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Table 2 – The African (Brazilian) Bee Problem

Table 2. Attributes of the Brazilian Bee taken from the Final Report of the Committee
on the African Honey Bee, 1973.
Brazilian Bee Claims Committee Report Reference Given in Committee Report
1. quicker & more nervous flight did note the phenomenon
2. work 1/2 to 2 hrs. earlier in the morning & later in the evening not verified by committee
3. forage at lower temperatures – even in light rain not verified
4. wild swarms do not always accept standard comb foundation Wiese 1970
4a. do accept foundation 17 out of 18 surveyed survey (questionnaire by committee)
5. carry larger nectar loads not verified Wiese 1970
6. colony sometimes absconds when hive is open not verified committee
7. Brazilian bees produce from 1.25 to 2 times amount of honey not verified various persons state. others state to the contrary
8. growth cycle shorter not verified Wiese 1970
9. more susceptible to EFB saw little if any disease Wiese 1970
10. heavy propolization not verified
11. abscond in cold weather not verified reported to?
12. will adapt to warm climate not verified
13. increase in bees away from apiaries not verified inquiries indicate
14. wild bee nests 107.5/sq. kilometer not verified Kerr 1971
15. do not die (starve) inside hive not verified
16. can’t use small nuclei for mating because of absconding not verified Wiese 1970
17. small swarms enter hive and kill European bees not verified certain beekeepers
18. take over hives of other bees sometimes at night (reported to
be in Ribeirao Preto)
not verified repeatedly described to committee
19. reproductive swarming is common (various beekeepers report bees
rarely abscond or swarm if given adequate space, food & water)
not verified
20. 24 of 31 swarms occurred during a time of food scarcity not verified Cosenza 1972
21. 7 swarms with one queen each verified seen by committee
22. queens from 31 swarms were uninseminated not verified Cosenza 1972
23. vicious bees in swarms not verified swarms encountered by committee were gentle
24. swarms attack and sting without provocation not verified no such swarms were seen by committee
25. high degree of swarming or absconding not verified no evidence of recent swarming (or absconding from apiary hives that the committee examined)
26. stings produce effects comparable to stings from other honeybees verified
27. northern bees aggressive verified – committee impressed by the vigor
28. southern bees not aggressive verified – no colonies observed went out of control
29. bees from a hive being worked sting people and animals European bees can do same
30. aggressive during flow
aggressive when little food present
aggressive in hot weather
aggressive in cool weather
aggressive in humid weather

aggressiveness is variable

not verified – committee had little opportunity to study committee often told other information

31. stings cause of death to people
involve allergic persons or rash efforts to destroy hive in a hysteria arising
from over publicizing about the danger
32. drones fly faster & lower not verified most beekeepers suspect
33. drones do not fly faster & lower not verified Kerr & Bueno 1970
34. European queens more likely to mate with Brazilian bees not verified