Yep....mention of AHBs and before anyone can even make a negative comment, and you have beekeepers being all defensive and such. Figures, from the group of beekeepers who already have them in their area, or will shortly.
Truth is....I don't want them in my operation. If you do, then fine. But don't denigrate me (or others) for not "promoting" or suggesting that we should have no concerns. Except in cases where someone was highly allergic and would of died from any type bee sting, almost all "stinging incidents" over the past 20 years where someone has died, are from AHB areas or from documented AHB bees. Go laugh and tell the family of that dead man that there is no danger and we should all somehow promote AHBs.
Show me a stinging incident where someone died of EHBs. Not a one time allergic reaction. But a stinging incident meaning a massive attack and a hundred of more stings. All of them are AHBs. There is a difference. There is an increased risk.
I find it ironic that the death of a person results in the finding of AHBs for the first time in Georgia, while some claim there is nothing to be concerned about. When was the last person killed by bees in Georgia under circumstances such as this? It's not like this is a daily situation, and by some luck, AHBs were discovered. The announcement of finding AHBs for the first time, from the death of a person by a stinging incident, while others somehow suggesting AHbs are seemingly safe, is irony at it's best.
Are they as bad as the media hype. No. Are there probably benefits of AHB genetics. Yes. Are there negative impacts to feral genetic pools? Yes. Will certain townships and towns see restrictions if AHBs move into an area? Yes. Is the spread of AHBs good for the community? No. Will I educate the public by suggesting there are no concerns? No.
The business will sort out the bee hype on it's own. If the southern beekeepers, who probably is more concerned with protecting their own operations or hobby than anything else, continues to provide safe and workable bees, then the impact will be low. If on the other hand, they supply nasty bees, then the consumer will ultimately decide. In the past few years, I have received probably several dozen calls from beekeepers with extremely nasty bees. And I will not mention the operation in Texas that the bees came from. But I suppose from other posts and comments, it would be known to most. I helped more than several of these beekeepers requeen. And my last suggestion is to perhaps buy from providers in areas where AHBs are not established. And I don't think that is a concept that needs much promotion. Most beekeepers once educated, can make rational decisions of where to by bees based on such matters. And I don't think a bunch of southern beekeepers claiming in a thread about a dead guy, that there are no issues, will change that thought process much.
Did I ever send off samples of these nasty bees? No. Why be the first to find AHBs in the local area when others will swoop in and use it as an excuse for funding and ultimately have no authority or goal to stop the shipping of bees, yet will try to force me into policies and restrictions on a local level.
If the southern beekeepers make an effort to keep AHBs out of their commercial industry, then they will benefit. If the southern beekeepers take the position that AHBs are no problem and suggest that shipping off these bees are of no concern, I think their business will suffer.
You can bash me all you want. What I say is true, and my opinion. And it is an opinion of most beekeepers I know outside of those already in AHB territory. It's not about fear. It's about not wanting AHB in my operation or in the local area for a host of public and environmental reasons.