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A Grey Area

Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 08:04:53 -0500
Sender: BEE-L@listserv.albany.edu
From: Bob Harrison
Subject: Re: A grand experiment

Hello Keith and All,

Keith wrote:

>Dee and Ed Lusby may have already done this,

>and now, all we have to do is hope that they

>will share their stock so we can utilize it.

I have been waiting for this post to interject. I knew the post was coming.

The Africanized bee was brought into Brazil to create a *super bee*. Why not after all the world record for honey production from a single hive was from an apiary from which Warwick Kerr got part of his queens. Africanized *genes* are serious business!

Removing queens and bees from a area of documented AHB is illegal for a reason. To prevent the spread of AHB. I can provide pages of USDA documentation to the fact Arizona’s bees are to be considered Africanized.

The Lusbys say their bees are not AHB but have no proof and the USDA says all of Arizona is AHB from their research.

I would need some official inspection that the stock was not AHB before I would order queens from an area which according to the *2001* USDA AHB spread map is the highest concentration of AHB in the U.S. for a single state.

The USDA source map can be found on page 22 of Dr. Dewey Caron’s new book published by A.I. Root (2001) “Africanized Honey Bees In The Americas”.

The United States Department of Agriculture is not perfect but I have found the information I have received from the dept. very accurate through the years. I say *If* Dee wants to sell her queens then she gets the inspection department running again and gets USDA inspection before illegally shipping any more queens.

I suggest beekeepers even considering buying queens illegally out of a documented AHB area to buy and read the new Dewey Caron book first.

Even though the Arizona inspection department was dropped (while Dee was president of the state associasion) it is still illegal to ship queens out of a documented AHB area as Blane pointed out.

I do this post in the interest of U.S. beekeeping. Rules are made for a reason. In this case to prevent the spread Africanized genes.

Sincerely,
Bob Harrison

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Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 09:43:39 -0500
Subject: Re: A grand experiment
From: Barry Birkey
To: Informed Discussion of Beekeeping Issues and Bee Biology

From: Bob Harrison
> Removing queens and bees from a area of documented AHb
> is illegal for a reason. To prevent the spread of AHB. I can
> provide pages of USDA documentation to the fact Arizona’s
> bees are to be considered Africanized.

Hi Bob -

When it comes down to it, isn’t this really a sort of idealism that works on paper, but not in real life? Beekeepers move their bees into the “Africanized zone” all the time, including yourself as you have said on this list before, and then move them out. Why is it okay for some but not for others? Why is it okay for some bee breeders that sit in an area surrounded by AHB to raise and sell their stock, but not the Lusby’s?

> The Lusbys say their bees are not AHB but have no proof and
> the USDA says all of Arizona is AHB from their research.

You would first have to prove that the Lusby’s bees are in fact Africanized. To date, no one has been able to do that. The last testing done on their bees has been posted on the web now for some time: Lusby’s Bee Biometrics.

It’s my understanding that their bees have been available for testing, but there have been no takers. If you’re that concerned about their bees getting moved around, I’m sure Dee would supply the bees if you were willing to incur the costs and do the leg work involved to have their bees tested in a responsible way. I, too, would sure love to know exactly what type of bees the Lusby’s have, but until it can be proven, it’s just speculation.

Regards,
Barry

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Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 10:25:22 -0500
Sender: BEE-L@listserv.albany.edu
From: Blane White
Subject: Re: A grand experiment

Hi Everyone,

Barry wrote in part:

“When it comes down to it, isn’t this really a sort of idealism that works on paper, but not in real life? Beekeepers move their bees into the
“Africanized zone” all the time, including yourself as you have said on this list before, and then move them out. Why is it okay for some but not for others? Why is it okay for some bee breeders that sit in an area surrounded by AHB to raise and sell their stock, but not the Lusby’s?”

