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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to ask if anyone out there is keeping bees in the Southwest and how they cope with The "AHB's". I have read, requeen, requeen, requeen...This sounds easy but, does this actually work? Others have told me to buy the best suit and have layers on and just deal with it. The problem I see is that with AHB traits they may just leave after an inspection. That still wont help me, I mean sure I am not concerned with stings but empty hives don't sound good. The location will be out on rural property, so I do not have to worry about others being stung. I am sure a lot of you have developed a great way to raise bees with AHB's near by. Any tips would save me a great deal of frustration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If i get a feral swarm of ABH and kill that queen and place an EBH queen in a cage will the hive take on the new queen and her traits?
 

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Hey New Beek,
You will play heck tring to requeen an AHB swarm that moves into your equipment. If there is any brood in the hive the chances of them accepting the ehb queen are slim. Apis Scutella is a different bug than Apis Mellifera and the bees seem to know it. Most times the AHB's will kill the new queen and raise a queen out of one of their own. I have, on numberous occasions tried requeening AHB hives with Ehb queens with very limited success. I wouldn't be discouraged though just keep you hives full of Ehb that are strong and healthy and you shouldn't have a problem.
SH Rodeo, New Mexico
 

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Do you actually have an AHB problem or are you just worried about running into them(or them finding you)?
 

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getting with Dee Lusby is a great suggestion. Also there is another beek on this forum from AZ. His name is Joseph Clemens. He's been keeping bees since the 60's. If anyone should know about dealing with AHB if they show up, they will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I captured a swarm that was most likely AHB’s last year. I did not place them in my equipment but a swarm catcher. I see many swarms in the spring. I happen to have people come in to my fire station who ask what to do about the bees hanging from their trees. Therefore, I know I can get free bees but once I have them I would like to work them.
 

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if you are capturing swarms it would be best to re-queen, but I dont allways, I hive them see if they are hot, if they are I pinch off the queen, I am looking for good genetic material, so I wait and see
Bob
 

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If you were able to do a typical "hiving" of a wild swarm (shaking it from its open cluster on a limb or such into a hive or nuc box with frames/combs/foundation), and after getting the swarm into the hive, you are then able to keep the swarm in the hive/nuc and get it to set up house, build comb, raise brood, etc.

If the above were true, I would expect that your swarm is EHB or not very strongly AHB.

For more than a decade now I have been making many futile attempts to hive wild, AHB swarms. Out of several dozen attempts, the closest I came to succeeding was when I kept the new swarm in a screened nuc box for three days, then I placed them among my other nucs and opened their entrance. Three days later they seemed to be coming along nicely, their was lots of traffic bringing in lots of pollen, their queen had been busy and they had one frame of hatching eggs and two other frames almost solid with fresh eggs. The next day I noticed there was no traffic at their entrance, so I cracked the cover to discover that they had absconded. I wondered where they had gone, then several days later I noticed that another nuc, three nucs over from where they had been, was unexpectedly brimming over with bees. They had a very dark queen, the nuc that was taken over (before being taken over), was headed by a Cordovan Italian queen.

Over this same time period, several wild swarms have come into my yard and taken up residence in idle equipment. These swarms that hive themselves usually work out fine. This is definitely my preferred way to deal with swarms. Requeening is a more delicate matter, but if I first extract the equivalent of a nuc out of the hive, then use the push-in cage technique, in the now, nuc-sized colony, I can usually get the queen accepted. Once accepted in the nuc, I can then reunite the nuc with its parent colony if I am careful to remove all queen cells and queens from the parent colony twenty-four hours before doing the reunite.

All wild, potentially AHB colonies are not hot, nor do they all have traits that make them difficult to manage, so, here in Arizona it is up to you to decide if you want to risk the chance, or not. There are no regulations to dictate how you must keep bees. You don't necessarily even need to use movable frame hives.
 

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Hey Guy's I'm here in SW AZ, And I have met you... Mr Clemens, out at Dees place when Jin Hawk was still alive an well. I sold all my stuff to Murry out south of tucson But i still have my Bee vac and beesuit, smoker, etc... and willing to help when i can and if you need gpost.
I also know Fred the singing Beekeeper, LOL!! and worked for RED up in oracle extracting when i was a kid...:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here is a question for people in hot desert areas.What size of boxes do you run and number of frames?
 

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Here is a question for people in hot desert areas.What size of boxes do you run and number of frames?
I've only had my girls through 1 hot season but my hive is a 10 frame deep. I'll be changing everything over to 10 frame mediums from here on in (Michael Bush's idea).

What exactly are you worried about or wanting to know?
 

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I have alot of bees with AHB traits . They are still good bees. I split them and re queen with EHB with no problems. I've never found them to abscond after working them. If they are overly aggressive I make them the last hive i work before i leave the yard .
 
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