Varroa resistance through Africanization? [Archive] - Beesource Beekeeping Forums

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Kenton
09-11-2017, 08:34 AM
I monitor varroa using a bottom board count. Last season i treated with Formic Acid when numbers started to climb in August. I harvested some honey in June and the bees seemed more easily riled than before and I did not check for varroa this year until early September due to being away. I saw one live mite and about a dozen dead ones with missing legs and punctured carapaces. I do not remember seeing dead mites in previous counts. In short my bees are more aggressive but also more hygienic regarding varroa. As these are characteristics of African bees I believe I have an Africanized hive. This is OK as they are not that hostile and less management will be required. Does this make sense?

Dan the bee guy
11-01-2017, 05:46 PM
As long as the bees aren't stinging a little Africanizing can be a good thing.

Rader Sidetrack
11-01-2017, 08:02 PM
I'd be a bit surprised if Africanized bees have really moved into the Durham NC area. One would hope that the NC state agencies would already be aware of that if it had happened .... https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/africanized-honey-bees-where-are-they-now-and-when-will-they-arrive-in-north-carolina

Increased defensiveness by a bee colony is also associated with bees that are under stress from predators (probably not bears in Durham:)), such as skunks and raccoons, or robbing by other bees.

Also, mite-biter bees tend to be more defensive ... http://www.beeculture.com/breeding-mite-biting-bees-to-control-varroa/

I'm not saying that your bees are being ravaged by raccoons, or have morphed into mite biters - just pointing out some other possibilities. In any case, doing a sugar roll or alcohol wash would provide you with better information as to the actual mite load in that hive.

Aroc
11-01-2017, 08:50 PM
I have 2 VSH queens and I think they are hotter than the Carniolans. I don't seem to have the mite problem that I had last year.

beepro
11-01-2017, 09:47 PM
Aggressiveness has nothing to do with controlling the mites. Over last season and this summer I had a very aggressive hive. It is vsh + aggressiveness that I think they are AHB genetics mixed in. The mite load is still the same to infect the hive but the bees live on. They can even keep the ants at bay while on the open grass field on top of an ant hill. Either I have the most aggressive mites or bees around. I got scared and the hive is no longer living. My conclusion is that aggressive bees are not necessary resistant to the mites.

mike17l
11-02-2017, 11:40 AM
NO Africanized bees are not the answer to varroa. Chemical treatment and specific breeding by those qualified with enough numbers are the answer.

If you have never worked with an Africanized colony, you have no idea what one is. I grew up in Hidalgo County TX, the first county they were discovered in, I live 100 miles from there now. You do not want anything to do with Africanized bees. They are not an answer for anything. They are the failed product of an experiment and should have been destroyed from the beginning. Africanized bees are not the answer for any malady you or honey bees in the US are facing.

FlowerPlanter
11-02-2017, 12:14 PM
I suspect your queens may have just mated with feral survivors which are resistant to mites and diseases.

Some can be a little meaner than others. Nothing I would call Africanized.

You might try setting swarm trap and see what you catch.

Grady Stanley
11-08-2017, 07:11 AM
characteristic of African bees I believe I have an Africanized hive.

Africanized bees haven't made it to north Florida yet, so it's very unlikely they're in North Carolina.

Fusion_power
11-08-2017, 01:51 PM
There are a lot of denials in this thread that they could be africanized, yet nobody has bothered to say how to tell for sure. Given that BWeaver is selling queens with some Africanization, there is an excellent chance someone brought in a few queens and now the traits are dispersing into the OP's area.

clyderoad
11-08-2017, 02:08 PM
There are a lot of denials in this thread that they could be africanized, yet nobody has bothered to say how to tell for sure. Given that BWeaver is selling queens with some Africanization, there is an excellent chance someone brought in a few queens and now the traits are dispersing into the OP's area.

I couldn't agree more.
In fact I'll go as far as saying bees with African genes should not be allowed in inter state bee commerce.

mike17l
11-08-2017, 03:08 PM
Given that BWeaver is selling queens with some Africanization

I believe that would be called slander in most courts. Do you have proof of this? Or is this speculation only?

