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  1. #1
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    Apr 2012
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    Port Lavaca Texas 77979
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    24

    Default Africanized Bees

    Is anybody raising AB I think there ought to be a good discusion on these bees. I have surf the net about AB and I have found conflecting things about AB which say that you can kill the AB queen and instal a European honey bee queen and she will somewhat calm the hive down.
    Right now there here Texas and other southeren states and it's just a matter of time they will be in your area and you will know when the bees start getting mean and chase you down the raod about a 1/2 a mile.
    You ones that said to me I live in Texas around Houston and my bees are EHB ok so far your the lucky ones but its just a matter of time and you will be dealing with them
    I'm just starting out bee keeping and I have two hives one in the wall of my shop and one in the eave of my house and I was ask how do I know there AB and not EHB well I can set out about 3 to 4 feet and not bother them just watch them and of course I have my bee suit on and stat attacking me for no reason at all and I have seen video on EHB and they even pick them up and with no bee suit.
    Well anyway is anybody raising AB and if so # 1 do you have to mow with your bee suit on # 2 how far away should the AB hive be before they will not attack you. # 3 Has it been worth the hassil raising AB.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Weatherford,Texas,USA
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    Alex
    I would not keep AHB, there is way to much risk and liabialty for doing so. If you decided to remove the bees that are living in your buildings and wanted to keep them, then requeening them would be the first thing I would do. AHB are suppose to be hard to requeen but if you reduce their numbers down enough and do not leave them with brood that they can raise their own queen with they would accept a european queen.
    Now not all european honey bees are calm enough to pick and I have encountered some that were pretty nasty, I look at it as each hive has its own personality just like people.
    "It's better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!" Zapata

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Anthony, New Mexico USA
    Posts
    421

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    I volunteer at an orphanage in Mexico, at the copper canyon of chihuahua. I caught some swarms and did cut outs on colonies with local stock. They are aggressive to the point of just wanting to quit working them. It is not uncommon to have 300 stingers on each glove for a full days work with the mean bees. It can be intimidating to see all those bees trying to sting you and to know that if they could, you would be killed.
    Would I raise queens there? -absolutely no. I bring queens from certified queen producers from central Mexico that guarantee no Africanization on their stock.
    To re queen is difficult but can be done. Finding the queen is almost impossible for they love to run and just "pour" out of the hive just to attack you. I usually wait until I have good weather, good flow and good population. I make 3 frame nucs without looking for the queen, but making sure that they are equalized in population and resources. You take the nucs a good distance away into another apiary. I wait a few days and then, walk with my docile queens on hand. As you open the hive, you place the new queen cage on top and you will notice the queen less nucs welcoming the new girl like crazy. The nuc that does not welcome it, has the mean queen. Once you find the mean queen you can just kill her, wait a few days and give them a new mama. Some times they do kill the new queens but, if you pull a frame with pupa and some honey, shake of all bees and carefully install your queen on a 4"x4"x1" wire care with a 2"x3/8" clear plastic hose filled with candy where the border of your honey and pupa is; you may have up to 95% chances that the queen will be accepted. As the new bees are emerging, they all assume that's their mama and the colony just takes care of her since she starts laying eggs where the new empty cells became available. If you do not want that many weak nucs, after you find your mean mama, you can just reunite the bees into a big nuc or colony or as many as your resources will allow you to.
    Do not keep them close to you or your family and pets. They are mean and will attack you and everyone for hours after each inspection.
    I do find them extremely productive and resistant to all disses, plus, they do manage resources well and know how to handle harsh winters. I have not seen the swarming everyone describes as a characteristic behavior of these bees. Even with their high productivity and their survivor ability; I prefer my weak, non productive tame bees in the USA.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Port Lavaca Texas 77979
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    24

