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  1. #41
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    update:

    well it appears that what is left of the usurping(?) swarm is doing its best at trying to assimilate into my other hives.

    unfortunately for them, my hives aren't accepting any new members at this time.

    i have left voice messages and sent an email to tucson, but they haven't answered back.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  2. #42
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    Aug 2010
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    portland, dorset, UK
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    132

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    update:

    i have left voice messages and sent an email to tucson, but they haven't answered back.
    Have you tried downloading the morph wing etc software -think it's all available free online, and scanning the wings into your computer? Seems quite common for European beekeepers trying to maintain certain lines to use 'do it yourself' software.

  3. #43
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    very cool rolande. no, i don't have the technology nor the time to do that.

    after discussing this with a very knowledgable beekeeper, i have about decided that the most likely genetic make up of these bees is very mixed.

    it is doubtful that they are pure amm or ahb.

    i think it's also likely that this was a late season supercedure swarm, that maybe realized its only chance of survival was to take over another hive.

    if tucson calls and is interested, i'll send them. otherwise i'll chalk it up to an interesting day in the beeyard.

    i'll let ya'll know how the inspection goes this weekend, and thanks again for all the help.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #44
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    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
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    671

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    "The invasion of another hive is not a characteristic of any bees other than AHB as far as I know" Not quite true...Apis Mellifera capensis is a pretty sneaky little creature too.

    http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creat..._honey_bee.htm
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  5. #45
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    rb, fascinating link. never heard of them before.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #46
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    ya'll aint gonna believe this. remember the neighbor i mentioned that i wanted to ask about his experience years ago with those german black bees?

    well, guess what? i just talked to him and he had exactly the same thing happen about 1 week prior to mine.

    yes, he had a (presumed) usurpation attempt on one of his hives too. in his case the small (presumed supercedure) swarm was right on the side of one of his hives! he caught the swarm and hived it, and is going to overwinter it as a nuc.

    now here's the really interesting part, that queen was as yellow as she could be. hmmmm.....
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #47
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    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
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    216

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Interesting thread...For the last 2 weeks I noticed what initially seemed like robbing activity, was actually some small size swarms trying to take over some of my hives.

    Bees would fly chaotically around the hive cover, then cluster between the hive body and the hive cover. The size of a grapefruit or smaller. I noticed this type of activity for a while now, but one day I shook the cluster on the ground and I noticed a blue marked ( 2010 ?), big beautiful queen. I did not have any blue marked queens...so it must have come from someone else. Some of these small size swarms would appear to challenge the entrance in my hives...almost like trying to take over. I heard about AHB usurping activities, but I wondered if non AHB try this "mischief"?

    Reading this thread, it appears that they certainly do. As a "strategy"... to try to make it through the winter...makes sense. Why hang on a tree branch, waste energy on trying to find a new "home" and start from scratch....when all the nectar flow is over and chances to make it through the winter are very small. Take your best fighters, and if you are able to take over a well stocked for winter colony...you've got it made. Might get killed in the process, but there is a chance...

    Upon checking my hives, there was no sign of swarming in them. All queens in place, and plus, the bee population, size wise, is in no space constrain to swarm at all. There is no flow to speak of...goldenrod was dismal. Also, I have no hives that are weak ( yet) that would get taken over by beetles and/or moths and decide to abscond. I noticed this type of activity in my 2 bee yards that are at least 25 miles apart.

    I caught two of these strange swarms and placed them in a nuc box, just to observe what they will do...The queens do start laying, but because there is not enough bees, if I feed them, they are becoming robbing targets. At this time of the year I did not want to take frames of brood from other hives for fears of weakening them.

  8. #48
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    how 'bout that. there have been a few other of these small swarms that i didn't catch for the same reason, too little too late to make a hive with.

    it looks like the strategy of these swarms, like you say, is that a remote chance (taking over a hive) is better than no chance (starting from scratch at the end of the fall flow).

    i also didn't want to keep the usurping queen, thinking that's not a trait i want to propogate.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #49
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    I think you should have those bees lab id'd. There has been suspicion for a long time there are some capensis genetics in the US, and there is so called AHB genetics, in their pure form both those bees have golden queens.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  10. #50
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I think you should have those bees lab id'd. There has been suspicion for a long time there are some capensis genetics in the US, and there is so called AHB genetics, in their pure form both those bees have golden queens.
    i've got them in alcohol, but so far no reply from tucson. wing morphology is apparantly what is used for ahb, how is capensis id'd?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #51
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    Oct 2012
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    Norfolk, VA
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    166

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by Riskybizz View Post
    "The invasion of another hive is not a characteristic of any bees other than AHB as far as I know" Not quite true...Apis Mellifera capensis is a pretty sneaky little creature too.
    A social parasite.. very interesting!