AR Beekeeper
11-08-2017, 03:22 PM
If I remember correctly, there is a video on YouTube in which Daniel Weaver states that their bees have at least 10% African in their heritage.

John Davis
11-08-2017, 03:37 PM
Try looking up testing for Africanized honey bees (using the FABIS test). The modified version of the test (FABIS) Fast Africanized Bee Identification System measures the forewing length. Average over 9mm is European.

clyderoad
11-08-2017, 03:37 PM
I believe that would be called slander in most courts. Do you have proof of this? Or is this speculation only?

the Bweaver website FAQ's:
http://beeweaver.com/faq

Fusion_power
11-08-2017, 05:29 PM
I believe that would be called slander in most courts. Do you have proof of this? Or is this speculation only? BWeaver states on their website that their bees are in an africanized area and have been affected by interbreeding. There is a video as stated above where Daniel Weaver speculates that their bees have been somewhat improved by incorporating traits from Africanized bees. I purchased 3 queens from them in 2015 and could see clear evidence of africanization. Two of the colonies threw usurpation swarms and were much more defensive than normal. One of the queens was more defensive than I like but had several outstanding traits so I used her for breeding. I have an apiary with these bees and am very much pleased with the results of intercrossing with my line. They are more productive and more disease and pest resistant than my line in pure form. So yes, if you want proof, I have it in spades. Due diligence would have saved these otherwise unproductive comments.

Juhani Lunden
11-08-2017, 10:57 PM
I monitor varroa using a bottom board count. Last season i treated with Formic Acid when numbers started to climb in August. I harvested some honey in June and the bees seemed more easily riled than before and I did not check for varroa this year until early September due to being away. I saw one live mite and about a dozen dead ones with missing legs and punctured carapaces. I do not remember seeing dead mites in previous counts. In short my bees are more aggressive but also more hygienic regarding varroa. As these are characteristics of African bees I believe I have an Africanized hive. This is OK as they are not that hostile and less management will be required. Does this make sense?

All bees get more aggressive when their mite count gets higher.

Their nature and behaviour can change really dramatically, within months and with the same queen (and genes).

mike17l
11-09-2017, 06:49 AM
the Bweaver website FAQ's:
http://beeweaver.com/faq

Ahh, thanks.


BWeaver states on their website that their bees are in an africanized area and have been affected by interbreeding. There is a video as stated above where Daniel Weaver speculates that their bees have been somewhat improved by incorporating traits from Africanized bees. I purchased 3 queens from them in 2015 and could see clear evidence of africanization. Two of the colonies threw usurpation swarms and were much more defensive than normal. One of the queens was more defensive than I like but had several outstanding traits so I used her for breeding. I have an apiary with these bees and am very much pleased with the results of intercrossing with my line. They are more productive and more disease and pest resistant than my line in pure form. So yes, if you want proof, I have it in spades. Due diligence would have saved these otherwise unproductive comments.

The bold (I added) is all you needed, the rest is speculation. The aggression you see means nothing. You cannot see africanization. Thanks.

AHudd
11-09-2017, 09:33 AM
Now that the Africanization of BeeWeaver bees is settled I will share my experience with them. I started with three packages in 2014. Through swarming and splitting I now have twenty colonies. I have had to re-queen two colonies and kill one because of aggressiveness.
We can speculate on the cause of this aggressiveness 'til the cows come home, but I believe it is the AHB traits rearing their ugly heads.

By the way, I can't see the wind blowing, but I know it is by the conditions it creates.

Alex

mike17l
11-09-2017, 09:54 AM
Now that the Africanization of BeeWeaver bees is settled I will share my experience with them. I started with three packages in 2014. Through swarming and splitting I now have twenty colonies. I have had to re-queen two colonies and kill one because of aggressiveness.
We can speculate on the cause of this aggressiveness 'til the cows come home, but I believe it is the AHB traits rearing their ugly heads.

You split and allowed your bees to requeen themselves, by open mating, 20 times and expect them to maintain the same characteristics. That not realistic for any line of bees.


By the way, I can't see the wind blowing, but I know it is by the conditions it creates.