Yes beekeepers move bees out of the AHB area in TX but every outfit is sampled and verified as European by the TX Apiary Inspection Service before they can legally move. The outfits you describe in TX have their stock inspected, bees sampled and European stock certified before they can sell their queens. If Dee wants to submit to that she can – but first she would need to get apiary inspection services reinstated in AZ.

In fact right now it is illegal to move bees from AZ to most other states in the US due to the lack of an inspection service there. Nearly all states require that bees coming into the state be inspected and certified to be free of diseases and pests as well as unwanted strains of honeybees. I have been in meetings where commercial beekeepers from AZ have very respectfully asked how they could legally move bees out of AZ. Without an authorized entity to inspect and certify it just can’t be done. Yes beekeepers do move bees out of AZ but they do so illegally and with no assurance that they are not shipping serious disease problems or unwanted strains of honeybees to other states where these things do not occur.

Again I ask why would anyone want to illegally import queens from an Africanized area when stocks with documented resistant to varroa mites are available legally from other sources which are willing to have their outfits inspected and sampled to verify that they are not shipping something the rest of us don’t want. I have no problems with anyone trying small cell or any other methods of trying to avoid the need for chemical treatment of varroa as long as it doesn’t involve illegally moving bees. Illegal movement of honeybees has gotten us both tracheal and varroa mites. There are other problems that could be easily moved that most of us don’t want.

FWIW

blane

Blane White
MN Dept of Agriculture
blane.white@state.mn.us
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Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 11:59:49 -0500
Sender: BEE-L@listserv.albany.edu
From: Barry Birkey
Subject: Re: A grand experiment

From: Blane White

> Yes beekeepers do move bees out of AZ but they do so illegally
> and with on assurance that they are not shipping serious disease
> problems or unwanted strains of honeybees to other states where
> these things do not occur.

Hi Blaine -

I was not aware that there were states that had no bee diseases. I thought by now all diseases have been in all states. No? Those that would be interested in bee stock from the Lusby’s are in fact interested in just the opposite, their bees, that are able to handle mites and diseases. The proof is there. You just have to go see for yourself. In this age of travel, I hear about all the different gatherings and meetings that beekeepers go to across this country every year, yet I know of just a handful of beekeepers that have taken a couple of days and actually gone to the Lusby’s to see firsthand what is being talked about. I have shared what I have seen there, Allen, too, has shared, why not Blaine now?

You also wrote in another post:
> Sometimes I suspect that the published data doesn’t match
> with the claims in research reports but the only way I can come to
> that conclusion reasonably is by being able to look at the data.

I submit that the data is alive and well and living around the Tucson area. Please, take a 3 day trip and go see. Back to this post:

> Again I ask why would anyone want to illegally import queens from
> an Africanized area when stocks with documented resistant to
> varroa mites are available legally from other sources

I would submit that it’s called the right to make a living. Until their bees can be proven to be AHB’s, they have every right to go about their business.

> Illegal movement of honeybees has gotten us both tracheal
> and varroa mites. There are other problems that could be easily
> moved that most of us don’t want.

What we don’t want is to use the standard/recommended practice (chemicals/drugs) that has been handed to us for how many years now. We have hive numbers dropping like the stock market due to mites, and you point to problems that COULD happen should these honeybees get moved as a reason not to do it? Wow, this seems way out of balance to me.

Regards,
Barry
**************************************

Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 16:37:53 -0500
Sender: BEE-L@listserv.albany.edu
From: Bob Harrison
Subject: Re: A grand experiment

Hello Barry and All,

Glad to hear from you Barry. We have missed your excellent posts!

Dee pushed and changed the inspection law in Arizona. Why?

All Arizona beekeepers did not want the inspections dropped. Blane works for the USDA and was involved. The USDA does not have the people to enforce many of the beekeeping laws on the books but when busted the fines can be expensive. I agree with everything Blane has posted and makes perfect sense to me.

I told Dee two years ago in a post that most of us are content to wait for the USDA to breed a varroa tolerant bee. We now have SMR and Russian queens. Give the varroa tolerant breeder queens from the USDA to the queen breeders. Then the hobby beekeeper simply buys a couple SMR or Russian queens from his queen breeder and installs and the varroa problem is over. What could be simpler.

