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Author Topic: AHB Concern  (Read 5249 times)
mgates61
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« on: March 05, 2008, 02:09:49 PM »

Hey all....

I just got some info and it has me concerned.

I have my bees ordere from R. Weaver Apiaries in Navosta , Tx.  It has come to my attention that Texas has quite an Africanization problem.  If anyone has ordered from them , please let me know if Uhave had any AHB problems.

If this is a concern for me , what are some of my options?  Maybe order a mated queen from someone else ?

Thanks

Mike
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2008, 08:35:06 PM »

Relax not a problem.If you have concerns call your supplier.Relax everything going to be ok your getting bees not Gang Members
kirko
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2008, 10:11:39 PM »

I have dealt with gang members....no biggie.   Never dealt with masses of bees, especially bees with an attitude.  I will survive, or they will not......lol.


THanks

Mike
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2008, 11:29:43 PM »

I've been keeping bees in what many consider the "heart" of AHB territory. There have been seasons when I thought my bees were behaving as thought they were AHB. In retrospect I believe I was responsible for much of the difficulty I was having then. I was too cavalier in those past seasons and created my own problems. As a precaution, I've requeened many of my hives that are closest to civilization, with commercially produced Cordovan Italian queens (so I can tell if they've been replaced) and most of my remaining hives with daughters of these commercial queens. I've still kept a few hives, in another location, with some of the original feral stock I had initially started with, more than ten years ago. On good days, most hives could be worked without a veil -- they are mostly uninterested in me as I go about tearing their homes apart. One of about six colonies that have my original feral bloodline is so runny - even without smoke - that it is nearly impossible to locate their queen and I wouldn't open them without my veil (I usually wear shorts and a T-shirt and just drop the veil on my head and let it drape over my shoulders).
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2008, 01:36:14 AM »

Maybe Im wrong but I believe you can replace your queen if you think you have AHB and just breed it out of them. 
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2008, 02:01:35 AM »

I spent some time with Dee Lusby and her bees.She showed me how to determine how hot a hive is.I also bought two nucs from her good bees.All my bees are Feral some more twitchy than others.I found good Beekeeping techniques will keep most bees managable.
kirko
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2008, 02:02:03 AM »

Maybe Im wrong but I believe you can replace your queen if you think you have AHB and just breed it out of them. 

Precisely, whenever a hive exhibits characteristics that seem less than desirable, just obtain a new queen from more desirable stock, and requeen them. In about six weeks time, most of the population will be derived from their new queen. So, if that becomes necessary, perform that task, then leave them undisturbed for the requisite time, and presto-chango.
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2008, 08:02:04 AM »

>please let me know if Uhave had any AHB problems

I have had some bees from B. Weaver that went psycho on me.  Totally unmanageable.  I did not have any genetic testing done.  I just requeened them all.  All of them swarmed in August in a drought and all went psycho at the same time immediately afterwards.
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2008, 08:11:34 AM »

>please let me know if Uhave had any AHB problems

I have had some bees from B. Weaver that went psycho on me.  Totally unmanageable.  I did not have any genetic testing done.  I just requeened them all.  All of them swarmed in August in a drought and all went psycho at the same time immediately afterwards.


I have experienced similar issues with B Weaver bees.  Another issue I had was 1 day after I released the queen of one of the packages, they absconded.  A sign of Apis Melliferra Scutellata

Tends to swarm more frequently.
Is more likely to migrate as part of a seasonal response to lowered food supply.
Is more likely to "abscond"—the entire colony leaves the hive and relocates—in response to repeated intrusions by the beekeeper.
Has greater defensiveness when in a resting swarm.
Lives more often in ground cavities than the European types.
Guards the hive aggressively, with a larger alarm zone around the hive.
Has a higher proportion of "guard" bees within the hive.
Deploys in greater numbers for defense and pursues perceived threats over much longer distances from the hive.
Cannot survive extended periods of forage deprivation, preventing intrusion into areas with harsh winters or extremely dry late summers

The packages that hung around become untollerable by the end of the season.  I busted them apart and turned them into NUCs with new queens.
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2008, 09:55:13 AM »