Alex

I can's see the wind either, but if the leaf moves I am mostly sure why it moved. But I must acknowledge there may be other factors at play moving that leaf, and not necessarily the wind.

fieldsofnaturalhoney
11-09-2017, 10:29 AM
You cannot see africanization.
But you sure can feel it:D

mike17l
11-09-2017, 10:37 AM
But you sure can feel it:D

Their sting is no different than any other honey bee's...

Rader Sidetrack
11-09-2017, 11:00 AM
You cannot see africanization.

Well, I don't agree that is strictly true. You don't need to do a DNA analysis to see differences between AHB and other bees.


African honey bees cannot be distinguished from European honey bees easily, although they are slightly smaller than the various European races. Laboratory personnel use morphometric analyses to determine the likelihood that a given colony is Africanized or fully African. With honey bees, the measurement of wing venation patterns and the size and coloration of various body parts (morphometry) are important determinants of identification at the subspecific level. Morphometry has been used to differentiate honey bee races since the 1960s and remains the first round of identification when suspect colonies are discovered. Morphometric analyses were first used to differentiate Africanized and European honey bees in South America in 1978.

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/ahb.htm


Note that "morphometric analyses" are, more or less, just size and shape measurements.

And as far as AHB stings being 'no different' than stings from other honey bees, that may be true for a single bee sting, but a colony of Africanized Honey Bees are more likely to deliver multiple stings to the victim.

While European races of bees may attack a nest intruder with a few bees (usually no more than 10-20 bees), African bees may attack the same intruder with hundreds of bees.

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/ahb.htm


I'd say its hard to claim that multiple stings are no more painful than a single sting. :)

mike17l
11-09-2017, 11:10 AM
Well, I don't agree that is strictly true. You don't need to do a DNA analysis to see differences between AHB and other bees.



Note that "morphometric analyses" are, more or less, just size and shape measurements.
\
And as far as AHB stings being 'no different', that may be true for a single bee, but AHB are more likely to deliver multiple stings to the victim.


I'd say its hard to claim that multiple stings are no more painful than a single sting. :)

OK, Let's see the FABIS data collected by those commenting.

mike17l
11-09-2017, 11:14 AM
OK, Let's see the FABIS data collected by those commenting.

I doubt I need to share this, as any claiming they have AHB should be more than familiar with this, but just in case, here it the manual:

https://www.ars.usda.gov/ARSUserFiles/60500500/PDFFiles/101-200/185-Sylvester--Fast%20Africanized%20Bee%20Identification.pdf

and another resource:

https://beesource.com/point-of-view/africanized-honey-bees/fabis-manual-fast-africanized-bee-identification-system/

Rader Sidetrack
11-09-2017, 11:14 AM
OK, Let's see the FABIS data collected by those commenting.

:scratch: :s


I posted my reference link right there in my post above. University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology Department

mike17l
11-09-2017, 11:24 AM
:scratch: :s


I posted my reference link right in my post above. University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology Department

Number of stings is no indication of Africanization. The link you shared from UofF is rife with inaccuracies. For instance the article constantly refers to African bees Apis mellifera scutelatta, there are no African bees A.m. scutelatta in the US. The bees in the US are Africanized, they are a hybrid between A.m. scutelatta and European Honey bees A.m. mellifera. This blatant inaccuracy makes one question the entire article. Also, it gives no ways to identify Africanized bees either. The only generally accepted way to do so, without DNA, is FABIS.

texanbelchers
11-09-2017, 11:46 AM
I'm not about to take the time to measure them. I just assume all of them have some level of AHB influence. If they are consistently hard to be around, they get a new queen. If I have to scrape them off the veil during a removal, they don't get to come to my house to play.

mike17l
11-09-2017, 11:51 AM
I'm not about to take the time to measure them. I just assume all of them have some level of AHB influence. If they are consistently hard to be around, they get a new queen. If I have to scrape them off the veil during a removal, they don't get to come to my house to play.

You live in the zone of Africanization. This is expected. Many of those who are commenting do not and are assuming their bees are Africanized, when they have no actual reason to do so.

Michael Bush
11-09-2017, 12:07 PM
> For instance the article constantly refers to African bees Apis mellifera scutelatta, there are no African bees A.m. scutelatta in the US. The bees in the US are Africanized, they are a hybrid between A.m. scutelatta and European Honey bees A.m. mellifera. This blatant inaccuracy makes one question the entire article.

