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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Little Rock, AR, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default AHB in packages?

    Greetings!

    I am getting ready to order packages so I can have my first hives in the spring. While discussing varietals and such with another beek, they advised against buying bees from apiaries where africanized honey bees have been documented, just in case you wind up with an africanized queen. ("Not the way you should start your beekeeping experience," he noted.)

    So, I wanted to see if anyone has had experience with buying packages from areas with AHB (Texas, Florida, etc.) and finding their bees were particularly aggressive. Any insight would be appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Eric

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,716

    Default Re: AHB in packages?

    As a first time beekeeper, there are a lot more "real" issues for you to worry about than the remote possibility that you might be buying AHB bees. Most package bees are raised in the southern states, partly because its easier to raise bees "earlier" in a warmer climate. But reputable package vendors know what they are selling, and its not likely to be AHB bees. If you don't have confidence in your proposed vendor, buy elsewhere.

    I personally would recommend you see if you can find someone local to your area that raises and sells bees that are already suited for your apiary location. If the vendor is close enough that you can do a local pickup, that avoids the cost and risk of package shipping. As each package incurs an additional shipping cost, the more packages you are planning on buying, there greater savings in doing a local pickup. There are lots of horror stories on the forum of bee shipping experiences "gone wrong."
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: AHB in packages?

    I purchased a package from Texas and the bees are as "hot as Hades"! I will venture to say they could be AHB. The only hive that I have received stings from. Seven on one day. I will be pinching the queen, when the time is right. My goal now is to get my 3 hives and 1 nuc through the winter. The bees are not calmed by smoking and they will chase me 100 ft for just standing near the hive. There is no comparison to my other bees.
    The other two hives are from local stock. One hive of Carniolians and one of Italians. Needless to say, I made my nuc from the Carniolans and Italian hive and added a Carniolan Queen (which I drowned) and then added a Buckfast queen. These are all of my "first year" experiences. I have loved every bit of the exereiences, but my Teaxs Italians need an attitude adjustment.

    Just my experience.
    Greg Barnett
    7a

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,963

    Default Re: AHB in packages?

    I have gotten bees from Texas that can be feisty on occasion but are most usually polite (meaning I need to do something stupid in order for them to try to sting me)
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: AHB in packages?

    When I get any bees, packages or nucs, that are not local, I requeen them with local stock as soon as they are established.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: AHB in packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by westernbeekeeper View Post
    When I get any bees, packages or nucs, that are not local, I requeen them with local stock as soon as they are established.
    That is exactly my plan. Sage advice.
    Greg Barnett
    7a

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,477

    Default Re: AHB in packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by westernbeekeeper View Post
    When I get any bees, packages or nucs, that are not local, I requeen them with local stock as soon as they are established.
    Your smart Ben!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

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