I spent some time with Dee Lusby and her bees.She showed me how to determine how hot a hive is.I also bought two nucs from her good bees.All my bees are Feral some more twitchy than others.I found good Beekeeping techniques will keep most bees managable.
kirko

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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2008, 02:29:10 PM »

Where is B Weaver located. From the looks of it they have some very hot bees.
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John D.
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2008, 08:49:40 PM »

B Weaver is located in Navasota, Texas about an hour or so northwest of Houston right next to R Weaver. Been there over 100 yrs. Same family, separate operations. Last spring I started two packages, one from R & one from B. Weaver.  The hybrid from B. Weaver superceded & got pretty nasty until it got queenright.  I'm planning on requeening it in the next few weeks.  I've joined two bee associations this past summer and I haven't heard anyone express any opinions about AHB problems with the Weavers' bees and several members get stock from them and plan to get packages this spring. Almost the entire state is now in AHB territory so the AHB genes are here to stay.  There are some good threads on this issue on this forum & others that I have learned a lot from, the most simple one being if you don't like what you have, requeen.
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Shawn
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2008, 09:15:27 PM »

So since we are talking about AHB, how far north have them gotten. I saw a map made in the 90's and it shows southern Oklahoma. Im in Coloado. Anyone know of any reports of AHB in Colorado.
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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2008, 01:56:10 AM »

Let me know when you get your bees in the hives!    just gives them 2 or 3 weeks and let me know if there hot!  In the state of Ar when you get your hives setup your sopost to call the state inspecter and he will come out and take a look at em just to make sure there is nothing crazy with them.  I have Ed's phone# the state inspecter.

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« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2008, 01:28:15 PM »

I live in south Oklahoma. The general consciouses here is that AHB will bread it's self out eventually. Most feral hives are still worth getting only for there resistance to mites.  If you do get a HOT hive then just move it or re-queen it
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« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2008, 12:57:09 AM »

So since we are talking about AHB, how far north have them gotten. I saw a map made in the 90's and it shows southern Oklahoma. Im in Coloado. Anyone know of any reports of AHB in Colorado.

If their northward progress mirrors their southward progress I do not expect them to be able to survive under the weather conditions found north of the Siskiyou Mountains that seperate Oregon and California here on the west coast.  In Argentina they moved south until they hit about the same latitude in the southern hemisphere.
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« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2008, 02:03:21 PM »

Thats not good news.
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« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2008, 03:49:38 PM »

Well, it's good news for us up here in the frozen north!

Actually I've heard they have to be able to forage year round, they don't do well with long winter breaks.
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« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2008, 05:21:48 PM »

My plan is if I get a not so nice hive to re-queen quickly. Im not going to wait to see if they will change.
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« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2008, 09:43:22 AM »

AHB hives have been found and verified in West Va, and Va. Seems one Texas producer is shipping Queens w/ AHB genes. MAAREC recomends not gettting queens and packages from southern states w/ AHB unless artifically inseminated.
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« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2008, 11:22:46 PM »

Thats good news to know.
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« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2008, 12:00:54 AM »

I guess migrating Northern and Eastern hives into the West and Southwest and then taking them back again might be intentionally/unintentionally spreading the dreaded AHB. Oops, hasn't that been what's been going on each Spring in the California Almond groves? Hives from across this nation and many bees from as far away as Australia (I wonder what their policy is on importing bees from other nations) get together each Spring, go out and socialize among the almond blossoms, swarm together, drink from the same water fountains -- possibly have a few AHB colonies share some usurping queens with their non-AHB neighbors. I wonder if those bees recently immigrating here from down-under, would be welcome home, even if they were returned, free-of-charge.
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« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2008, 08:00:45 AM »