Almost all the members of the Midwestern Beekeepers Assn. have converted this year to varroa tolerant queens. All the major queen breeders are buying varroa tolerant breeder queens (SMR and Russian) to incorporate into their stock. Years of research can be looked at at the Baton Rouge USDA bee lab web site. The whole process is documented.

Barry wrote:
> When it comes down to it, isn’t this really a sort of idealism that
> works on paper, but not in real life? Beekeepers move their bees
> into the “Africanized zone” all the time, including yourself as you
> have said on this list before, and then move them out.

I have never moved bees in or out of Arizona. Beekeepers which I work with have moved plenty of bees through Arizona on the interstate. I have never moved bees in or out of a AHB quarentine area of Texas. I did post a scenaro once (not long ago) that beekeepers not wanting to mess with regulation *could* move in and out of Arizona without permits and use illegal methods while in Arizona without fear of being caught. The problem would be entering your home state without a inspection permit from Arizona. Arizona could become your permanent home if caught. In all fairness to Barry there are plenty of bees moved without permits. I suspect even in and out of Arizona. Not a big deal to those beekeepers UNTIL they get busted!

Does anyone on the list know if the commercial migratory beekeeper which slipped into the Rio Grand AHb quarentine area of Texas with 3,000 hives and the inspection service would never give him a clean certificate to leave ever got out. He spoke about the injustice of the USDA and the Texas inspection service at the ABF convention in Austin, Texas.

All Blane and I have done is tell the list what the LAW is. I can not stop people from breaking the law. Are you advocating bee movement breaking laws?

Barry wrote:
> Why is it okay for some bee breeders that sit in an area
> surrounded by AHB to raise and sell their stock, but not the Lusby’s?

I do not have any pity on the Lusby’s on this point. Arizona had an inspection service which would have been able to do exactly as Blane said. Dee could get her bees certified AHB free and then ship. Dee was at the front of the push to get rid of the Arizona inspection. Why? I think we all know the answer. The Lusby’s should have thought what getting the inspection service removed would mean to their future queen business.

> You would first have to prove that the Lusby’s bees are in fact
> Africanized. To date, no one has been able to do that.

Sorry Barry but the burden of proof is on the Lusby’s. No clean AHB certificate no ship legally out of Arizona. Like it or not the law is in place for a reason which Blane correctly pointed out. Dee wanted the law changed and used her position as president of the Arizona beekeepers to push *deregulation* through as she calls it. The whole story is posted on Bee-L. Why?

Blane correctly stated the law from my understanding of the bee laws.

Sincerely,
Bob Harrison
**************************************

Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 16:09:50 -0400
Sender: BEE-L@listserv.albany.edu
From: Bill Truesdell
Subject: Re: A grand experiment

Barry Birkey wrote:

> I was not aware that there were states that had no bee diseases.
> I thought by now all diseases have been in all states. No? Those
> that would be interested in bee stock from the Lusby’s are in fact
> interested in just the opposite, their bees, that are able to handle
> mites and diseases. The proof is there. You just have to go see
> for yourself.

We have over 60,000 hives enter Maine every year. They are inspected before they leave their home States and when they come to Maine. Not all, but a fair sampling. They are inspected for mites and every disease. With American foulbrood, hives are destroyed. I am very happy that someone is watching out for Maine Beekeepers.

We do not send our inspector to the sending State because the inspectors in that State inspect some of the colonies before they go and they are inspected by our inspector when they arrive and during their stay.

It would be criminal (both legally and morally) to ship bees out of a State that has been quarantined and which has no inspection program.

Also, why ship any bees from Arizona anyway, since it is the 4.9 cell size which works for all bees everywhere…. right?

