Africanized Bees
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    44

    Default Africanized Bees

    How can I test a hive for Africanized Bees? We have 1 have that has always been quite protective and quite active when inspecting. The queen we know came from a place in Texas. Twice now that have chased us away from the hive with multiple stings and have harassed us over 100 yards away. None of my other 7 hive behaved that way. It had a package from Georgia right beside it and both lost their queens at about the same time. The package hive had been queenless the longest and did not have any queen cells. We put several frames with queen cells (5 on the 2 frames) in that one from the other hive. Both now have unmarked queens but they both seem more agitated now. Is there a way to test the bees to see if they are and if so, what is the best way to address the situation?

    Frank

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Powhatan, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    360

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    Look up fabis test.
    Process of measuring wing length.
    There are some folks in Texas that sell Queens that have some African genetic material in their background and may also have open mated with africanized drones.
    Your hives will produce drones in the spring adding to issues for other folks whose Queens mate in your area.
    Pinching the problem Queens and replacing them with other stock this fall or pinching them and combining the bees with other calm hives would be one solution.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,768

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    Who cares if they are Africanized? If they are mean, requeen them.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrequeeninghot.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,485

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    Your going to have to wait for a month or so for the old stock to die off and what the new queens are going to produce as far as temperament goes.
    Rod

  6. #5

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    Agree with Mr. Bush.

    If you only requeen the nasty hives if they are Africanized, you could be accused of racism, or xenophobia, or something.

    By the way, Michael Bush has a post on how to re-queen a vicious hive. It is illuminating.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Geauga, Ohio
    Posts
    431

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    Curiously, the Africanized bees in Puerto Rico are now reported to be gentle. Apparently people there were effective at finding and destroying all the defensive hives, leaving gentle genetics... and this goes both ways, right? Let your defensive hives swarm next spring, and you will have trouble all summer from their drones.

    yes, it is not trivial to requeen a defensive hive. I tried to requeen one that had just swarmed, cut every single ever-lovin queen cell (yes, I shook every single frame), put a queen in for 10 days caged... And they still killed her about a day after she started laying.

    And it is late to try requeening this time of year for OH.

    And.... even worse...it is possible the hives are overly defensive due to the bad-***** local boys.

    If there are defensive hives in your area, feral or whatever, which are sending out drones, then your virgins find those drones. And getting your queens mated could consistently result in defensive hives. Got any nearby (within 1/2 mile) beeks? Do they have trouble with defensive bees? Or do they assume defensive bees are normal? that happens too.

    But so glad to hear you have more hives than these, so you can see that 1) it isn't you; and 2) beekeeping doesn't have to be this way.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA, USA
    Posts
    406

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    Knowing what is "normal" defensiveness and what is "too defensive" takes more experience and wisdom than I have, but it sounds like you think this hive is too defensive, and because of a queen which you imported and introduced.
    IF you import a queen and thereby introduce overly aggressive, possibly dangerous genetics into the area, do you feel responsible?
    If you do, don't you think immediately requeening, drone trapping, and/or killing the hive is your responsibility?
    8 years, 8 hives

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,768

    Default Re: Africanized Bees

    There is an old saying about medical tests. What are you going to do if the test is positive? What are you going to do if it's negative? If the answers are the same, don't do the test.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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