I guess migrating Northern and Eastern hives into the West and Southwest and then taking them back again might be intentionally/unintentionally spreading the dreaded AHB. Oops, hasn't that been what's been going on each Spring in the California Almond groves? Hives from across this nation and many bees from as far away as Australia (I wonder what their policy is on importing bees from other nations) get together each Spring, go out and socialize among the almond blossoms, swarm together, drink from the same water fountains -- possibly have a few AHB colonies share some usurping queens with their non-AHB neighbors. I wonder if those bees recently immigrating here from down-under, would be welcome home, even if they were returned, free-of-charge.
I don't believe the bees coming in from Australia are coming in hive form.  The Aussies are selling packages to the US in Dec-Jan for Almonds.  Very expensive to buy them, and they stay here in the states.  I spoke with Terry Brown (Brown's Bees in Australia) and he said it is almost impossible to import bees into Australia.  Maybe we should have taken that stance with our borders, but have failed to do so....
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« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2008, 10:06:23 AM »

undoubtedly, migrating beeks are spreading everything asssociated w/ bees, good and bad.
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« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2008, 09:52:51 PM »

Thats not good news.

Realize that elevation also affects the viability of AHB spread.  I would not expect Denver to be infected by AHB because conditions of climate in the Mile High City put it on a climate par more like Oregon or Washington.  The AHB wouldn't survive the winter in most of Colorado.
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« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2008, 01:34:53 AM »

We are about 3,000 feet above see level where Denver is in the 6,000. I guess if it happens it happens.
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« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2008, 05:23:22 PM »

Quote
Seems one Texas producer is shipping Queens w/ AHB genes.
In a word, prove it.  That's just unconfirmed bashing.  Texas queen producers are inspected.  Can they have a hot queen?  Of course, but so can any other producer.  Weaver's, both of them, ship thousands of queens and packages a year, many to the big boys.  Don't you think it would be pretty obvious by now (10 years) if they were shipping AHB? 
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« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2008, 10:02:14 PM »

My ferals ended up being European. A hive can be hot without being AHB.

Sincerely,
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« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2008, 11:42:55 PM »

Quote
Seems one Texas producer is shipping Queens w/ AHB genes.
In a word, prove it.  That's just unconfirmed bashing.  Texas queen producers are inspected.  Can they have a hot queen?  Of course, but so can any other producer.  Weaver's, both of them, ship thousands of queens and packages a year, many to the big boys.  Don't you think it would be pretty obvious by now (10 years) if they were shipping AHB? 
Refer to MAAREC for their studies. Thats where I got info. Thats the info given to me an NJBA exec meeting to be passed along to our membership. Thats how positive they are. This was after genetic testing too. And yes, hives can be hot w/o AHB genes. Thse particuluar hives were all requeened by queens from one breeder or were packages from same source.
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« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2008, 12:54:13 AM »

Well, that does not leave me with a warm, fuzzy feeling.  Our local beekeepping association recommended buying my package bees and queen from R Weaver in Navasota and we are driving up on April 5th to pick them up.  This is my first hive - I am a complete noob - so I hope I get a good queen and a good group of girls!
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« Reply #30 on: March 13, 2008, 01:02:16 AM »

Quote
Seems one Texas producer is shipping Queens w/ AHB genes.
In a word, prove it.  That's just unconfirmed bashing.  Texas queen producers are inspected.  Can they have a hot queen?  Of course, but so can any other producer.  Weaver's, both of them, ship thousands of queens and packages a year, many to the big boys.  Don't you think it would be pretty obvious by now (10 years) if they were shipping AHB? 
Refer to MAAREC for their studies. Thats where I got info. Thats the info given to me an NJBA exec meeting to be passed along to our membership. Thats how positive they are. This was after genetic testing too. And yes, hives can be hot w/o AHB genes. Thse particuluar hives were all requeened by queens from one breeder or were packages from same source.

I went to MAAREC's site and I did not find any recommendations about not buying bees from Texas producers on the AHB Action Plan 2006 document, but perhaps there was another document I missed.  Also nothing on a Texas producer shipping Queens with AHB genes.

Since I am purchasing package bees and a queen from a local Texas producer I would like to follow up on this - can you provide a link?
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« Reply #31 on: March 13, 2008, 06:49:45 AM »

You are in Texas.  Buying Texas bees makes sense when you live in Texas.
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« Reply #32 on: March 13, 2008, 07:31:36 AM »

Quote
Seems one Texas producer is shipping Queens w/ AHB genes.
In a word, prove it.  That's just unconfirmed bashing.  Texas queen producers are inspected.  Can they have a hot queen?  Of course, but so can any other producer.  Weaver's, both of them, ship thousands of queens and packages a year, many to the big boys.  Don't you think it would be pretty obvious by now (10 years) if they were shipping AHB? 