Bill Truesdell
Bath, Me

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Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 17:22:05 -0500
Sender: BEE-L@listserv.albany.edu
From: Barry Birkey
Subject: Re: A grand experiment

From: Bill Truesdell

> It would be criminal (both legally and morally) to ship bees out
> of a State that has been quarantined and which has no inspection
> program.

I won’t get into a moral debate with you. If there are laws regarding AHB in Arizona, then one must first determine that the Lusby’s bees are AHB and fall under those laws. Short of that, your arguing with a straw man. In fact, what tests that have been done on their bees would not support conjecturing that they are AHB. If other breeders can manage to keep stock that is not Africanized while being surrounded by Africanized quarantined zones, then there is no reason to believe that the Lusby’s couldn’t do the same.

The only thing I’m arguing is the attempt by some to jump the gun and assume in their writing that they (Lusby’s) would be shipping AHB’s around the country. I say let the testing begin! I know it already has, but that shouldn’t stop others from testing the bees if they want to.

> Also, why ship any bees from Arizona anyway, since it is the 4.9 cell
> size which works for all bees everywhere…. right?

The same reason someone would want to buy/ship bees from Bolling Bee, myself, and a whole assortment of others who now have bees raised on 4.9 cell size; they are already regressed and ready to roll in a 4.9 hive. One can bypass all the hard work of regression by simply buying the bees.

Regards,
Barry

**************************************

Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 20:26:39 -0500
Sender: BEE-L@listserv.albany.edu
From: Barry Birkey
Subject: Re: A grand experiment

From: Bob Harrison

> Glad to hear from you Barry.

Hi Bob -

Decided to get off my hands and enter into the discussion on this one.

> Dee pushed and changed the inspection law in Arizona. Why?

I know she has told me the background on this but she will have to explain so it gets told correctly.

> All Arizona beekeepers did not want the inspections dropped.
> Blane works for the USDA and was involved.

Then perhaps Blaine could share what he knows about it so we get a broader understanding.

> I told Dee two years ago in a post that most of us are content to
> wait for the USDA to breed a varroa tolerant bee. We now have
> SMR and Russian queens. Give the varroa tolerant breeder
> queens from the USDA to the queen breeders. Then the hobby
> beekeeper simply buys a couple SMR or Russian queens from his
> queen breeder and installs and the varroa problem is over.
> What could be simpler.

I don’t believe simplicity has anything to do with this discussion. I’m not here to bang the 4.9 drum or to put down other approaches to the varroa fix. Yes, SMR is another alternative, but has yet to be tested in the fire of life, like the Lusby’s have done with 4.9, IMO.

> I have never moved bees in or out of Arizona.

I was referring to the movement of your bees to Texas where ahb is all around also.

> I have never moved bees in or out of a AHB quarentine area
> of Texas.

No, but next to them. And we all know bees do not respect lines that are drawn on a map.

> In all fairness to Barry there are plenty of bees moved without
> permits. I suspect even in and out of Arizona.

Well, this is the reality of life I’m trying to make a point about. People talk of major problems happening should bees from one area get out and into other areas. THEY ALREADY DO! Where are the problems that are so fearfully talked about? Let’s be realistic here.

In my line of work, the governing agencies expect you to have/get a permit to do a very wide range of work so they can “protect” the consumer against bad workmanship. Yea right! Don’t get me going on this one. I’ve got 23 years of firsthand experience seeing what permits and inspections do to protect the consumer. The result keeps me well employed.

Tell me what is going to happen should the Lusby’s ship bees to another state and that states inspector can’t tell whether or not they are ahb’s? By what guide will he make his determination whether they are or not? If he simply says they are because they came from Arizona, this has proved nothing. Too many holes in the system to be much good in my opinion.

> All Blane and I have done is tell the list what the LAW is. I can not
> stop people from breaking the law. Are you advocating bee
> movement breaking laws?

I think I addressed this in my reply to Bill. I’m advocating that this issue needs to be looked at deeper and not simply write it off as a given or hype it up. There may be laws in place, but it is the interpretation of those laws where it gets a lot more cloudy.