  12. #52
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i've got them in alcohol, but so far no reply from tucson. wing morphology is apparantly what is used for ahb, how is capensis id'd?
    Well peg, first you have to go to South Africa and colllect some bees before you can id them. That's where they are from, South Africa. The Cape Bee. Cape Town, South Africa. I'm sure someone else can give you morphological information about its physical characteristics.

    I doubt that we have any apis capensis here in the US.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  13. #53
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I doubt that we have any apis capensis here in the US.
    Not many people think there is.

    However. Dee Lusby, who would deny she has any cape genetics, did an experiment where she made, best memory serves, something around 18 hopelessly queenless nucs induced to have laying workers. From these laying workers the bees were able to raise fertile queens in the majority of the nucs. The experiment is written up in her section here on beesource.

    I know it's claimed that extremely rarely a female egg can be produced by an EHB laying worker but in a lifetime with bees I've never seen it it must be rare in the extreme. For Dee to have this happen in the majority of the nucs in her experiment, to me, can only mean one thing, cape genetics.

    I know that's controversial and many won't agree, my opinion only. But to anyone inquisitive read up on cape bees, preferably at a more advanced level not just general lifestyle.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #54
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Dee has observed this behavior for many decades in her bees.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #55
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    Mar 2010
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    Santa Fe, NM
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    I did not mean to suggest in my post that capensis is here in the U.S. It is however, my understanding, that technically other strains of mellifera do have the same capabilities. I am aware of the Lusby experiment. Perhaps she has some form of mutant strain. Anything is possible. Quite frankly the abilities of the cape bee is astonishing.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  16. #56
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    When there was a thread on this maybe a year ago, not sure, another beekeeper described how he had tried to help a friend with 700 hives save them. What he described, to me, sounded like a textbook case of cape bee invasion. Eventually the beekeeper lost every last hive and went out of business.

    Dee claims her bees are not africanised. But DNA testing has shown they have african genetics. Cape bees are from africa, near where the origional AHB came from. In my opinion, there is probably some cape genetics in the US, but not enough to reconstitute a complete cape bee.

    It's also telling that Dee has been running seminars for decades teaching people how to become a commercial beekeeper (700 + hives), using her methods. But in all that time many of her pupils have tried, but not one other person has achieved it. Could it be there is something different about her bees.

    Having said all that I must add the disclaimer that I don't even live in the US. But based on material I've read it's a reasonable conclusion there is some cape genetics in the US.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #57
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    The experiment is written up in her section here on beesource.
    I didn't know that Dee Lusby had a section here on beesource. Where is it?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  18. #58
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Check this, links many of her articles including the thelotyky experiment I mentioned.

    http://www.beesource.com/point-of-view/ed-dee-lusby/
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #59
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    Jul 2011
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    Evansville, IN
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Thelotyky is known to happen, and in fact it may more than most of us think. Every hear someone say "I KNOW there were no eggs in there, no queen, but suddenly when I bought a new queen I found queen cells"? Ever think one of those laying workers laid a diploid egg? If so, suddenly the bees will be making a new queen!

    It is quite rare in european honey bees, quite common in cape bees (because the queens often get blown out to sea on mating flights). As noted, cape bees will decimate AMM apiaries by usurpation and excessive queen production and swarming. They appear to make decent honey crops in South Africa, but elsewhere are a serious pest.

    Peter

  20. #60
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by psfred View Post
    Thelotyky is known to happen, and in fact it may more than most of us think. Every hear someone say "I KNOW there were no eggs in there, no queen, but suddenly when I bought a new queen I found queen cells"? Ever think one of those laying workers laid a diploid egg?
    Yes, I hear that sort of stuff constantly, because I sell queens and constantly get called by people assuring me there is no queen in the hive, when from what they say, I suspect there is. It's all about timing and observation, and people get it wrong all the time.
    Sometimes I've gone through it with people to try to explain why they cannot introduce a bought queen at the moment because they might have a virgin, or some other problem. But sometimes they just DEMAND i send them one, if so I do, but if I hear back it is almost invariably a sad story.
    As to queen cells in a queenless hive, happens all the time the bees use eggs from laying workers. But the larvae will be male and will not survive until just after being capped. Over my life of beekeeping I've dealt with multi thousands of nucs that are queenless periodically, I've never once seen a confirmed case of thelotyky. Not that it couldn't have happened and I didn't notice, but it would have to be EXTREMELY rare, if it happens in EHB at all.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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