Ross you make a great point.  There is no real point in bashing anyone or anyone state.  Besides it does not much matter about the AHB genetics spreading throughout the US.  They are here.  They are not leaving.  The best thing we can do now is intentionally breed the hotness and the habit of obsconding out of them.  Several queen breeders believe they can successfully do that with just a few seasons.  It would be nice to see it happen, of course to be real successful we beekeepers would have to intentionally allow our swarms to actually swarm and go off into the wilderness and breed with the AHB queens......
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« Reply #33 on: March 13, 2008, 08:54:40 AM »

The AHB started down in South America in the 1950s. All these years and all the spreading and breeding with other bees and they are still "Hot", so they say, and now someone thinks it can be bred out of them in a few years?
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« Reply #34 on: March 13, 2008, 09:11:40 AM »

Sarafina, I am concerned that you are getting a little bit scared about getting a hot hive.  This will be your first colony and don't let this kind of stuff give you the willies.  Personally, I need to console you a little bit.  The place where you are getting your colony from is obviously reputable, otherwise your local beekeeping association would not have recommended you to get them from T Weaver.

I am not saying that there isn't the possibility that the hive may not be hot, that can happen to anyone, but please, don't let it worry you too much.  I doubt that the hive will be hot.  Just wanting you to not get scared off.  It is a frightening thing for a new beekeeper to hear of hot hives, and don't let this govern how you feel about getting your bees.  Things will be OK, I have faith in that.

Look at it this way, if the hive is calm that is good, if the hive is hot, (which I don't think so), you will not know the difference anyways, hee, hee, as you have nothing to compare to.  Just deal with the bees any which way you can, and things will be well.  Get your bees on April 5, you will be happy, any which way.  Have a wonderful and beautiful day, Cindi
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« Reply #35 on: March 13, 2008, 09:42:23 AM »

First let me say I am not State bashing. I am passing on info I received from NJBA MAAREC rep . I trust this info. If you choose not to, by all means do so.
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« Reply #36 on: March 13, 2008, 10:07:04 AM »

I don't want to come off as callous but I will be blunt.

If you want to be a beekeeper you need to be prepared for the things that can happen.
Much like being an electrician, it is very likely you will get shocked. You do your utmost to avoid it but sooner or later something will happen.

Beehives can be hot for a number reasons. Understanding and respecting the bees for those reasons makes you a better beekeeper.

Do not live in fear of what might happen. Come at with understanding it will happen. Treat each hive as if though it has the potential to be hot and you will be better off.

You can buy a hive from a reputable dealer. You can buy queens from the finest breeders. You can do all the right things and something will go wrong. Because bees make up their own mind.

Let's look at the some of the reasons a hive can go hot.
1. Loss of queen.
2. Recent robbing attempt.
3. Weather change.
4. Lack of food
5. Hive is ready to swarm.
6. Odors in the area have upset the hive
7. You drop a hive

1. The loss of a queen especially if it is a recent loss will set the bees into a very defensive mode. Old beekeepers will tell you the hive has more of roar sound than a buzz sound.
2. Bees that have had a robbing attempt or recent animal attack. Are already in a defensive mood. You are just another problem to them.
3. On a nice sunny day. A sudden cold front or sun shower will make bees very unhappy.
4. Bees that are starving are not happy bees.
5. When a hive is ready to swarm half the bees, half the honey and the old queen are getting ready to leave. They are not kind to having the process in it's final stage disturbed.
6. Sometimes some odor natural or man made has come across with the wind. This why beekeepers recommend against eating things like banana before going into a hive.
7. Nice bees go ballistic when you get clumsy.

When you look at that it seems awfully scary. Why in the world would anyone keep bees under situations where things like that can happen. Because it is on the same par with cooking on the stove. You can have the pot of water get knocked. You can burn the bread. You can bump into the burner. The pilot light on the gas stove can go out and fill the house with gas.

