Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,822 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, this may be a long shot but here it goes.

Is it my imagination or is the AHB immune to many of the pests EHBs face. To put it in other terms, why are they not flopping like all our bees? Are they just as disease prone as EHBs?

The reason I am making this assumption is that if they were prone to many of the same problems as EHBs, then how could they spread like they did without getting wiped out?

I realize this is a odd question but I look forward to the responses:waiting: :popcorn:

Kingfisher
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,378 Posts
It is my understanding that AHB suffer the same scenarios as EHB, but they outbreed the mites as they choose smaller hive bodies and swarm more often.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I am sure some of the AHB'S from Brazil in 1956 that swarmed did not all survive. But the ones that were able to reproduce and adapt were able to migrate to become the victors and managed to deal with what ever mother nature could through at them. Now this could open Pandora's Box, The question is, What if we placed hundreds of hives in yards for two years and see what would happen to their survival. I would guess that losses would be great. The ones that survive would have genes like some of the feral ones and of theses that survived who were not only healthy but had good temperament would be the ones we chose to reproduce. This could develop a bee from "EHB" to be just as healthy as AHB . I know that People on this site are doing this same thing right now. People out here in the desert spend tons of money trying to kill the AHB and trying to keep them away but you can't. The exterminators make a killing, its never ending. What does that say about these bees? We don't have CCD in AHB habitat. I know some people wish we did just to keep the AHB down. They can't be stopped now but you can manage them. WE have to watch the queens we place in our hives. So to answer the question,"feral" bees can out survive bees on meds and treatment. Not AHB's VS EBH's. I am not saying Healthy feral bees that are mean are the way to go. I have seen some RARE! occasions AHB To be very nice like EHB. We should choose to get bees that don't need treatments in the first place. Lots of people will now have a topic hotter than Health care to discus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,487 Posts
Many of the serious problems are mite related, As someone mentioned earlier they swarm more often & break the brood cycle.

I do wonder about nosema though? Anyone testing ahb for the spore counts?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,668 Posts
Africanized bees draw small cell combs. It is only 18 days from egg to bee emergence with AHB. EHB is 21 days on large cell.

That 3 day difference allows mites to successfully reproduce in worker cells of EHB but not AHB.

AHB raise drones early in the season, and then shut down drone rearing. This breaks the mite reproductive cycle. EHB will raise drones all summer long.

AHB tend to swarm often. This also breaks the mite reproductive cycle.

It is my understanding that AHB do not have problems with CCD. Reasons for this are still unknown as of yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
Africanized bees draw small cell combs. It is only 18 days from egg to bee emergence with AHB. EHB is 21 days on large cell.

AHB draws foundation the same way EHB does. EHB will draw foundationless the same way AHB does. I really don't think this has anything to do with their mite control.

I've been to central america where all they have is AHB. They manage AHB rather similar to the way we manage EHB but with a more open brood nest and a lot more stings. I've also heard from many in central america that they are having the same problems with mites and diseases that we have and CCD issues.

I think the reason you don't hear much about this information is because its in central america. We don't typically get much communication coming up from these countries, or any type of media coverage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,618 Posts
I've also heard from many in central america that they are having the same problems with mites and diseases that we have and CCD issues.
Thanks for contributing. I have heard this as well. There is a lot of misinformation around about what AHB are like and how they could be the answer to all our prayers. Either them, or their "genes" or some combination of African, European, and "feral genes".

All of this is based upon a complete lack of understanding of how honey bee genetics contribute to the colony as well as the population of a given area. The main reason African bees predominate in an area is that the European bees tend to die out, contributing nothing to the mix.

There is very little evidence of real hybridization. African bees have some European bee markers but this does not indicate anything at all about what behaviors are retained.

The whole African bee phenomenon may have little to do with specific traits, other than their extremely heightened attention to everything. It's like they are Red Alert, all the time. Whenever one bee lets off the alarm odor, the whole apiary goes nuts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
We don't have 'managed' Ahb colonies here in North America. They do in Cntrl. Amer. I have also heard that they have the same challenges with their 'managed' Ahb colonies [exclusive of the Ahb problem] as we do with European colonies.

My thinking is that our Ahb 'unmanaged' colonies have a higher % of 'survivor' colonies since they are not managed colonies. Higher % of Ahb that survive without treatments will pass this genetics to their progeny.

