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Thread: Afrikaans??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Marin County, Ca, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Afrikaans??

    I got a call about a hive that hasnt been worked in three years(min) and would i be interested in taking it over...get there, and the weeds are taller than the hive. one deep and two meds. As I start to cut the grass around the hive with a swing scythe, these girls kind of mobbed me, at one point, i wipped bees off my veil, with my hand because I could see nothing but mad bees. after the cutting, they followed me around 45 yards still mad. around two hours later, went back with smoke and they were much less, but still very aggressive. My Dad is worried sick that these are africanized bees, and wont rest until I have them checked I guess. Do I go thru the ag agent to do that? If I go next week and they are noticeably better, should I write them up as feral, and concentrate on 'breaking them in' so to speak.
    I live in West Marin County, Ca...North of San Fran, and have no reports of AHB but Im sure that some distant cousins of these girls have been to the almond melting pot in the valley so???...it's at least possible that there is some AHB genes floating around.
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Marin County, Ca, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Afrikaans??

    Side note: I am of the opinion that if these were AHB, there would be little or no question.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,272

    Default Re: Afrikaans??

    They are mean because they haven't been worked in three years and they could very well be packed full and ready to swarm. That would be my guess from here anyways.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Davie, Florida, USA
    Posts
    525

    Default Re: Afrikaans??

    ALL bees can be pissy! Angry! Nasty! Yes, contact your local http://marinbees.org/wp/. All pissy bees get blamed on AHB. I guess people North of the AHB line don't get stung? Think again. So hives that have been left alone for 3+ years, and you come in like a steam roller...I'd be pissed too! How many times did you bump the hive/stand with the swing scythe? I bet that sounded like Big Foot approaching the hive. Have them tested if you need to, for your own peace of mind. I would say that as established as they are, they are just strong, and defending. What do you have for hives thus far? Everybody I know that installs Nucs, even in New England, say "Oh, they are SOOOO docile and gentle!" Yeah...ok....UNTIL they build up, then all hell breaks loose, and then they want to "Re-Queen". They are BEES. I wish you the best, but truly, they are bees...thousands of stinging insects defending their home. I hope you can save them. SUIT UP! Send them to the Ag lab, link above.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Afrikaans??

    Genetics are irrelevant. If they are too mean, then requeen them. Any hive can have a bad day and your swinging the scythe probably didn't thrill them. If they are still mean next time you go out to visit them, I would requeen them.

    http://bushfarms.com/beesrequeeninghot.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,317

    Default Re: Afrikaans??

    Totally agree with Mr. Bush. If they are mean give them a new queen. Don't worry about where they came from. Even Brazilian/Africans are just wild bees in the end. If they are drippy, runny, or too defensive they need a new queen. If they are just a strong hive of bees and not runny or drippy - I would not worry about it unless they are unworkable in some way.

    Bees in Miami is right too... people want fuzzy puppie dog bees and not hardy survivors - part of the reason bees are in such a sad state in general. They requeen everything using queens derived from the same dozen genetic strains.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,288

    Default Re: Afrikaans??

    I agree with Ray in that if they have not been worked in a while, they get pissy. I've had hives in West Marin for three years and they're as sweet as I am!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

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