In the world things can happen. If you live in fear of everything that can go wrong nothing will get done. Bees are stinging insects that defend themselves and their home. We don't blame them for that. We try to work with them. But you have to understand you are the intruder. You can give all the sugar water and pollen patties to your bees and even talk nice to them. None of that provides you with any guarantees.

And out of this experience comes wisdom.

Dealers try to do the right things. They receive inspections. Health certificates are required with postal shipments. So if a dealer is given a notice of concern. That is not a bad thing it means the system is working. In Florida they don't advocate open air breeding because of the AHB issue. However the rates of supercedure on AI queens shows that they aren't doing as well as everyone would like. If there are concerns about a dealer be practical don't purchase queens from that dealer until they have issued a clean bill to them.

There are a lot of things to look into when buying your products. Smart shopping is always a good idea. And opinions will vary.

Rule #1 for beekeeping is have fun.
Rule #2 is remember bees sting and that can be no fun.

Now I have to go and play in traffic. Smiley


Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #37 on: March 13, 2008, 10:29:38 AM »

3. On a nice sunny day. A sudden cold front or sun shower will make bees very unhappy.

I'm not sure I know what a sun shower is. Raining down happiness maybe?
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« Reply #38 on: March 13, 2008, 10:36:05 AM »

3. On a nice sunny day. A sudden cold front or sun shower will make bees very unhappy.

I'm not sure I know what a sun shower is. Raining down happiness maybe?

A sun shower is when the sky is sunny and small rain cloud comes over your area. It doesn't block out the sun so it's sunny and rainy at the same time. Similar to having that small gray cloud that follows you around sometimes.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #39 on: March 13, 2008, 11:31:24 PM »

Brendan, lovely!!!  That was a very well written and awesome story your wrote, I loved it and it is all so true, all of it.  Keep on keepin' on, man, you're doin' a good job.  Best of this wonderful day and those to come.  Cindi
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« Reply #40 on: March 14, 2008, 12:39:39 AM »

3. On a nice sunny day. A sudden cold front or sun shower will make bees very unhappy.

I'm not sure I know what a sun shower is. Raining down happiness maybe?

A sun shower is when the sky is sunny and small rain cloud comes over your area. It doesn't block out the sun so it's sunny and rainy at the same time. Similar to having that small gray cloud that follows you around sometimes.

Sincerely,
Brendhan



Well Say Howdy, I think I'll recommend we change the nickname for the State of Washington from the Evergreen State to the Sun Shower State.
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« Reply #41 on: March 14, 2008, 01:32:35 PM »

This my second year beekeeping:

I bought my first package last year from B. Weaver:  They were the nicest, gentlest bees imaginable.  My wife and I quit using the smoker with them because they didn't need it.

We just did our first bee-hive cutout a few weeks ago and put the new hive next to our B. Weaver one--those new bees are mean.  We have now bought 2 queens from B. Weaver to requeen the new mean hive and the old hive, whose queen is over a year old now.

Friends I know have ordered from R. Weaver (packages and queens) and had good success and "cool" hives.

As others have said and Michael Bush experienced, I don't doubt you could get a mean queen from one of them, but that could happen with any breeder I think.

Good luck and trust in Providence!
Devin
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« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2008, 02:56:22 AM »

One of my dozen full-size colonies has developed a very unpleasant disposition. Their queen is a nice golden, Cordovan Italian, from very gentle stock, but she was open mated here in Tucson, Arizona. This makes all of her drones desirable for mating since they are not affected by her mating since they have no father, but perhaps she open mated with drones from a highly defensive line, hence the excessively defensive nature of her workers.

So, tomorrow morning, I will be disassembling this hive into hopefully, several successful queen mating nucs to receive, in about ten days, my newest batch of queen cells.