Regards,
Barry, getting ready to sit on my hands again.

**************************************

Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2002 12:07:35 +1300
Sender: BEE-L@listserv.albany.edu
From: Robt Mann
Subject: Re: A grand experiment

Barry wrote:

> what tests that have been done on their bees would not support
> conjecturing that they are AHB. If other breeders can manage to
> keep stock that is not Africanized while being surrounded by
> Africanized quarantined zones, then there is no reason to believe
> that the Lusby’s couldn’t do the same.

Modern methods of analysing DNA fragments could by now have settled into a reliable, sensitive test for whatever had been deemed ‘Afro’ gene(s). It is a dismal perversion of such technology that instead it’s largely deployed into attempts at commercialising dubious, ill-tested crops, and then disputing whether a crop for human consumption contains 0.14% (as in the StarLink├ć case) or 0.04% (as in the Novartis NZ stunt) of transgenic DNA. The economics can be arranged so that assay fees are in the range $6 – $30.

In such a context it is very wrong for the Dubyuh regime to cut budgets for the federal bee labs. They should be enormously expanded (as should my own govt’s efforts on varroa & other bee research themes). Neglect of bees is a most ominous sign of decadence in the overdeveloped world.

A kind friend brought me in 1987 the new English translation (by a Russian woman and then one Cynthia Martin) of V V Rodionov & I A Shabarshov 1983 ‘The Fascinating World of Bees’ (MOCKBA: Mir). Methods, and chemicals (e.g wormwood), were apparently useful that we’d never heard of thru the iron curtain. It would appear that more than just international trade in Russian queens but also many other cross-pollinations could occur. Why don’t we celebrate the end of the cold war by getting NATO to sponsor a major confab on bees?

As it is, discussion can be censored or closed off by one e-adept person – a major drawback of this list. But modern confab admin can arrange a lot of translators, and I can’t think of a more urgent need for agriculture than a well conducted confab, leading to a book which resolves, to some large extent, recent long-drawn-out controversies. As Hayley Mills urged ca1963, Let’s Get Together.

Such issues as were not resolved by this confab might at least be organised for international cooperative research. I have no doubt that non-scientists would play a considerable part at every stage. The reasons for the scientific method (as ably expounded by Farmageddon re bells & bees) are its proven efficiency & reliability; but it is not the sole way of knowledge.

R

-
Robt Mann
consultant ecologist
P O Box 28878 Remuera, Auckland 1005, New Zealand
(9) 524 2949

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Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 17:12:34 -0700
Sender: BEE-L@listserv.albany.edu
From: Dee Lusby
Subject: Re: A grand experiment

Hi all

Bob Harrison wrote:
> The Lusbys say their bees are not ahb but have no proof and
> ‘the USDA says all of Arizona is AHB from their research.

Reply:
Bob, the proof that our bees are not AHB is the fact that neither the USDA nor other excellent labs and scientists in Europe have identified our bees as africanized of any sort, with the exception, in the beginning, when we helped with samples of our bees in defining the accuracy/ parameters of FABIS, which flunked and said our small black bees were africanized, while the german scientists (Koeniger was one) and others in USA (Houck was one, Roy-Keith Smith another) said our bees were caucasian or similar to caucasian.

There has been no DNA done to pinpoint what our bees are, except with DNA done on our bees and the small black ones in the hills of San Diego by the USDA, when Charlie Morris was inspector of San Diego County way back, when all this stuff was starting on how to ID bees, and FABIS was being written, and carried a disclaimer in its paper (that if the bees in other areas were different then the bees in the FABIS survey or another area, then different standards were to be developed and used), that others never followed with the exception of Arizona. Arizona did set up another model for FABIS.

Either one can identify or one cannot. This is the oddity! Just what are our bees???? I myself think NATIVE and I am standing until the DNA says otherwise. . . .It certainly has never said Africanized. In fact no managed colonies in the whole state of Arizona have ever been surveyed to find
out by either FABIS or DNA what the bees actually are.

