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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This happened several weeks ago. People have been freaking out. I and other beeks have been getting calls with no facts to give them.

Talked with Mike Studer, TN's State Apiarist. Bees were sent off to AZ and FL for genetic testing. Bees were European not AHB. They sent out a press release 10 days ago but the press as not released the results to the public. Guess they only wanted to know if they were AFB.

Nothing worse than an alarmed and ignorant public. So if you read this and someone brings up the attack you have the facts.

Also, a cat missing the same day was found later dead. The bees were 14' up in a tree so there is no reason the bees would/should attack 2 dogs. But putting the cat in the equation tends to give a plausible reason.

Cat in tree. Cat sees bees and is curious. Cats goes over to bees and paws at them as they are flying around thinking they are play toys or food. Bees jump on cat, cat jumps off tree, dogs see cat running and chase cat. Cat gets away in the melee and dogs die at the spot because they are on a chain.
 

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So if you read this and someone brings up the attack you have the facts.
Unfortunately we don't really have ALL the facts... it's still a bit of a mystery. Even if the cat pawed at the bees, even if the cat pounced on the swarm, the result shouldn't have even been deadly to the cat. Swarms are usually docile as can be. I've dumped swarms on myself, even dry swarms, and never had so much as a single bee trying to sting me. So the behavior aspect of it still doesn't quite make sense to me, let alone to the point I could tell others about it.

For now, I think I will just keep telling people that ask that it's still a bit of a mystery why they acted that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was not implying that the cat/tree/bees/dogs was fact. That's my hypothesis.

The fact is that the bees were European, not AHB.

Another fact I didn't mention that the Apiariest told me. Even AHB swarms are docile. It's only after they setup house and start increasing their colony that they get aggressive.
 

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Are you sure Mr. Studer knows what is what....from my information he got he job last year thru politics...not alot of actual beekeeping experience....some more well qualified people got passed over!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are you sure Mr. Studer knows what is what....from my information he got he job last year thru politics...not alot of actual beekeeping experience....some more well qualified people got passed over!
I am not privy to that information. He is what his title states until proven otherwise.

DNA results from 2 lab sites (1 being the USDA lab in Tuscon) say the bees are European.

I am sure that there are plenty of beeks that are very familiar with AHBs that will either confirm or dispute his claim to me about AHB swarms being docile.
 

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Some are, some are not! One of the problems with AHB is that you can go out and catch a swarm that's as docile as your Italians, but then soon as they start building comb you have a fired up, living chainsaw on your hands. In FL we're supposed to requeen all swarms with European queens immediately just for this reason.
 

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Are you sure Mr. Studer knows what is what....from my information he got he job last year thru politics...not alot of actual beekeeping experience....some more well qualified people got passed over!
Do tell, inquiring minds want to know!!
 

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Back in 1979 or 1980 I had a swarm go into a box that had been killed out by a bad winter and moths. I had left it by my shed until I could clean it up. Moved them into a new hive and planned on taking them to a friend as I had moved and was not keeping bees. Had them a week or two an opened them up one day and one immediately got me on the knee since I was wearing shorts. I suited up and went back, my wife an neighbor had been sitting on a picnic table across the yard but moved to the front yard. My poodle was laying by the table which was at least 100' away. When I opened them up they came out with a vengence and flew across the yard and stung my dog and he made the mistake of coming to me for help. I picked him up and put him in the utility room and closed up the hive. He had long hair and was stung enough times that he became sick. I believe he would have been stung enough to die if I hadn't gotten him away from the bees. These prodbably were feral bees as the queen was black. It was August an i'm sure they were rather starved for nectar as I wasn't feeding. So bees can get agitated if conditions are not just right for them.
 

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He (studer)worked with John Skinner (not in MY or many others in the know opinion one of the leading bee experts) at UT for a few years but never had alot of pratical experience. I have seen very few people who work with researchers and who didnt or dont have their own bees in production have alot of pratical knowledge.....maybe book knowledge but not everyday beekeeping skills. This job was not advertised as head apiarist....there was a opening for a inspector...he got hired thru (in my opinion) political connections and was promoted at the SAME time to state apiarist. I know of at least ONE MORE qualified person who was passed over. That person has served as a bee inspector in another state, is one of only two people certified to identify AHB in the southeast US., holds a collage degree and has run over 500 hives for the last few years, raises some really GREAT queens and this person was interviewed but not hired..humm.....need I say more????
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You are probably correct in how Mike got the job. I cannot vouch either way. They only statement that I can agree with based on my own observations is that of John Skinner. I was not impressed with his knowledge or at the very least his delivery of the information. I will not go into any more detail than that.

If Mike turns out to be an outstanding Apiarist then how he got the position is a mute issue. Jobs are handed out in government and private industry all of the time based on who you know and not what you know.

So at least give the guy a chance and loose the sour grapes.
 

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No sour grapes here....Wasnt me that wanted it! I just dont care for politics. I have heard of some problems with Mike and inspections but time will tell. Bu,t Yep, you hit the nail on the head! I just think if Studer makes a good inspector he will have to learn on the job..I dont think he would have learned much under Skinner, but he wouldnt be the first to learn on the job...just a bad way to do business. Should havebeen advertised and most qualified hired. There is a world of people who get hired beause of who they know or to fill a quota...but then someone usually suffers!
 
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