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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here it is, swarm time, and I have several traps out--- I live in the high desert of So Cal near the Joshua Tree Park -- and the one thing I am worried about is accidentally catching a full on AHB swarm.

I might not even realize it till they have brood, and then pour out at me in some awful tsunami!! We do have some gentle feral bees here, but there's also the AHB of course, as well as some widely scattered 'domestic' Italians and Germans.

The only thing I can think to do to discourage AHB is set out larger traps than the smaller spaced ones I've heard they like --- advice would be great really would love some free bees but want to live to talk about it haha.


Are there --any -- indicators I might have very early that I have caught them, like, at a 'safe' time? Before there's so much brood they just lose it? Or what are the warning signs it might BE a AHB colony ?
 

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I've driven by you a few times going to Glamis. No bees there, but lots of sand. :)

I don't know of any AHB tells besides for the obvious. I'm guessing you might be ahead to just plan on re queening whatever you catch with your stock.
 

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So here it is, swarm time, and I have several traps out--- I live in the high desert of So Cal near the Joshua Tree Park -- and the one thing I am worried about is accidentally catching a full on AHB swarm.

I might not even realize it till they have brood, and then pour out at me in some awful tsunami!! We do have some gentle feral bees here, but there's also the AHB of course, as well as some widely scattered 'domestic' Italians and Germans.

The only thing I can think to do to discourage AHB is set out larger traps than the smaller spaced ones I've heard they like --- advice would be great really would love some free bees but want to live to talk about it haha.


Are there --any -- indicators I might have very early that I have caught them, like, at a 'safe' time? Before there's so much brood they just lose it? Or what are the warning signs it might BE a AHB colony ?


Having had the experience removing one established africanized hive and trying to remove another one - sadly the exterminator needed to be called since they were at a densely populated area - the owners of the property never knew that they had africanized bees.
My advise would be to get your protective clothing on before you approach them and be ready for the attack. Plan your escape route, do not panic and you will be fine. The worst thing that could happen is that you have to give up your box and drive away with the windows down and gear on. (it helps if you have a convertible:)


Would be fun to see your operation, if you are the one advertising on Craigslist in SD.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies :)

Yeah, that's what I'm so worried about... I do have neighbors some distance from me. I'm worried about accidentally trapping a living disaster on wings, and them going ballistic.

Even if I immediately requeen, what about the existing workers? Wont they lose it once brood happens, even with a new queen?

Anyone else in the So Cal desert areas maybe worried about this too?

I really would love to catch a few swarms, and again, I have seen gentle ferals out here ...but it feels risky.

Oh I dont think thats us for San Diego, I dont remember listing there :)
 

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When you approach a colony of bees that you have never seen before and you are in AHB territory, It is better to have on a suit & hood and not need them than need them and not have them.

When I work cutouts in close proximity to people I cover the hive with a large net that I got from a nursery.
 

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When you catch a swarm, suit up with a lit smoker and tap the trap. If it takes a while to get a reaction, you should be safe.

In my experience with africanized bees (I live in South Texas so ive had some) africanized bees will attack with little provocation, even in a swarm trap. If you get a hot swarm, requeen or go at night and put the trap in a big black garbage bag and tie it shut. Then just set it in the sun the next day. The mean bugs will quickly die in your heat. End of problem and your trap will be ready to use again!

If you dont want to risk catching a great white, dont fish for sharks;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys!!

ah I like that last advice --- since I've seen and caught some REALLY gentle feral bees here, gonna go for it, but have it ready sitting on top OF a black trash bag so any probs, BAM! They are history! Thanks for the good advice here, I'll keep you posted! :)
 
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