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Author Topic: African mixed bees?  (Read 4728 times)

Offline CountryBee

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African mixed bees?
« on: August 24, 2010, 07:24:35 AM »
This spring I caught a swarm of wild bees that were pretty aggressive and have been raising them since.  Everytime I get stung by these honey bees I have to go to the emergency room, when I get stung with any of my other bees from all of my other hives it is like a misquito bite.  I have had honey bees since I was very young, my dad still raises them also.  Whenever my shadow comes across the entrance, they attack.  Whenever I open the cover, they attack, even with smoke.  I have never had a hive like this one before!  They come out like a basketball size and sting, they will follow me around the whole house!  I thought maybe a skunk was getting them angry, I trap for skunks, no skunks.  Today I have to destroy the hive, it is too dangerous around the children and myself.  I will send some dead ones to cornell to see if they can tell what kind they are.  I think maybe a crossbread with african because they are so aggressive.  Any thoughts?  Thanks, Country :)

Offline lenape13

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2010, 07:46:15 AM »
You could have re-queened which would probably have calmed them down after a month.  You could still do it.

Offline gardeningfireman

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2010, 08:19:40 AM »
Are you sure they aren't yellow jackets or hornets? :-D

Offline Jim 134

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2010, 08:29:50 AM »
You can send the bees to    


United States Department Agriculture in MD.

Bee Research Laboratory
Bldg. 476, BARC-East
Beltsville, MD 20705
(301) 504-8821


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Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2010, 09:22:47 AM »
You are right to kill them.  Those are dangerous bees and in the time it would take to requeen and replace the existing workers, someone could get killed or seriously injured.  By acting now you are preventing the possible swarming of the hive (if they are africanized, they probably swarm frequently).  You aren't losing much.  You have the comb and honey produced by the hive and you can use that to much better advantage with some calmer bees.
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bigbearomaha

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2010, 09:55:32 AM »
Africanized bees are already mixed. 

It's true that if one can take the waiting, re-queening will eliminate that issue as well.  If there is a public safety issue as the bees are in a space that is routinely and regularly accessed by people though, sometimes it is best to eliminate them instead.

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Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2010, 10:17:06 AM »
Africanized bees in New York though?

Offline L Daxon

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2010, 11:08:49 AM »
Africanized bees in New York though?

My thoughts exactly.  I didn't think they had gotten that far north.  Attached is the USDA link (about a year old) that shows their range in the US and they are no where near New York.   
http://www.ars.usda.gov/Research/docs.htm?docid=11059&page=6
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Offline D Coates

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2010, 11:49:53 AM »
AHB, formally in New York?  No.  However, when you consider, 1) the migratory beeks who travel to and from AHB territory, 2) the queens that are sold and transported north (to commercial and hobby beekeepers) from areas that have AHBs, 3) cut outs, 4) swarm captures and 5)open breeding, there's simply no way to avoid that there are AHB genes in almost all the bees in the US.

Anyone who thinks there are no AHB genes in there neck of the woods is whistling past the graveyard.  They're there, is this what's causing the hive to be overly aggressive?  Who knows, but anytime there's a queen who shows aggression that's above and beyond the rest of my hives I make sure to re-queen that hive ASAP.
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Offline BjornBee

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2010, 12:58:47 PM »
They already have had confirmed cases of AHB over wintering in Ohio, New York, and Maine.

Yes, they swarm to the point that they probably will not have enough to survive a long winter here in the north, left to their own devices.

But bring them up on flatbed truck, or through queens and packages, and then provide them a nice hive with 80 pounds of honey, and they over winter very nicely.

The map that is mentioned means nothing as to where AHB are, other than perhaps letting beekeeper know where and where not, they should be buying bees. It's one thing to understand that AHB will survive in any hive that a beekeeper does not requeen when nasty. Feral AHB in the north many not get a foothold beyond beekeeper ignorance. Feral colonies will probably die out until they adapt, which I'm hoping will be many years.  But it is another entire circumstance understanding that AHB in feral colonies in the south make for a larger problem for breeders and beekeepers alike. And the passing of AHB is a real possibility.

I think there are probably positive traits to AHB that hopefully in the future we may benefit from But in an industry that had to cease the USDA's program with the Russian program due to a lack of funding, I see no real possibility of a large scale program that may be needed to coordinate and breed long term beneficial AHB bees. So it will be left to nature's slow progression, possibly a few dedicated beekeepers efforts. We will be left with advocates for and against AHB bees and the never ending discussions until every bees is leveled out in the genetic matter we have. Some will state that they are harmless and some will raise red flags with every AHB discussion.

For perspective, since the introduction of AHB in the U.S., there has been less than one death per year attributed to AHB incidents. Better chance of being struck by lightening. But those deaths have always been where AHB have been already found or just discovered. So there is some truth to agression, etc.
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Offline CountryBee

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2010, 06:14:38 PM »
Thank you all!  If I go catch some in a jar can you tell?

Offline CountryBee

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2010, 06:42:42 PM »
I called cornell, they closed at 2 today.  I called the listed NY state inspector that was on cornells site, he hasn't done it in a long time.  Just want someone to inspect them to see what they are before I destroy them.  Country :)

Offline hardwood

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2010, 07:11:26 PM »
As much as hate to hear myself say it...if they are a threat to your heath, or anyone else's for that matter you only have two choices...requeen or exterminate! If they had sent me to the E.R. they would've been gone by the next day.

Let's see...my life vs. a hot hive....I'll take me any day.

Scott
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Offline CountryBee

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2010, 07:30:52 PM »
My dad just moved the hive over to his place up on the hill so it is miles away from people.  Just want it checked before I destroy it or they swarm.  Country :)

Offline Highlandsfreedom

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2010, 07:53:46 PM »
Couldn't you put a queen excluder under the bottom deep to keep them from swarming?  That would buy you some more time wouldn't it?  I like the re-queening idea if they are along way away from people. 
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Offline AllenF

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2010, 07:55:38 PM »
I had a hot hive one time.  Took a blow torch to them and knocked down their numbers to requeen.  (and it felt good)   They were a second generation all star/ buckfast mix.   That is why they were mean.    I would go buy a queen if I were you.

Offline hardwood

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2010, 08:03:00 PM »
Highlands, The queen "includer" works well but is not practical for more than a day. The drones still need to "cleanse" and you wouldn't want to invite nosema.

Scott
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

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Offline kathyp

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2010, 08:19:37 PM »
if you want to keep it, why don't you split it into nucs in the spring and kill that queen.  either let them requeen or order queens for the nuc.  if you don't want to mess with them anymore....and i wouldn't blame you, just kill it off and start a new hive.

requeening earlier would have been a good thing to try.  they are pesky at this time of the year anyway, so a hot hive can be even worse to deal with.  if you can find a queen to order you can knock off the old queen now and requeen.  see how they are in spring.
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Offline CountryBee

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2010, 09:07:43 PM »
I cannot open the hive, I go to emergency room.  Just curious what breed of bees ya know, curiousity.

Offline Highlandsfreedom

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Re: African mixed bees?
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2010, 09:25:20 PM »
Curiosity killed the cat..... ok ok a bad pun....
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