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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    14

    Default African Bees or Not? Need Advice Soon Please.

    I removed a swarm of honey bees from a water valve box for a lady I know in a south Austinm TX residential area. The hive filled a 5-frame nuc with a good bit of comb left over. The bees became very agitated when I removed the valve box cover and started removing the comb. The hive didn't all swarm out but many of them swarmed about me and bumped my bee suit hood.

    I brought the nuc (which is screened off to prevent bees from leaving) back to my location to repopulate a mostly vacant 8-frame hive box. I know european bees and african bees look the same for the most part. Is it safe to introduce these bees to my vacant hive box? It's the only hive box I have and it's in a residential area. I would appreciate your advice soon if possbile. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    jourdanton,texas
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: African Bees or Not? Need Advice Soon Please.

    How close to other houses? If you keep them need to take to the country away from others and change out the queen in the spring unless you can find one now.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Tazewell, Virginia
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: African Bees or Not? Need Advice Soon Please.

    Requeen as soon as possible so you don't have to worry and no one has to worry about getting hurt.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: African Bees or Not? Need Advice Soon Please.

    If they are mean, runny, beard on the outside of the hive, or if the hive you removed was all brood/eggs with very little stores - get them a new queen. Queens are going to be running a little short this time of year, may have to wait until Spring. I have several hives awaiting new queens. I keep them in a yard isolated from the public. I deal with suspect bees all the time - though your Texas bees are much more Brazilianized.

    Remember, all bees bump your bee suit hood when you take apart their home.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    826

    Default Re: African Bees or Not? Need Advice Soon Please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul McCarty View Post
    If they are mean, runny, beard on the outside of the hive, .
    Hehehehe,

    Here's a trap-out I have going in Florida at the moment.

    Aren't they beautiful?:



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: African Bees or Not? Need Advice Soon Please.

    That's awesome! Telltale sign...

    ...unless they simply haven't found the trap hive yet. That looks like beard to me though.

    You should name your trap "patches". What's the newspaper for or is that some sort of shower curtain?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Davie, Florida, USA
    Posts
    826

    Default Re: African Bees or Not? Need Advice Soon Please.

    Truetide: I live in an area where AHB's is a concern, also. I haven't been long at this, but from what I have been told by the much more experienced Beeks, you WILL know when it is a true Africanized hive, right from the very first puff of smoke. Getting popped off the veil or suit is to be expected doing a removal. I haven't done too many removals, but enough to realize defending their colony is to be expected. Please don't judge the temperament of the hive and queen based on behavior during a removal, JMHO. Let them repair and recoup, and re-assess in a few weeks. A couple of my most gentle hives were b-tch-s at removal, and some of my most aggressive/protective hives now were like a purring kitten at removal. As (I think) G3 says 'Bees will be bees and do as they please'! As somebody else mentioned, I think the AHB thing, though real, has been used as such a fear tactic by PCO's that the bees are getting (still...again...) a bad rap. They are after all, wild creatures, that are created to maintain and defend their colony. Relax a bit for now, and time will tell. Again, this is JMHO....this plus $ 0.50 will net you .50! I hope they turn out to be a wonderful colony for you! Time will tell....patience, grasshopper. It really didn't sound like they went "nuts" on you during the removal...from what I have been told, Africanized bees will swarm you and chase...and chase...and chase... Again, I can only go by your description, but it sounds like the bees were doing what they were supposed to do, and though defending, weren't overly aggressive. JMHO. Best to you! Keep us posted!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: African Bees or Not? Need Advice Soon Please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bees In Miami View Post
    Truetide: I live in an area where AHB's is a concern, also. I haven't been long at this, but from what I have been told by the much more experienced Beeks, you WILL know when it is a true Africanized hive, right from the very first puff of smoke.
    Not sure how they are in other regions, but the ones around here are quite watered down genetically. It can be a bit difficult to tell them from regular honeybees. Some of the most aggressive hives I have ever removed turned out to be EHB after the genetic test results came back.

    The biggest indicators for me have normally been the bearding trait, lack of honey in the brood nest, and the fact that they are hellaciously runny on the comb. The aggression trait I have found to be unreliable.

    Normally, I do a removal and let them sit for about a month - when I open them up again and they are horribly runny, I know what I am dealing with... usually before the test results are back.

    However... AMM have many of the same traits - hard to distinguish sometimes, and they are still out there in isolated pockets. I have also found Russian-ish bees to share some of the same traits - just my opinion.

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