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Thread: Taming of AHB

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Taming of AHB

    [QUOTE=rrussell6870;631000]were from south Africa and are not a terribly aggressive bee...

    I remember reading an article in of of the 2 bee mags some years back by a retired researcher who made this same point. His suggestion was to bring those gentle south African bees into the US to breed with the AHB in order to lessen the AHB's agressiveness.
    Would that work?

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Taming of AHB

    Misspelled "uninformed"----It does not matter whether 26 queens or 26,000 queens escaped into the wilds. The number is not important. What matters is they got out and created a problem.. So the bees in the second shipment with quirky biology and a very mean, nasty temperment spread into the general beekeeping population. What people do not realize, is the bees that was be replaced was also one with a rather mean and nasty dispositon. So mean and nasty bred with mean and nasty....The bee that was being replace was Apis Mellifera Iberica.....The Spanish Black Bee.... We here in Alabama, through previous identification work done by the USDA DNA research still have identified pockets of AMI present. I worked a yard of mine that is AMI the other day. They are the meanest, nastiest, in your face EHBS you ever wanted to run away from. You can not requeen them, as the bees in the area are AMI. And since they exist in a genetic pocket, they back bred among themselves and get meaner and meaner. Sound familiar, you can not requeen an AHB colony. AHB back breed among themselves and get more tempermental with each generation I wonder were they got that traits from--The Spanish Black Bee..TK

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Taming of AHB

    Gentle as to who's perception??? The gentle bees from South Africa are hotter in temperment than what the average American Beekeeper is used to working. If you have ever work German Black or Spanish Black Bees and amplify the temper by two then you will have the average temper of African honey Bees. That is not saying that there are not gentle Bees in Africa. If that were not true we would not have the Buckfast bee with its Apis Monticola bloodlines. I am quite sure that the bees in the first shipment that Dr. Kerr WERE the best that could be had including gentle temperment. If we could only retrace where he got those. TK

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Taming of AHB

    Wow that explains a lot Ted!! A fascinating read.

    Amazing how so many undesireable traits could all come together in the one bee!
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Taming of AHB

    Dr. Dewey Caron is maybe the most knowledgable guy in the U.S. on this issue. I emailed him and asked: (1) whether the original bees that escaped were hybrids; and (2) whether current AHB are hybrids.

    Here is his response:

    [Begin quote]

    The Africanized bee has not been tamed. Several breeding program have resulted in selections that are more manageable. After colonization of an area, the AHB is generally somewhat easier to work with, for example you can manage without wearing gloves. Also at higher elevations (more temperate conditions) the bees is not nearly as defensive and fewer adults leave the hive itself to defend within the apiary. It remains a unpredictable and difficult bee to manage and requeen and without selection not a very good honey producer nor bee to transport to pollination sites.

    AHBs are NOT a hybrid they are a selection of African genetic material in the Americas. Some European traits have been incorporated and of course it is not the entire Apis mellifera scutellata gene pool within the Americas as mainly the Tanganyika queens survived, were reproduced and their stock initially distributed. Various selection programs (notably in Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico) have resulted in somewhat more European material being incorporated but it is mainly an African bee selection in the U.S. In the US, and the rest of the Americas, wild colonies are largely Africanized bees but when available, annual requeening with European stock enables beekeepers to manage largely European bees in sub-tropical regions. In the American tropics, beekeepers do not have that choice and trying to keep European stock alongside Africanized bees is nearly impossible as AHBs greatly outcompete the Europeans.

    Dewey M. Caron

    End Quote

    There is alot of incorrect information out there on this subject. It is widely reported that the AHB that initially escaped were hybrids and that AHB in the tropics are hybrids. That is, for example, what is posted on Wikipedia, but it is wrong. Dr. Caron's information is based on DNA testing of the bees and personal involvement with the bees (he lives in Bolivia during the winter and has hives there), which shows that they are really just a strain of Apis mellifera scutellata.

    Based on other stuff that he has written, it DOES appear that some AHB-EHB hybridization occurs in the areas where both types of bees co-exist.

    Neil

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Taming of AHB

    I think the term "hybrid" is misunderstood... they are not a hybrid, they are interbred genetics... its not a race, but a gene which we refer to. If the gene is passed by a drone to an ehb queen, the result will be a certain percentage of the colony possessing the gene, once the queen us replaced with a daughter that was fertilized by the AHB drones semen, the gene is then present in all of the bees in the colony, as well as the drones that she produces... if she has mated with more AHB drones, the effect will be multiplied. Control is in the eradication of the gene via replacing the queens before the effect is fully developed, and destroying colonies that have progress too far.

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Taming of AHB

    Yes, he says QUOTE "Various selection programs (notably in Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico) have resulted in somewhat more European material being incorporated but it is mainly an African bee selection in the U.S. " END QUOTE

    If they have other stock incorprated they are a hybrid. Could he mean they PRESENT, as pure AHB, because the AHB genes present tend to be dominant?

    Just trying to figure it out.


    But anyhow, whatever it means, I sure hope we never get them in my country and surely anybody having them in your country should be doing their best to eradicate them, it seems they will infiltrate and take over the other bees if this is not done. It does not seem likely you can take their "good" points and incorporate them into another bee, without also getting the whole package, sooner or later.


    EDIT - Just read Roberts last post, should replace my words Hybrid, with Interbred Genetics.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Taming of AHB

    He means is that there is no stabilization to the reproduction... look at it as an invasive gene, where ever the gene is found, the behavior is too... the amount of the behavior that each colony will show is based on the amount of the gene found within the colony... ie.. ehb queen mates with only one AHB drone, a smaller percentage of the workers in the colony will possess the gene... thus the colony may appear "hot", but manageable... but the more AHB drones the ehb queen has mated with, the more percentage of the colony will possess the gene... if the queen is replaced by a daughter, then all of the colony will possess the gene, including the drones... if that queen mates back to AHB drones, the colony will be unmanageable...

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Taming of AHB

    Thanks Neil. That's the same response that I got from Dr. Caron. But I don't know how to transfer an e-mail to beesource. I dreaded the thought of having to write it out and then type it in.

    Thanks.
    Mark Berninghausen

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Taming of AHB

    From what I know of the subject, It was Pure African Honeybees that escaped depending on which story you believe. I believe the Brazilian breeding program story from who told me this. Not the visiting beekeeper story.The bees did not become a "hybrid" until they interbred with the rather mean and nasty Spanish Bee. And all that did was put more "fuel" into the extremely "hot" genetics of the Tanzanian/South African bees. This bee back breeds into itself. What we have now is a bee that is 98% pure African genetic material. So "Houston we have a problem". We will have to learn to requeen in the dead of winter with New Zealand or Australian stock in order to control them. TK

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