Maybe this "Hot-hive" problem is derived from AHB genetic contamination of some feral hives in my vicinity, or not. But I think hot hives can be useful for something after all (divided up into mating nucs). I once considered sending samples from some of my hotter hives for AHB screening, but I don't let hot hives stay hot - I requeen promptly. This is the feistiest colony I can remember having in my apiary, and I've had some feisty colonies. This morning I thought I'd check them out, so knowing they were more defensive than my other hives, I smoked them in the entrance, cracked the lid and gave them a few puffs -- I then gave them a few minutes to digest the smoking, then I was ready to tackle them, I repeated the smoking, this time opening the cover and setting it aside. I gave them a few more puffs, enough to drive the bees down into the frames. I set the smoker down, there were no bees visible now on top of or between the tops of the frames, I loosened the outside frame with the hive tool, I reached down to grasp the frame to lift it from the hive --- bees came pouring out from between the frames, they latched onto my T-shirt and proceeded to show me how they could put their stings into my skin, through my T-shirt. I quickly closed them and started to devise my plan to divide them into nucs, once I am more fully armored, tomorrow morning.

I like Michael Bush's strategy, "divide and conquer" --Michael Bush on requeening hot hives

So, Mike (mgates61), what I'm trying to say is that even hot hives can be managed, they will teach us something, and don't let their possibility keep you from enjoying the wonders of keeping bees.
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« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2008, 06:24:48 AM »

A thing to consider about hot hives. They make honey! I'm not talking of some wimpy little hive that's starving half to death and wants to slap you around cause you didn't take care of them properly. No. I'm talking about a hive that's got it going on, numbers galore, put another super on and bingo, the dern things filled in no time, gotta slap another super on. You want your bees strong and healthy and making honey for ya. Sometimes your best hives, your honeymakers might be a little arnery, but think of the dividends.

Be prepared to get stung, have your smoker at your side and if you don't like them boiling out at you on a consistent basis, then requeen, but hey mang, them bees ain't always gonna be in a good mood, at least not in my dealings.

Divide and conquer is good but too much dividing and that big honeymaker of a hive might not be such the honeymaker any more. Keep 'em big, keep 'em strong, give 'em room, tis the season to make that honey! Unless you're into pollenating, and that's cool.

Brian made a statement that I happen to agree with, something along the lines of, keep 'em as close to feral as possible, these are the types of hives that get the job done. just my .02.

...JP
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« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2008, 08:17:09 AM »

It was great.  This past weekend was Missouri State Beeks meeting.  Well the state entomologist was there and let us know he basically knows nothing about honey bees as his thesis was based on some insect that thrives on corn.  Anyway he wants to conduct a AHB in Missouri research this year.  He asked us to collect abuot 50-100 bees from any swarms and send them to him so he can analyze them.

I am going to send him some of the bees from my hot hive/s and see if they are AHB related. 

Of course he said he is going to do the measurements of their wings and bodies instead of actual DNA sampling.
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« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2008, 09:26:56 AM »

It was great.  This past weekend was Missouri State Beeks meeting.  Well the state entomologist was there and let us know he basically knows nothing about honey bees as his thesis was based on some insect that thrives on corn.  Anyway he wants to conduct a AHB in Missouri research this year.  He asked us to collect abuot 50-100 bees from any swarms and send them to him so he can analyze them.

I am going to send him some of the bees from my hot hive/s and see if they are AHB related. 

Of course he said he is going to do the measurements of their wings and bodies instead of actual DNA sampling.

That is great, you can train your entomologist. Teach him about natural cell, small cell, that not all ahb hives need killing but requeening, etc...

...JP
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« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2008, 09:13:52 PM »

It was great.  This past weekend was Missouri State Beeks meeting.  Well the state entomologist was there and let us know he basically knows nothing about honey bees as his thesis was based on some insect that thrives on corn.  Anyway he wants to conduct a AHB in Missouri research this year.  He asked us to collect abuot 50-100 bees from any swarms and send them to him so he can analyze them.

I am going to send him some of the bees from my hot hive/s and see if they are AHB related. 

Of course he said he is going to do the measurements of their wings and bodies instead of actual DNA sampling.

That is great, you can train your entomologist. Teach him about natural cell, small cell, that not all ahb hives need killing but requeening, etc...

...JP

....and that small cell renders FABIS ineffective as a determiner of AHB.  DNA is the only acturate method.
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« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2008, 12:14:36 AM »

Thanks, Michael Bush and Cindi for your words of encouragement.  Yes, it makes sense to buy locally and Navasota is about a 2-hour drive so I can pick them up.  I can't wait!
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