If identifying is going to be done, it is going to be done right!

Bob Harrison also wrote:
> I would need some official inspection that the stock was
> not AHb before I would order queens from an area which
> according to the *2001* USDA AHB spread map is the highest
> concentration of AHB in the U.S. for a single state.

Reply:
No official statewide surverys were ever done in Arizona for AHBs either before, or after de-statuatorizing the books by either the USDA or the state of Arizona.

Even now Dr Rinderer says in ABJ, July 02 issue page 480, only 9 of the 15 counties in Arizona were AHB according to him.

The USDA never declared Arizona 100% africanized on paper, as one can see by this in the current ABJ.

AHB classification for a hive means only one mating of a queen of several in a hive to be africanized. For a county to be africanized, only one hive has to be found by the standard used to declare africanization, and yet FABIS was flawed early on, and was not corrected to much later.

Only corrected after it’s so-called trek up S. America thru Mexico and into the USA including early parts of Texas and Arizona.

The declaration of 100% africanized in Arizona,was done by Mr Kelly, Director of the Arizona Dept of Agric, following de-statutatory regulation of the books, as a parting gift to our industry. It does not match Dr Rinderer assessment of partial africanization. So which is correct? You choose.

As for a map showing the highest concentration of AHB in the country. Well, IT SHOULD!! For the FIGURES ARE FLAWED. Why???

Because throughout the 1980s and 1990s our area in Arizona has had the most beekeepers trying to regress bees back smaller. First to 900 size, i.e. Dr Erickson and Hines even tried it. We worked with Dr Erickson and Dr Hoffman with smaller cell size of 5.0 – 5.1 for many years, and now we are even smaller. All the while many locally, followed us trying.

On one side the bee lab was into studies with regressing of honeybees to see how it effected mites(we had a signed contract with Western Region with Dr Erickson and Dr Hoffman doing the work on a technical exchange of information), and on the other side the lab was into africanization with Dr Loper and his group. It was conflicting at times between the two groups.

But the fact the so much comb was being made locally, and put into beehives, was never reflected into the data bases as domestic bees absconded to the feral! Why???? To help the labs better to get AHB going for money grants? Probably? But then, maybe they never thought about it as a problem? After all who would it hurt in the long run?

If the maps did not show us as most africanized I whould be even more surprised!

Also, did you know that the first 2-3 years, all ahb finds were near or next to beeyards setup on smaller combs. Yet, why no comparison of this or noting in surveys of official record??? Sizing down in the area had already been going on for 10 years or more at the time of official africanization with bees coming into Arizona by local area beekeepers. The lab itself had already been working with small cell projects for more then 7-8 years also.

Ahbs in Arizona. I really don’t think so, not like you do! for I know the political history of the state for this subject, and I will only believe when I see the DNA of our yards showing it, which I do not think can be done. All
they were looking for was something different. This was said many times. Different by sizing! Different by colour! but they forgot DNA was still developing and now we will wait until we officially find out! Then we will know for sure.

Regards

Dee

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Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2002 06:53:02 -0500
Sender: BEE-L@listserv.albany.edu
From: Bob Harrison
Subject: Re: A grand experiment

Dee wrote:
> the proof that our bees are not AHB is the fact that
> neither the USDA nor other excellent labs and scientists in
> Europe have identified our bees as africanized of any sort,
> with the exception, in the beginning, when we helped with
> samples of our bees in defining the accuracy/ parameters of
> FABIS, which flunked and said our small black bees were
> africanized,

Although Tom Rinderer used fabis early on the fabis system has been criticized by several researchers. Guzman-Novoa a Mexican bee scientist is one of the biggest critics of using morphometric measurements.

On the other hand Professor Kerr was the first to use morphometric measurements (which Daly refined) and considered the system accurate.

Dewey Caron in his book says “Validation of the accuracy of using morphometric measurements to ID bees has been confirmed experimentally.”

