their queen and replaced her with a cultured queen cell in a cell protector.

    honeyshack,
    Supposing your scenario is valid. How likely are you to maintain and even breed from a colony that exhibits undesirable traits, no matter what their geographic origins are? If you received an undesirable colony from Nova Scotia, Canada, would you be more likely to tolerate their bad behaviors than you would be if they were shipped to you from Georgia, U.S.A. ?

    I'm here in Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A. I import queens from several queen breeders. I breed from them, the daughters are open mated. I grow nucs from these open mated daughter queens. If any of them produce colonies with undesirable traits - I promptly drop those queens into a jar of everclear and replace them with another cultured queen cell. It doesn't matter to me where they obtained their undesirable traits --> they aren't here any more.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 10-27-2010 at 08:30 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #43
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: AHBs in GA - Man dead

    Thank you Joseph. Nuff said!

  4. #44
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Covington, Ga, USA
    Posts
    1,549

    Default Re: AHBs in GA - Man dead

    Lets not taint the poll based on your OPINION of the southern breeders. Just answer the question. We have been down that road one too many times.
    "You laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at you because you are all the same."

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
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    1,398

    Default Re: AHBs in GA - Man dead

    This was just a poll. I personally answered unsure.

    I know that "hot" hives can be "tamed" by requeening. I have had several hot hives in the past. I didn't requeen them because they were really good honey/comb producers. But they were not like AHBs in that they attack in large groups though one hive was somewhat relentless in chasing me.

    But I don't want to have to go the extra expense of purchasing a second queen that is determined to have strong AHB traits. It wasn't mentioned if these AHB colonies made queen cells immediately upon the removal of their queen. I would think that a new queen put in immediately would not be received by the colony. I know you put it in a protective cell but how long did it take before the colony decided to accept her? How often did you have to remove queen cells until the queen was accepted?

    It's better to know that AHBs are now in southern GA. At least I/you can be aware of the possibility of a AHB queen or drones. Drones to me would be the worst senerio. Especially if they are in packages miles from me. I would have no idea that there is a possibility that in the future a swarm or supercedure queen could be now a AHB colony.
    De Colores,
    Ken

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,333

    Default Re: AHBs in GA - Man dead

    Quote Originally Posted by USCBeeMan View Post
    Haven't been on the site in a while so I don't know if this has been posted already.
    Three times already:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=247929
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=247873
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=247869
    Regards, Barry

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,234

    Default Re: AHBs in GA - Man dead

    Is there any way that you, Barry, could just combine all of these Threads into one? It seems like this happens quite often. People must not check out the Today's Posts before starting a new Thread.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Orange, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    382

    Default Re: AHBs in GA - Man dead

    Well I personnaly erred on side of caution. Last thing I need is a AHB tainted hive stinging my neighbors or kids that play all around my house and beeyard.

    I would love to know some actual statistics on whats the likelyhood of getting and AHB tainted queen or package. 1 in 1,000,000....???

    What precautions are being taken?

    What individual states will do?

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,543

    Default Re: AHBs in GA - Man dead

    if you have kids that "play around your beeyard", there is a distinct possibility that kids will get stung...ahb or ehb.

    keeping bees (even ehb) dramatically increases the chance that a neighbor will get stung...and also dramatically increase the chance that you will be blamed for the behaviour of any stinging insect in the vicinity.

    certainly you don't want overly defensive (or aggressive) bees in a neighborhood. i'm just not sure why anyone cares if they are ehb or ahb.

    deknow

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Orange, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    382

    Default Re: AHBs in GA - Man dead

    I think people care because it does change hobbist and beekeeping locations. Most people who keep AHB keep there bees in locations away from populations. Fact is it was a poll and stating our opinion on the matter is all it is. Agree or disagree, its just our opinion. It has put a hold on me buying packaged bees next year and I was planning to buy around 30 to 50 packages or nucs.

    I think the key has been for years is to stop the spread of AHB, am I wrong on that?

  11. #51
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: AHBs in GA - Man dead

    USCBeeMan; we are dealing with the same species of bee here as a normal Italian bee, Apis Mellifera. The AHB have over the eons developed their defensive nature from eons of animals and humans invading their hives and carrying away their combs and honey. They are no different to requeen; place a cell or queen cage in and they will accept it most of the time; no different than your present types of bees. Living in an AHB area, FL, we haven't changed anything about how we do our business. 50 years ago, if we had a hot hive we requeened; what's different today? Joseph Clemens has had AHB a lot longer than I and his technique is the same; hot hive, requeen. Real hot hive, kill them. All the whining and moaning you guys are doing doesn't help you one whit! Practice good beekeeping and you won't have problems with AHB. BTW, quit reading newspaper accounts and you'll have a much better handle on realities of AHB.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Woodlawn, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: AHBs in GA - Man dead

    Ken,
    I voted yes. Even though I began grafting this past summer, I still plan to order some bees from south Georgia next spring. Most likely I will be getting queen cells, but the gene transfer you are concerned about would still be an issue. Since I want to peak at about 50 hives this year, I plan to be pretty severe in culling undesirable traits, including temperament. But importing bees from the south is a valuable tool to improve our local genetics. We just have to be responsible beekeepers, regardless of the source of the bees we are working with.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,333

    Default Re: AHBs in GA - Man dead

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Is there any way that you, Barry, could just combine all of these Threads into one?
    Done. First time I've resorted to this.
    Regards, Barry

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: AHB in Georgia

    Quote Originally Posted by GaSteve View Post
    .In FL, they developed the "Best Management Practices" for beekeepers and queen rearers on a voluntary basis to help cope with AHB. Does anyone know how successful that program is?
    Queen rearing in FL is very successful, we have 150 hives of nice gentle bees which 90% have our own grafted/ OPEN mated queens.. we as well as many others here in FL are right smack dab in the middle of alledged "AHB Territory" yet maintain gentle colonies and raise gentle queens. Had a colony last week got knocked over by a cow, stupid me went walkin up there to survey the damage and GOT TORE UP!!!!!! AHB??? AHB genetics from AHB drones here in the area???? I think not...that colony had a 4 month old Hawaiian grafted/mated queen....no AHB there yet.....but they sure were mad their home got knocked over and took it out on me....in my opinion we have much larger issues to deal with in regards to bees than AHB genes swimming in the pool....but for those of you who chose not to purchase SOUTHERN packages I will be more than happy to take those extra GA package bees in April/May and have them put on a crop before winter
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

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