For reasons that escape me, that seems to have been the convention since they arrived... to call them scutelatta even though they are clearly a hybrid.

AHudd
11-09-2017, 01:03 PM
You split and allowed your bees to requeen themselves, by open mating, 20 times and expect them to maintain the same characteristics. That not realistic for any line of bees.


Yes, that is my point. I don't think it is an all or nothing situation. I believe it is a matter of degrees. If the AHB traits are allowed to continue surfacing they may become dominate throughout an apiary or area.

Alex

AHudd
11-09-2017, 01:15 PM
You split and allowed your bees to requeen themselves, by open mating, 20 times and expect them to maintain the same characteristics. That not realistic for any line of bees.


I said nothing about my expectations. You're making an assumption. :scratch:

Alex

Rader Sidetrack
11-09-2017, 01:40 PM
The link you shared from UofF is rife with inaccuracies. For instance the article constantly refers to African bees Apis mellifera scutelatta, there are no African bees A.m. scutelatta in the US.

If calling AHB in North Ameica 'Apis mellifera scutelatta' is an "inaccuracy" as you claim, UoF is certainly not the only ones making that "inaccuracy". For instance, here is the Smithsonian ...

Africanized honeybees (AHB), Apis mellifera scutellata, are the hybrid offspring resulting from the crossing of domestic or naturalized honeybees (Apis mellifera) of European descent and descendants of the more aggressive African honeybee strain, A. m. scutellata, that was intentionally brought to the New world for cultivation and later accidentally released to the environment. They are sometimes dramatically referred to as "killer bees."

https://www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/A_m_scutellata.htm



... and Columbia University:

Common Name: Africanized Honey Bee (AHB), Africanized Bees, Killer Bees, Brazilian Bees
Scientific Name: Apis mellifera scutellata

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/cerc/danoff-burg/invasion_bio/inv_spp_summ/Apis_mellifera_scutellata.htm

lharder
11-10-2017, 09:48 AM
I just heard a presentation from Canada's bee lab that about 10 % of the bees they tested had Africanized mitochondrial DNA. This means queenlines are present. Somebody has decided that this is acceptable and is of no concern :) It seems highly probable that Africanized genes have infiltrated and mixed with European races in North America without any overt behavioral problems. It is probably a good thing as these bees may have traits useful in mite/pathogen/hive beetle resistance. It would be really great if more detailed analysis was done with nuclear DNA to see what the actual extent of the infiltration is, and what traits are being selected for in bee populations. At the same conference I heard a preliminary result that traits like aggression aren't strongly linked to resistance traits.

squarepeg
11-10-2017, 09:50 AM
10 % of the bees they tested had Africanized mitochondrial DNA...

samples from canada leroy? very interesting.

Fusion_power
11-10-2017, 08:44 PM
I've had bees since 1969 starting with two colonies given to my dad. I caught swarms that were clearly and distinctly A.M.m. up to 1993. Most of the A.M.m. genetics were knocked out by varroa. I requeened with good quality Italian queens until 1988 when trachea mites wiped out all of my bees. I purchased 10 colonies in 1989 and requeened with Buckfast queens purchased from BWeaver. The Buckfast were wiped out by Varroa in the winter of 1993/1994. I had a single A.M.m. colony caught as a swarm still alive that spring. I split that colony 3 ways with Italian queens purchased from Miksa and produced a small crop of honey. Apistan strips kept them alive for the next 10 years until I was able to get mite resistant bees. I found a single queen with significant varroa resistance in 2004 caught in a swarm. This queen showed significant influence from A.M.m. as evidenced by spring foraging, temperament, and swarming tendency. In 2005, I got 10 queens from Purvis which I used to produce drones and raised queens from my mite resistant queen to mate with them. I selected from the offspring over the last 12 years currently running @30 colonies of bees. I have not treated for varroa since the winter of 2004/2005. My usual management strategy is to split all strong colonies with a walk away split in late March letting them raise a queen. Weak colonies are either combined to make a stronger colony or are split into nucs to raise a few queens. In a good year, my average for overwintered colonies is about 80 pounds. I am in an area that does not have strong spring flows which affects my average significantly.