> There has been no DNA done to pinpoint what our bees are,

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) really makes all other forms of ID (FABIS) antique in my opinion and the method I would use on your bees. The same method used to convict criminals AND also free inocent people convicted of crimes they did not do.

Dee wrote:
> No official statewide surverys were ever done in Arizona
> for AHBs either before, or after de-statuatorizing the
> books by either the USDA or the state of Arizona.

No statewide surveys have been done in any state to my knowledge. The USDA AHB map is simply updated and each county blacked out when a documented AHB find has been made. Many counties were pronounced AHB by the FABIS method (probabbly most).

> Even now Dr Rinderer says in ABJ, July 02 issue page 480,
> only 9 of the 15 counties in Arizona were AHB according to him.

As you say they are not looking. Dr. Hoffman said all counties in Arizona should be considered AHB which means in my opinion if a survey was done of the *feral* bees in all counties Dr. Hoffman believes she would find a documented AHB case in each county. I suspect many more counties in west texas would be blacked out on the USDA map if the USDA was looking.

> The USDA never declared Arizona 100% africanized on paper,
> as one can see by this in the current ABJ.

The Arizona state Africanized Honey Bee Advisory Board decided that the africanized honey bee was not quarantinable early on and elected to pursue an educational campaign instead.

> The declaration of 100% africanized in Arizona,was done by
> Mr Kelly, Director of the Arizona Dept of Agric, following
> de-statutatory regulation of the books, as a parting gift
> to our industry.

I thought you said Arizona had never been declared 100% Africanized on paper?

> As for a map showing the highest concentration of AHB in
> the country. Well, IT SHOULD!! For the FIGURES ARE FLAWED.
> Why???

This is a discussion list and I truly wish I was not discussing with a friend. The facts are not in my opinion flawed. Your bees may not be AHB but with the amount of hives you run I can’t believe (in my opinion) that many do not contain bees with AHB mt DNA. Indeed your bees do not sound like AHb from your talking about your bees and from Allen Dick writing about his observations. Although your bees may not be aggressive they *may* carry the genetic material (AHB genes) to be aggressive in another setting or handled by beekeepers of less experience than you or Ed (only my opinion).

> Also, did you know that the first 2-3 years, all ahb finds
> were near or next to beeyards setup on smaller combs. Yet,
> why no comparison of this or noting in surveys of official
> record???

Dee is pointing out here (for those not understanding on the list) that AHb is universially considered to be 10% **smaller** than European bees. Dee is implying that possibly mistakes were made because her bees and AHB are exactly the same size. She raises a valid argument.

In Texas at the Austin, Texas ABF convention we were given a measurement on back of Paul Jacksons business card. Mr. Jackson is the Texas state bee inspector for those on the list not familier with the name. The card showed 4.9mm cells per inch and was to be used to measure comb to tell if a feral swarm comb was AHb or if a hive which had been taken over by AHB was AHB by the size comb which was being drawn. 4.9mm IS the excepted cell size of AHB and the size starter foundation used by those keeping bees in Africa.

> Ahbs in Arizona. I really don’t think so, not like you do!

The first two human stinging deaths were in 1995 and the bees were documented by dna AHB.

> for I know the political history of the state for this
> subject, and I will only believe when I see the DNA of our
> yards showing it, which I do not think can be done. All
> they were looking for was something different. This was
> said many times. Different by sizing! Different by colour!

Sizing and color are excepted methods of bee ID around the world. As I posted above morphological analysis accuracy has been confirmed to a high degree by laboratory DNA analysis. Although FABIS is only as good as the persons opinion doing the analysis the FABIS system can only be said to be less accurate than DNA but not totally inaccurate.

DuPraw (1965) according to Ruttner (1975), was unable to delimit scutellata from capensis by wing venation (Hive and Honey Bee 1992 pg. 36) Both DePraw and Ruttner had no problem with ID between all other races and AHB using wing venation.

