Thank you all for you answers. You all bring up the points I am thinking about.
I want to promote good beekeeping also. Here is one of my beefs. I think the media blows out of proportion the AHB issue. I think good beekeeping can and is being done with AHB. I think the tittle killer bees is wrong.
To my point I received this email from Dr. Vandermeer of the USDA Fire Ant research department.Brendhan - 80 people have been documented to have died as a result of fire
ant stings - due to hypersensitivity to fire ant venom. It is likely that
others have died from hypersensitivity to fire ant venom, but have not been
Robert K. Vander Meer
Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects Research Unit
Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology
USDA, Agricultural Research Service
1600 SW 23rd Drive
Gainesville, FL 32608 USA
On 10/5/07 8:19 AM, "Understudy" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> Hi Mr. Meer,
>> I have a question for you. How many people have died from fire ant bites?
The answer is nice and might even be correct. The folloiwing questions come up from his reply.
1. Over how many years is that total of 80 people? Is that one year or twent years?
2. Where are the reports and documentation to back this up?
At this stage I am no longer just willing to accept the status quo.
Let's assume for disscussion that he is correct and that it takes place over twenty years.
That would mean there have been way more deaths due to fire ants than AHB.
But the media last big report on Fire ant deaths was the nursing home incident.
I firmly believe that the spin on this in regards to AHB is this. AHB are not an issue. Are they more defensive sure but are they more likely to kill you? My answer to this would be no.
EHB kill plenty of people who have sensitivity to them. But here is some more fun the numbers of deaths from AHB range from 14-19. Let's go with 19 for the discussion. In a twenty year period. I do not want anyone to die from an AHB attack but I don't want them to die from and EHB attack or a Fire Ant attack or a snake bite.
The AHB in the south are here to stay. Methods to erdicate them have failed and only hurt EHB.
In a simple way. If you can't beat them join them.
AHB may have a mite resistance. They are great at collecting honey. They build up quickly. They do well in tropical climates. For me they are all big pluses.
Can they be mean horrible and nasty? Sure. So can EHB.
When I spoke to Dr. Jamie Ellis it wasn't the beekeeper that was his concern. It was the guy driving the backhoe a block away. Is this a reasonable concern? 6 months ago I would have agreed with you. I am not so sure now. Even if the bees did attack which is only a remote possiblity, the chances of death are even more remote. I am not saying a bee attack is a good thing. I just think that the media have caused a level of paranoia that is overblown.
What needs to happen is that the negative spin on AHB needs to stop.
I have a friend who does research for a newspaper he has lexus nexus access. I have already talked to him about getting answers.
Maybe small cell isn't the only reason for feral hives to thrive. I notice in feral hives drone cells are on the outside pieces of comb. Brood is in the center. Now I have seen the studies showing the life cycle of the Varroa Mite and it hitchhiking on robbers to spread to other hives. However Varroa breeds inside the capped cell. They prefer drone cells. So if they are looking for good drone cells my assumption would be that they are going for the outer drone cells. Maybe there are some in the brood but a healthy hive can survive with a certain level of mites. Drones get easier access to other hives also. What I need to do is to look at more research to confirm this or show the opposite and to find out how Varroa affect feral hives.