1. I've worked A.M.m. and know what aggressive bees are like.
2. I've worked gentle Italians and know what they are like.
3. I've worked Buckfast and know what they were like prior to the incorporation of A.M.Saharensis and I got queens later with Saharensis genetics.
4. I developed my own line of mite resistant bees between 2004 and now.
5. I got queens from BWeaver in 2015 and found out exactly what it is like to work Africanized bees.

So Mike, my suggestion is to get some BWeaver queens and find out for yourself. At this point, I expect you to say salt is pepper and vice versa. Noting that you still have not admitted being wrong and not expecting any different.

mike17l
11-13-2017, 08:23 AM
So Mike, my suggestion is to get some BWeaver queens and find out for yourself. At this point, I expect you to say salt is pepper and vice versa. Noting that you still have not admitted being wrong and not expecting any different.

Huh? I run some Beeweaver queens, they are puppy dogs compared to actual AHB.

As I stated earlier, I grew up in the county they were first discovered (in the US) in. I now live 100 miles from there. I know what AHB are. I do live removals in this area. I have picked up customers dead dogs, chickens, and goats. I have removed bees from a home where the owner lost his life only a few weeks prior.

When you see what you think is aggressive, it is far more likely a result of poor handling technique than it is Africanization. You want nothing to do with Africanized bees, as you have no idea what they are.

JRG13
11-15-2017, 01:04 PM
I just heard a presentation from Canada's bee lab that about 10 % of the bees they tested had Africanized mitochondrial DNA.

Seems rather high IMO. 1 out of every 10 queen bees is a descendent from an African queen somehow?

lharder
11-15-2017, 10:33 PM
Seems rather high IMO. 1 out of every 10 queen bees is a descendent from an African queen somehow?

Yes it may be high and I have no idea how they generated their sample and the number 10% just seemed to go over everybody's head during the presentation. But its an interesting observation.

Michael Palmer
11-16-2017, 05:10 AM
I sent 150 queens to British Columbia this past summer. To obtain the import/export permit, my breeding stock had to be tested for African DNA. The tests were done by the Tarpy lab at NCSU. Rather expensive. No African DNA found.

lharder
11-16-2017, 09:03 AM
A complete DNA test would be expensive. They only test mitochondrial DNA I suspect, which would mean your queen lines are European. But its quite possible that African genes could have infiltrated through mixing with drones and all the queen movement. Of course anything detrimental would be weeded out re overwintering etc as you move north. But there are probably some useful traits as well that stick around.

JRG13
11-16-2017, 11:55 AM
Well, now that I think about it, maybe that 10% number makes sense, but I would have to know what and how many hives they sampled. I interpreted that as 10% of hives they tested had African mDNA, but you said bees, so if they were just catching random bees or sampling random hives from an operation, or just a few operations it could come out that way if some of their queens were African descendent queen lines. I always interpreted that Africanized meant European stocks mated with African drones.

frustrateddrone
05-08-2018, 12:45 PM
I can pretty much tell you that you don't have Africanized bees. Mean bees and Africanized bees are 2 separate worlds apart. I have watched a lot of YouTube videos of requeening mean hives. I have also seen videos on a few bee keepers here in Texas that have had them and resolved the issue to change out the DNA Stock. I have kept Africanized bees. That said a few things about boasting that you got it is you probably should know it's not COOL to have them. I suppose you wanted to get a reaction by writing it.
Mean bees are just bees unhappy come out and want you to stop messing around with them. Africanized bees come out with a 30 to 40% of the hive and want to kill you and anything in a 100ft radius. Mean bees sure some sting and perhaps get air bore more then you prefer. Africanized bees come out and it can be very loud and frightening with the numbers.
2 traits Africanized bees VS Hot non Africanized bees. Mess around with your hive and then close it up. Non Africanized bees go back inside and calm and settle pretty quickly. Africanized bees don't go back inside. They want to kill you and pretty much anything that's breathing. It's hard to get them off you to go inside your house. Either a dark building such as a shop sitting for about 5 minutes then crack your shop and the bees will likely go out towards the light. Run your fastest to get in to your house. The other is get a water hose and shoot it up over you simulating rain.
It's not worth it to keep hot tempered Africanized bees that want to kill in mass. It's not cool to say you have Africanized bees. When I had them pretty much it became a problem when the hive got populated and grew. I manage stock that is probably 40 to 70% estimated DNA that's Africanized. Just a guess at the reaction I get from the hives.