> but they forgot DNA was still developing and now we will
> wait until we officially find out! Then we will know for sure.

I agree and hope the tests of your bees are negative. I like discussing the issue but want to remain friends and only point out the other side of the issue for BEE-L.

AHB will not stop me from keeping bees as far as aggression goes. I will simply kill all aggressive queens like I currently do. I check mark a few hives every year to requeen the next spring because of aggressiveness. They are not a big problem for me to work but they do upset the other hives when working the apiary. I always work those hives last in the yard. capensis traits could end my beekeeping. I currently see no answer for bees with capensis traits. Although we have yet to establish the magnitude of the capensis trait problem in Arizona like Mike A. posted all it takes is one worker with capensis traits to get the cape bee problem started in the U.S.

Bob

**************************************

Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2002 09:31:47 -0600
Sender: BEE-L@listserv.albany.edu
From: Allen Dick
Subject: A Grey Area

I’ve been enjoying this thread. Several things have stuck me about the discussion:

1. Although, as some point out, there are laws about AHB and they thus see matters as black and white, it is apparent to most of us that — when we examine the issues, the science involved, and the sampling — we are finding ourselves in a grey area.

2. The second is that, with few exceptions, the posts on the topic have been respectful of those on opposite sides and writers have stuck to the arguments without trolling, posturing or name-calling.

3. Those who are participating are providing facts as well as opinion.

4. Opinion is a very large factor in the AHB debate, and it looks to me, when we examine what the scientists and the lay people say, that there is more opinion than science.

Although there has been some very good work done, the science and the sampling are both spotty and inconclusive. What exactly can be called ‘african’ genes or non-african genes is not absolutely clear. What is clear is that defining areas as ‘africanized’ and non-africanized is a very arbitrary designation which does not take into consideration the degree or nature of the AHB presence or even the nature of the particular ‘AHB’ strain. AHB is apparently a designation that covers a wide range of bee stock with varying characteristics. There are a lot of assumptions underlying the whole structure of beliefs about AHB, and many of them are beginning to appear quite questionable in light of new knowledge about bees.

Although there are laws and regulations, I am seeing more clearly every day that in many cases the science and methodology are simply not available to back up the laws to a level where they can be upheld if anyone challenges them. Although it is easy to legislate against movement or harbouring of AHB, the most fundamental enforcement tools — definition and identification are lacking or seriously flawed.

Under ‘reasonable doubt’, a basic principle of Western criminal law, the rules — no matter how good intentioned — become basically unenforceable without clear means of identification. Although high-principled statements can be made, attempts at application and enforcement can only be arbitrary and thus subject to question even — and especially — by law-respecting citizens. Junius wrote a long time ago, “The subject who is truly loyal to the chief magistrate will not submit to arbitrary measures”. Civil disobedience is considered by many respectable philosophies to be a *duty*, rather than a right, when confronting an unjust law.

In science, the burden of proof is on anyone wishing to put forward a new theory, not on the scientific establishment to defend the current structure. In Western law the onus is normally on the government to prove its definitions and methods in restricting freedom, not on the citizen going about his business. In politics no proof is needed; any statement that is repeated often and appeals to the masses might as well be true, since — true or not — people believe and act on it.

Inasmuch as this AHB question is a matter of all of these: law, science, and politics, we have conflicting paradigms. In legal matters, such as
definition and detection of AHB, the law must prove its case without reasonable doubt. With the current state of science this is difficult. If we wonder why many scientists are very careful what they say, this conflict between law and science may be at the root. When we add in politics as a third component, things get even more difficult. In the AHB question, we have law, politics and science all in play. No wonder there is no win/win solution apparent and those who could speak the truth better than most remain silent.

What will be the ultimate outcome? I expect that since all the most effective players are neutralized that the question will be settled by semi-trailers and pickup trucks and billfolds. I predict the three establishments will remain stalemated, and that the people will decide the way they always have: by doing what they please, with or without official sanction.

allen