    Default Re: Americanized Bees

    I have no dealing with honey bees at all my Dad raised them but I had other things on my mind. I started SIX MILE PIC N PAC PRODUCE and I need the bees I have had in the eave bees for about 3 years and there is a lot of them and also in shop wall those bees have been there for about 3 months, well my wife wants’ them gone so I have to get them in a bee hive. I built my own bee vac, made my own broad and supers and have a complete bee suit so I think I'm ready to get them. I put smoke on the ones st the shop and it did not calm them down they got right down mad and swarm me. I called the wife not to hang around the shop where we park are vehicles cause I pissed of the bees. Three hours later she came home and I met her at the front deck and the bees where right behind her and I told her run and she started waving her hands and running her ass off but one did get her on the finger and had to be a fast bee because her hands were travailing a 100 miles an hour and that's when she said the bees are me well I’ve had the wife for 43 years and the bees three months’ I know I have to put the dog in the house cause he was stung too and he's around the corner not even insight of the hive. When I start opening up the wall and start vacuum them out they going to go crazy with all that noise so do I start the vacuum and as I start tearing into the wall at the same time getting the end of the hose and start sucking them out of mid air also I will doing this as soon as the wife goes to work and let her know not to park under the carport and come through the other gate which is about 70 feet away. So do you have some kind of plan to do a bee vac for AB
    Thanks
    Last edited by alexanderbuzzsaw; 10-06-2012 at 08:40 AM. Reason: Not finished

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Saguache,Colorado,usa
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    I am not necessarily raising AHB but have gotten several hives of them over the last couple years. In my opinion putting a EHB queen in does seam to immediately calm them down a bit. Finding the queen in an AHB hive can be very frustrating though. First of all the queens tend to be a bit more prone to play hide and seek with you and will disappear in the blink of an eye. I have had pretty good luck shaking all the bees into a hive body with just a few frames in it then placing all the brood and supers above an excluder. Then I smoke the bees up. Now to answer your questions. when mowing around the bear fence to keep it from shorting out on the weeds we tend to do this at night when we have known hives that are pissy. I have walked into some yards that have an AHB hive without a bee suit and worked some of the other hives in that yard without gloves without a single sting. Then other yards I have gone in and they are on you the second you get out of the truck, so it depends a great deal on how far you can get from them. When a bear has been knocking their hive over you can't get within 200 ft. AHB have some really good traits to go with their bad. They emerge from cells two days earlier so this helps to keep Varroa mites low. They tend to groom each other well as well express great hygenic behavior. The queens will often lay like crazy. I have used AHB colonies to increase numbers with moderate luck. As long as you keep the colonies small they are great for making lots of splits, but when you forget to check to make sure your queen cell took or miss splitting an AHB hive for a few months well they can be a royal pain in the butt. I am thinking of moving back to TX to work in the oilfield and will probably get some more AHB hives strictly for increasing my numbers and then requeen them prior to returning to CO.
    Last edited by Barry; 10-06-2012 at 10:12 AM. Reason: language

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    1,095

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by alexanderbuzzsaw View Post
    ...snip... I can set out about 3 to 4 feet and not bother them just watch them and of course I have my bee suit on and start attacking me for no reason at all and I have seen video on EHB and they even pick them up and with no bee suit.
    Alexander, if you live or work in the building with those bees and have to get that close before getting thier attention, they may be 'defensive' bees but not necessarily 'Africanized' bees. Your bees do, however, sound pretty defensive. The Africanized bees genes are pretty watered down by the time they get to North America, with some colonies still showing very defensive (some say aggressive) behavior.

    I can get my nose right down to the entrance of my hives with no problem....as long as my body is on the side of the hive. If I get directly in their flight paths in front of the hives when the bees are coming and going during the day, that is another story entirely. They will buzz my head and butt my head and face and finally sting if I don't move away. Your location relative to the hive entrance might be a factor in your experience.

    Sometimes it is advisable to mow with protection (some mow in the dark). IF you actually have Africanized bees, you should keep them where they will not come into contact with livestock, wildlife or people. That probably means you do not want to keep Africanized bees and would want to requeen. For a beginner, it is inadvisable for you to keep Africanized bees.