Michael Bush
05-09-2018, 03:13 PM
The videos that people post of AHB are usually the extremely defensive ones. Not all of them are defensive.

mike17l
05-10-2018, 09:49 AM
The videos that people post of AHB are usually the extremely defensive ones. Not all of them are defensive.

Enough are that it is folly to attempt to keep them.

JWChesnut
05-10-2018, 01:33 PM
The videos that people post of AHB are usually the extremely defensive ones. Not all of them are defensive.

Where does a part-time beekeeper from Nebraska encounter AHB in order to make this blanket statement ? He has maintained vociferously for years, that despite all evidence, Dee Lusby's hives are not Africanized.

He has a coterie of acolytes in Long Beach, California that maintain AHB are only defensive because they were "mistreated as Larvae". (holy heck !)

Interesting post on Bee-L just today by a beekeeper who once endorsed many of the dubious claims that the Nebraska beekeeper makes.

That beekeeper writes, and for once, the Nebraska beekeeper should pay attention:



Doing beekeeping in areas that have Africanized Honey Bees (AHB) is
challenging. In cities like Los Angeles California, one can run into situations of stunning ignorance, where people have placed
and then abandoned a backyard hive next to a chicken coop or just over the
fence from their next door neighbor's kiddie pool.

I won't describe to you how bees kill chickens; suffice it to say that dying of multiple bee stings
is a terrible way for any animal to go. Small dogs are also simple for bees
to get to when the homeowner's shangri-la is turned over to aggressive
bees. And people call me, I've been doing this here for more than a few
years.

In some of these situations hives have been placed in locations
which require a ladder to access. In such cases it is not possible to take
the hive apart into pieces and close off each piece to carry down the
ladder. Also lowering down by rope is not an option where there is no
possibility of mechanical advantage. It's a sad truth that many people
getting into beekeeping do not realize that there are limits which need to
be set in order to keep everyone safe. AHB's are dangerous and that's why
anymore I avoid them literally "like the plague".

Of course re-queening is the preferred way. But the safety and life of
people, chickens and dogs still wins out over the lives of aggressive bees.

mike17l
05-10-2018, 02:08 PM
Where does a part-time beekeeper from Nebraska encounter AHB in order to make this blanket statement ? He has maintained vociferously for years, that despite all evidence, Dee Lusby's hives are not Africanized.

He has a coterie of acolytes in Long Beach, California that maintain AHB are only defensive because they were "mistreated as Larvae". (holy heck !)

Interesting post on Bee-L just today by a beekeeper who once endorsed many of the dubious claims that the Nebraska beekeeper makes.

That beekeeper writes, and for once, the Nebraska beekeeper should pay attention:



Doing beekeeping in areas that have Africanized Honey Bees (AHB) is
challenging. In cities like Los Angeles California, one can run into situations of stunning ignorance, where people have placed
and then abandoned a backyard hive next to a chicken coop or just over the
fence from their next door neighbor's kiddie pool.

I won't describe to you how bees kill chickens; suffice it to say that dying of multiple bee stings
is a terrible way for any animal to go. Small dogs are also simple for bees
to get to when the homeowner's shangri-la is turned over to aggressive
bees. And people call me, I've been doing this here for more than a few
years.

In some of these situations hives have been placed in locations
which require a ladder to access. In such cases it is not possible to take
the hive apart into pieces and close off each piece to carry down the
ladder. Also lowering down by rope is not an option where there is no
possibility of mechanical advantage. It's a sad truth that many people
getting into beekeeping do not realize that there are limits which need to
be set in order to keep everyone safe. AHB's are dangerous and that's why
anymore I avoid them literally "like the plague".

Of course re-queening is the preferred way. But the safety and life of
people, chickens and dogs still wins out over the lives of aggressive bees.

As a beekeeper in an area of high Africanization, I cannot agree more with this!!

mike17l
05-10-2018, 02:08 PM
Double post.