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There have been a lot of discussions on the pros and cons of African bees. One topic that comes up is hygienic behavior. Is hygienic behavior responsible for lower mite loads in African bees? New research says no.

In Apis mellifera, hygienic behavior involves recognition and removal of sick, damaged or dead brood from capped cells. We investigated whether bees react in the same way to grouped versus isolated damaged capped brood cells. Three colonies of wild-type Africanized honey bees and three colonies of Carniolan honey bees were used for this investigation. Carniolan bees were somewhat, though not significantly more hygienic than Africanized honey bees


Kátia P. Gramacho. 2009. Comparative study of the hygienic behavior of Carniolan and Africanized honey bees
 

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When they run off the brood during inspections , abscond after splitting , and won't except different queens on top of being overly aggressive - no they are not better bees.
 

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There are many large operations in southern Texas and Arizona which have been able to supply very strong colonies for pollination which do exhibit shall we say rather defensive behavior. They also have avoided the high overwinter mortality reported in other regions. I would have to say that the ************** have some desirable attributes whatever they may be.

Not to argue with Bradley, I wouldn't want to deal with them myself.
 

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Hearya loudnclear:

I have handled them for almonds and would not could not conduct business as I have in the past with these bees. No Question.
 

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ABJ Sept09 pg863
Interesting article on the subject. The writer spent years in Africa working with one parent of our Africanized bees. His premise, though he states no one will ever, ever go for it, is to import some of the more manageable (notice I did not say gentle) African bees to the US to tame the "genetic trash" Africanized bees we have. It was an interesting read and gave a lot of the history on these "bad" bees. I guess in Africa they manage them well, with some different techniques.
RKR
 
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