    P.S. Move slowly, wear light colored clothes and don't shout (don't let the dog bark at them either) while you are close to the bees.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Port Lavaca Texas 77979
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    24

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    You know come to think about it the bees on the back porch in the eave never really bothered me for about 2 ½ years I could mow and weed eater. About 3 months ago I was mowing and the bees where hitting me and not stinging then one stung me on the ear and I put on my bee suit and now when I mow I wear my bee suit and there all around me, maybe at first they were EHB and was taken over by AHB.
    Now at the shop I have a very strong feeling these are AHB because where I sat to watch them I’m not in their flight patch and make no noise just setting and watching and I would say within about 10 mints there all over me.
    I would hate to think I had to kill these bees even if there AHB because we will have to deal with them in the future so I’m going to try and vacuum them up and move them on the back acre which would be around 300 feet from the house.
    Should I vacuum them up after dark has anybody done this before?
    Thanks for all your responses me being new and never caught a swarm are use a vacuum to suck them up is really put a strain on my nerves.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    1,095

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    How long have you had the dog?
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Port Lavaca Texas 77979
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    24

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    About three years the bees were already there when we got him as a puppy had to bottle feed him, now my cousin has a black dog and they really got after his butt and I didn't know the dog could run that fast and he is a black dog. My dog is almost all white with a little brown and he has only been stung once in the ear.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,990

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    Welcome ABS!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,095

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    Good luck with your bees, I'm not sure what to recommend.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    jourdanton,texas
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    get rid of the bees before someone gets hurt.If you vacum the bees and only moved them 3oo ft the bees would beat you back to the old location ,need to move a couple of miles.The ahb is not worth keeping .

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    1,388

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    Most of what people think of being AHB in North America are just watered down hybrids - as mentioned before. Yes, there are some truly nasty ones out there, but all in all, they are mostly a big hub-bub unless you live in South Texas or Florida (funny that those states are the ones killing off the wild colonies). Just re-queen your mean or overly runny bees.

    In general the influx of African genetics has made the feral bees much hardier than they used to be. Most of them I run across in my region would all be considered VSH bees at this point. Requeen any hive that is extremely runny, overly defensive, or makes a bearded collar around the hive when opened. Those are the signs of too much African in my parts. True Brazilian AHB are very rare. For every 6 feral hives I remove I would say 1 is too aggressive.

    Don't rely on the USDA info to identify them. Most I have seen do not act like that - and a lot of what people think are AHB are really just regular mean old EHB. They can be mean and aggrssive too. Lot's of the ferals also have some AMM in them too - they are worse than the AHB.

    Don't forget - There are several strains of African genetics that were already in our country from ages ago before the arrival of Brazilian AHB. There were the Egyptian, the Spanish/Iberian, and the Tunisian bees in varying amounts depending on your region. And in the 1960's the good old US Government bred them and shipped them around for pollination purposes. So they have been here for a while and are nothing new.

    All of this is my opinion, take it or leave it. Michabees actually messes with the real deal Brazilian bees most likely down in Mexico. He is a very wise man.

    As far as your bees go, they may just be defensive because it is Fall. I just removed a hive that was largely an AMM-ish bee, and they were hitting us 200 feet out before we ever got to the tree. If they are Brazilian AHB, they usually beard on the outside of the hive in large numbers - those are the guards.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,510

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    Well
    I had a disagreement with my bee-club about AHB. The majority of club members stated that all SoCal feral bees are africanized. They even petition against bees in Los Angeles. I personally is very concern regarding "africanization" since my bees are feral/survivor and in populated urban environment. In accordance of my bee-club fellows they ARE africanized by definition... immediate re-queening was suggested. From another hand, I read bunch of posts in numerous bee-forums - apparently, EHB demonstrates defensive behavior as well... My "africanized" bees (three bees) patrols my backdoor for 3-7 days after inspection. All other time, I am having tea-party withing beehive's proximity in my garden every day. I could watch my bees from 1 foot (side of beehive) for 5-10 min (did not try longer). When I mastered my inspection technique - bees become much calmer and show less protection. September inspection was something - I even did not take a pictures of beautiful comb they created! So, I am living with this africanized bees for one year. I got approximately 10-15 stings (most accidental and not during/after inspection). My wife got one from neighbor's agitated bee in garage. I do believe that my cat got at least one since she disappears every time bee is around. So, AHB or not AHB? May be SMHB? Sergey
    Серёжа, Sergey

  15. #15
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    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    1,388

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    If they are not overly aggressive, or runny and difficult to work - who cares if they are African in origin. That's what we want right?

