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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cole County, Missouri
    Posts
    170

    Default Usurpation swarm

    I do believe I just experienced a Usurpation swarm. I found fighting in front of my mother, and daughter hive. I saw fighting against bees brining in pollen. I saw what appeared to be a very small swarm. Some were a few feet on the ground in front of my strongest hive. The most concentrated part of the swarm was on the side of my strongest hive. and were crawling under neither my screen bottom board. I did call the department of ag here in Mo, and they asked me to get them some samples. If a small swarm of AHB attacked my hive. I will place the blame solely on all these new survivor queen breeders, who reside in AHB effected states. I really do not care the response I get from that comment either . Because, that is the only rational explanation for AHB to be introduced to central Missouri. I am crossing my fingers this was not a AHB Usurpation swarm. I only own a veil and gloves, no full suit ,and I have good bee queens coming in May from Russell apiary. So this is coming at a pretty bad time ,actually I think it would always be a bad time for any hive to have an AHB Usurpation swarm. I hope the bee community sees what a threat this could be to all beekeepers in states that do not have AHB. Believe me if I just had a AHB Usurpation swarm. I will be writing a letter to the editor, and my news paper resides in this states capital city.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Orange county, Texas
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Usurpation swarm

    This sounds scarey, i know they have found african bees 100 miles from my place but i am new so may have missed a report of them in my area.
    Do keep us posted.
    I hope you turn out to be mistaken and everything turns out good for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cole County, Missouri
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Usurpation swarm

    Thanks Tazcan. I collected samples today .The state ag department asked me to put them in alcohol. I have samples from each one of my hives, and collected samples of the dead bees in front. I am crossing my fingers it was just a confused EHB that made that Usurpation swarm. This will really stink if my daughter hive got taken over, they sure have been taking off. The mother hive is still acting like they are on welfare. They just will not grow in numbers, and refuse to build comb past the brood box. And they can be a bit hot. That hives mood is always swinging. Most keepers would pinch that good for nothing queen. But her daughter turned out pretty good. Who knows maybe the AHB genetics came from her. They sure have a very small brood nest, get hot and cold through out the year. How many hives survive winter with such a small cluster, and they did not barley touch the candy board I made them either.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cole County, Missouri
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Usurpation swarm

    Update: the Missouri State Ag has my bee samples and it can take up to a month for the results to come back..

    This said

    If I had an AHB usurpation swarm or not. This is still an issue I see.

    All it will take is for queen breeders in areas with AHB issues to sell AHB hybrids to beekeepers in unfeected areas , for AHB to spread in areas they can not migrate too. It does not take a rocket scientist to see the possibility.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cole County, Missouri
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Usurpation swarm

    I was aksed why I cared if my hives were taken over by AHB . This article is why I feel the way I do

    http://www.nationalatlas.gov/article...gy/a_bees.html


    EHB queen bees mate disproportionately with African drones, resulting in rapid displacement of EHB genes in a colony. This happens because AHBs produce more drones per colony than EHBs, especially when queens are most likely to be mating, DeGrandi-Hoffman explains.

    "We also found that even when you inseminate a queen with a 50-50 mix of African drone semen and EHB semen, the queens preferentially use the African semen first to produce the next generation of workers and drones, sometimes at a ratio as high as 90 to 10," she says. "We don't know why this happens, but it's probably one of the strongest factors in AHBs replacing EHBs."





    When an Africanized colony replaces its queen, she can have either African or European paternity. Virgin queens fathered by African drones emerge as much as a day earlier than European-patriline queens. This enables them to destroy rival queens that are still developing. African virgin queens are more successful fighters, too, which gives them a significant advantage if they encounter other virgin queens in the colony. DeGrandi-Hoffman and Schneider also found that workers perform more bouts of vibration-generating body movements on African queens before they emerge and during fighting, which may give the queens some sort of survival advantage.
    AHB swarms also practice "nest usurpation," meaning they invade EHB colonies and replace resident queens with the swarm's African queen. Nest usurpation causes loss of European matrilines as well as patrilines. "In Arizona, we've seen usurpation rates as high as 20 to 30 percent," says DeGrandi-Hoffman.

    Finally, some African traits are genetically dominant, such as queen behavior, defensiveness, and some aspects of foraging behavior. This doesn't mean that EHB genes disappear, but rather that hybrid bees express more pure African traits. The persistence of some EHB genes is why the invading bees are still considered Africanized rather than African, regardless of trait expression, she points out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Port Orange, Florida, USA
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Usurpation swarm

    Not to upset you but AHB's can be transported in loads on trucks and trains as well as package bees. Here in Florida we have localized AHB's at most of the sea ports which were brought in by ships coming from South America and Texas. The movement of AHB's across the country has been a combination of different vectors and if you are keeping bees in an acceptable area for AHB's you will have to deal with them or a hybrid sooner or later. Everytime I open my hives I watch for excessive aggression and changes in behavior, the AHB's are here, it is not the end of the world, just relax and try to adapt to the changing world we all live in. I still only wear a veil and gloves while working my hives and very rarely get stung. If you have a aggressive hive chances are the hive has requeened it's self and gone hot on it's own. I have had second generation Italians that were just down right nasty so you can't just blame AHB genetics. Let us know what the tests show.

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