Are the bees in S. Africa "aggressive"?
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  1. #1
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    Default Are the bees in S. Africa "aggressive"?

    Looking at those nice Warre pics from Johannesburg, South Africa (in the Warre forum), I got to think....

    Are the bees in S. Africa as "aggressive" as they supposed to be?
    You know, them being "africanized bees" and all - they gotta be too deadly for the backyard keeping.
    Yes/no?
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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  3. #2
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    Mar 2015
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    My understanding of it is that the African bees aren't aggressive by themselves. The aggressiveness shows when they mate with European bees. The hybrids are the "africanized" killer bees.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Are the bees in S. Africa "aggressive"?

    Quote Originally Posted by mcon672 View Post
    My understanding of it is that the African bees aren't aggressive by themselves. The aggressiveness shows when they mate with European bees. The hybrids are the "africanized" killer bees.
    Well, little_john posted few youtube links recently about beekeeping at some African locations.
    If THAT is not aggressive bee, I don't know what is.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #4
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    I missed LJ's post. I'll have to look for it. Videos of really bad bees make me feel better about the nasty bees I have. I always see the videos of people working their bees in shorts and t shirts and it makes me jealous. I could NEVER do that in my yard. Mine are all trapped ferals. Had a guy come over to buy some nucs once and he said he didn't wear a veil or gloves when working bees. I told him he needed to with these bees and he just smiled. Didn't even get the first frame out before the smile left his face and he was borrowing a veil and gloves from me. He still bought 3 nucs and later told me they did the best for him that year but they were always on the testy side.

  6. #5
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    Dec 2011
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    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    Default Re: Are the bees in S. Africa "aggressive"?

    A South African beekeeper posted some pics of some guys working their bees, how they could see through their veils beats me as their veils head and shoulders were covered in bees and they were trying to sting through the veil and suit. Maybe his bees were extra nasty but who can tell until you get into them.
    Johno

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
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    Default Re: Are the bees in S. Africa "aggressive"?

    A friend of mine is a commercial operator down towards the Cape his bees are extremely defensive however he says bees in parts of Eastern Africa are gentle.

  8. #7
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    Dec 2010
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    Ojai, California
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    Default Re: Are the bees in S. Africa "aggressive"?

    The Brazillian project back in 1956 that sent a fellow over to Africa, he went around the Southern part of the Great Rift Valley, the Transvaal, and other areas in South Africa, where he gathered colonies of apis mellifera scutellata. A few of the hives he sent were notably "hot" in the aggressive hive defense response, but not like they became later in Brazil. It is not certain whether or not they crossed with the Italian honeybees apis mellifera ligurica, as the two subspecies tend to have somewhat different mating flight times - the pure African A.M. scutellata tending to go out somewhat later. Whether or not, the extreme defensiveness was first noted in Brazil in the torrid zone.

    My personal experience with keeping them was that the "africanized bees" invasive to Southern California were "hot" enough that you had to respect them, keep several smokers going, plan your steps, keep them a safe distance from other people, use nets over the hives when working them, and queen excluder screens over the entrances to prevent their spread. By locking the queen in, they do make some honey.

  9. #8
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    Jun 2005
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    White County, Arkansas
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    891

    Default Re: Are the bees in S. Africa "aggressive"?

    Met some missionary beeks at a meeting and they had a home video of working African bees. They worked them at night to minimize area effect. Also they kept the hives up off the ground to also help minimize problems with humans. They used flashlights. It was recommended they take red film with for the flashlights since the area is very poor. But those bees were MEAN!!!

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