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Thread: huh?

  1. #1
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    Default huh?

    From wikipedia:
    Apis mellifera scutellata, classified by Lepeletier, 1836 - (African honey bee) Central and West Africa, now hybrids also in South America, Central America and the southern USA. In an effort to address concerns by Brazilian beekeepers and to increase honey production in Brazil, Warwick Kerr, a Brazilian geneticist, was asked by Brazilian Federal and State authorities in 1956 to import several pure African queens from Tanzania to Piracicaba-São Paulo State in the south of Brazil. In a mishap some queens escaped. The African queens eventually mated with local drones and produced what are now known as Africanized honey bees on the American continent. The intense struggle for survival of honey bees in sub-Saharan Africa is given as the reason that this sub-species is proactive in defending the hive, and also more likely to abandon an existing hive and swarm to a more secure location. They direct more of their energies to defensive behaviors and less of their energies to honey storage. African honey bees are leather colored, difficult to distinguish by eye from darker strains of Italian bees.


    If it was just the queen that escaped, how did AHB get established? I assume this is an incomplete accounting of what happened. Correct? If not, maybe I'll just buy myself a bunch of queens and some more woodenware.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: huh?

    The queens from Africa were being hybridized with European drones. I believe, from what I read, that the queens escaped (accidentally released) into the wild with a contingent of workers.

    I've also read here that there is supposedly evidence that the release was deliberate but I've read nothing to prove this.

    Wayne

  3. #3
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    Default Re: huh?

    >If it was just the queen that escaped, how did AHB get established? I assume this is an incomplete accounting of what happened. Correct? If not, maybe I'll just buy myself a bunch of queens and some more woodenware.

    I'm pretty sure all of the hoopla about it being an accident, is not true. The drones would be flying, of course and that would allow the genetics to escape even if the queens did not. The "story" sold most often is that there were excluders on to keep the queens in and someone who didn't understand why removed them and some of them swarmed.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
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    Default Re: huh?

    Michael...With excluders on...that would keep the drones in, too? The whole thing seems fishy.

    Just throwing this out...
    I guess the way to keep the Africans under control would be to artificially inseminate the queens... and keep them and the drones in with excluders. But even opening up a hive to inspect would release some drones or a queen to the open. I don't see how bees could be controlled 100%. Someone expert at that stuff would know better...
    I am Dave..."If your sport does not put grease, blood, or dirt under your fingernails, then it's just a game!"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by justusflynns View Post
    If it was just the queen that escaped, how did AHB get established? I assume this is an incomplete accounting of what happened. Correct? If not, maybe I'll just buy myself a bunch of queens and some more woodenware.
    I doubt the queens just flew away on their own. I imagine they swarmed away.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: huh?

    >that would keep the drones in, too?

    Yes, and they would quickly clog the excluders and everytime you examined the hive they would escape by the hundreds if not thousands.

    >The whole thing seems fishy.

    Very.

    > I don't see how bees could be controlled 100%.

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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: huh?

    Drone control would actually be pretty simple. Labor intensive. But you simply never let any drones survive. Hard to image the money that some will put into gettign something done. I would find it hard to imagine a $10,000 rat. Until I saw it for myself. Now do I think Brazil put that kind of money into a bee? No, that is why they screwed up. That is what happens when you put things like that into the hands of the unqualified. So do they fix the problem they created? No they simply convert to keeping africanized bees to insure maximum effect of the mistake. I say beekeepers unite and we overtake and colonize Brazil!
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

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