The point that Countryboy was trying to make [and which was obviousl to me] is that Ahb seal their brood quicker than Ehb on large cell. This probably reduces the % of worker brood infested with destructor. Although not eliminating destructor it might prevent population from reaching the threshold of destruction. Same theory presented for survivability on small cell since small cell bees are sealed a day quicker than large cell bees [supposedly]. Since the cells are open less time the theory would be that the mother mites have less time to lay in the cells. Makes sense and seems to have been verified somewhat by Dr. DeJong's research on different cell size, as his research showed that as the cell size increased so did infestaion with destructor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Hey, I have an idea! Why don't we cross EHBs with AHBs and get a strain that is gentle, produces superior honey crops AND has shorter time to emergence?

We could call this the African-Americanized honey bee.

Seriously, what could possibly go wrong?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,822 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What could go wrong-

For one, we could be hated and shunned from the beekeeping community, for two the media would be all over us, and for three the state apiary inspection service would not be happy w/ us. :lookout:

Kingfisher
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,618 Posts
Hey, I have an idea! Why don't we cross EHBs with AHBs and get a strain that is gentle, produces superior honey crops AND has shorter time to emergence?

We could call this the African-Americanized honey bee.

Seriously, what could possibly go wrong?
I assume you are joking. The progress of the African bee through the Americas has been fully documented. In each country they reached, they became dominant. The Yucatan in Mexico had one of the most dense populations of European honey bees in the world. A few years after the arrival of African bees, they were all replaced by Africans. Generally, the African types predominate. Even where they cross, the crosses fail to thrive. If you look at hybridization, you will realize that not all hybrids turn out good. Often, as in the case of the mule, they are sterile.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,668 Posts
Africanized bees draw small cell combs. It is only 18 days from egg to bee emergence with AHB. EHB is 21 days on large cell.

That 3 day difference allows mites to successfully reproduce in worker cells of EHB but not AHB.

AHB raise drones early in the season, and then shut down drone rearing. This breaks the mite reproductive cycle. EHB will raise drones all summer long.

AHB tend to swarm often. This also breaks the mite reproductive cycle.

It is my understanding that AHB do not have problems with CCD. Reasons for this are still unknown as of yet.


This information was provided to me by Professor Dewey Caron. He spends part of the year in South America working with AHB. (The mountains of Bolivia, IIRC.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,964 Posts
>>>The point that Countryboy was trying to make [and which was obviousl to me] is that Ahb seal their brood quicker than Ehb on large cell. This probably reduces the % of worker brood infested with destructor. <<<<<<

Maybe, but the mites jump in just before capping. AHBs get gentler at altitude. They make small crops, swarm often and are awful when they are bad. Hybrids were tried but didn't work. The AHB drone carrries the agressive trait. I have a photo of a man working them shirtless in Brazil. 10" of rainfall a year has something to do with how far north they have travelled. Anyone know about this? They can't tolerate more perhaps?

dickm
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,668 Posts
Winter has something to do with how far North they make it. They don't shut down brood rearing, and they don't put up winter stores of honey.

It doesn't take much cool weather to wipe out a hive like that. They are a tropical bee, and not adapted to a non-tropical climate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Well, I live at 3600' and still have mean bees. I get snow and my area freezes. less than 10" of rain and still have tons of AHB. AHB should love rain not hot dry desert and cold winters but they do in Arizona.Just comes down to the strongest bee will survive; but at what price? The "Killer bee" is here. They will not go away once they move in. I have now accepted this as a way of life. I would love to be able to go back 50 years and have bees without problems but if I could I would also have cured cancer and the world would be much better. As long as we screw up this world playing god, we will have to stand tall before our actions. Whats next?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
This issue has been exhaustively discussed on this forum previously. You might want to go and read this thread.
http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=227649&highlight=africanized+bees

This thread will reference many of the studies and discusses the spread of AHB. Also, you might consider that Ahb do not cluster. They might be able to withstand short cold snaps, but not for extended periods of time. Also, note there is a rain barrier. that is where an area receives 50-55" of rain per year spread fairly equally throughout the year, creates somewhat of a rain barrier. Monsoonal [seasonal rain pattern] weather patterns to not present a rain barrier even though it may be in excess of 50-55".

Take note that the maps presented do not distinguish between those areas where there have been sitings of Ahb vs. those areas where they can survive or those areas referenced as 'transistional' areas.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top