    People, especially new people, have a tendency to read a few books or websites and accept them as dogma. Very few people advocate for the wild, feral bees. Those are the bees that will save the industry from genetic bottlenecks. You can't breed out the ferals and have bees that tolerate mites and disease too. Not enough diversity. After these wild bees are worked and bred for a few years, they will be the new domestic bees and it will benefit all. Can't do that by killing them all because of fear.

    Besides, most people would be shocked at the results if they sent their sweet little EHB bees out for a DNA test.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Port Lavaca Texas 77979
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    After reading all the post I have decided to help them survive I will bee vac them and move them to the back of the acre and there will be two broad boxes and not worry about a honey super . I will only get the ones at the shop the bee’s in the back of the house I will leave until next spring. I know I will have to feed the bees for winter because they have only been there for 3 months. I will take video and post Thanks for all the comments

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    1,095

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    I have been trapping bees with Dwain Cleveland (who designed the bee vacuum sold by Dadant). I've learned quite a bit from him about how the bees are frequently injured by the vacuum and how his design reduces that injury.

    Injure the queen and you could lose the entire colony at this time of year. What can you do to reduce injury to the bees? Study the bee vacuum design here. The big thing that will reduce injury is using a larger diameter hose (not the 1.25 inch size).

    The traditional way to relocate a hive is to move it three miles so the foragers do not come back to the original site. If you move them 300 feet, its a little more difficult to succeed. You'll want to confine the bees for a day or so and pile grass, branches, leaves and such over the entrance so they get the idea that something is different when you do release them.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Port Lavaca Texas 77979
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    24

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    When I move them I will put brush in front of the entrance and also will cage them up for a while. I will be putting all the broad and cone in the frames with rubber bands, so it will be two broads and with no queen excluder right are should I put the bottom on then the broad and the queen excluder and another broad and the top. Thanks for all the comments

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by alexanderbuzzsaw View Post
    When I move them I will put brush in front of the entrance and also will cage them up for a while. I will be putting all the broad and cone in the frames with rubber bands, so it will be two broads and with no queen excluder right are should I put the bottom on then the broad and the queen excluder and another broad and the top. Thanks for all the comments
    Holding the honey comb in the frames with good rubber bands is OK (I'd recommend wire if youhave it) . You have no reason for an excluder at this point. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "should I put the bottom on then the broad and the queen excluder and another broad and the top." So, I'll shoot in the dark here to respond.

    Have the hive body on the bottom board when you start (reduce the entrance to the hive to an inch or two). Put the combs in the frames and place them into the empty hive body (honey on the outside, pollen frames next and brood frames in the center.

    If you have enough comb for two hive bodies, put most of the brood combs with eggs in the lower hive body and more honey combs in the upper hive body (you probably won't have that much comb). Put the top cover on and check them for eggs or queen cells in a week. If you see eggs or queen cells (better research what they look like), the queen is there and laying. If no eggs, look for queen cells. If you don't see eggs in ten days or a queen cell on your seven day check, order a queen. HTH
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    1,388

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    If you keep them, just keep an eye on their demeanor - you are in Texas after all. If they get too hot or show the other tell-tale signs, just strain them through a queen excluder and smash the old queen. Just keep them someplace away from people until you know for sure.

    If you cut them out, keep an eye on their behavior. If they run from you and clump in a big mass, or drip from the combs in clumps, you should really think about a new queen. If they attack you in larger than usual numbers, use soapy water on them. I usually give the feral hives I remove a chance to prove themselves though, if at all possible. They should show their true colors in a month or so. Remember - runny bees that drip from comb in clumps, bearding/collaring on the super when it is opened, excessive "crawlyness" with bees all over the ground (and you), Bees that fly en-masse when the hive is opened, excess defensive behavior, and jarring or tapping the hive which brings an immediate reaction to ALL of the bees. These bees will usually festoon down under the frames when lifted from the hive too. Smoke usually just scares them and makes their runny drippy behavior worse. Any of these signs - order a new queen.

    Where is Port LaVaca anyway? They say the further East you go in Texas, the less you encounter true Brazilian hybrids. Supposedly they stop completely somewhere in the Piney Woods region. All hear-say I have run across.
    Last edited by Paul McCarty; 10-07-2012 at 07:38 PM.

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