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Author Topic: AHB in New York?  (Read 808 times)
landellapiaries
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« on: July 07, 2011, 11:00:27 AM »

So I attempted to do a cut out this morning of a hive that has been in a soffit space for quite some time now.  The owner recalls bees being there for about 20 years.  There used to be orchards around his property that migratory bee keepers had brought hives to for pollination.  So, here is what happened and please tell me what you think.

I smoked the entrance of the hive lightly and instantly the bees starting acting different.  I waited about 5 or 6 minutes, turned on the bee vac, and bees starting stinging the vacuum, me, and everybody in the general area.  As I climbed up on the scaffold to start removing bees, they were pouring out similar to how a swarm leaves a hive.  Within about 10 minutes, I took 53 stings though my suit and veil.  Bees were stinging anything that moved and followed me for almost 100 yards and did not give up.  My gloves were covered with bees to the point that they were literally crawling. ( I later took another 67 stingers out of my gloves that did not make it though the leather)  All of this happened before I even made the first cut into the soffit, just while trying to vac up the bees on the outside of the entrance.  I ended up sucking up a 10 frame deep that was so full before I made the first cut as well. ( I use a robo vac)  After the initial cut, it only got worse.  More stinging, swarming, and they were stinging the contractors that had me do the cut out on the other side of the house not even in view of the hive. 

Finally, I said enough is enough as it was getting to be a bad situation.  Packing up equipment rewarded me with more bees trying to sting me and as I was driving down the driveway, they were bouncing off my windows in large numbers.  I have seen hot hives before, but never ever like this.  I have never had them go after the vac or anything for that matter before even making a cut.  I talked to a few beekeepers who have experience with AHB and they said this sounds very familiar to what they have seen.  But, I'm in New York!  Like I said though, I have seen hot hives, but never to the point where I could not remove them.

Please tell me what you think.  When I got home, I pulled the stingers out of my suit and gloves.  67 were in the gloves and another 91 were in my suit.  53 made it through to get me as I have 53 little bumps in my arms, legs, neck from the veil touching me briefly, and 1 in my eyebrow from one of the bees trying to get into the windows of the car before I closed them up and got out of dodge!
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Kris - Ulster County, NY
sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 11:43:36 AM »

Finally, I said enough is enough as it was getting to be a bad situation.  

Sounds like a bad situation from the get go. The hive that I removed never even tried to sting. The only time anyone got stung was from ones that got crushed on comb and leaning my hand on the ground.
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
Scadsobees
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 01:03:28 PM »

Wow..that sounds like an experience!  Time for some raid!!!

Wouldn't be shocked.  The bees may have been there 20 years, but not necessarily continuously.  Could be an AHB swarm moved in from a migratory beek.

Did the property owner mention the disposition of those bees before you got there?

What did you do with the box full of nasties that you had vacuumed up?
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Rick
landellapiaries
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 01:34:56 PM »

yea, i did a removal yesterday and the bees were gentle as lambs.  No stinging, headbutting, ect.  In face, I took of the suit after a few minutes due to them being so docile and because it was so darn hot.  I just got off the phone with an apiary inspector from NY and he said the bees behavior is consistent with Africanized behavior and is having me send in a sample to a lab to prove they are or aren't.  It was definitely a bad situation from the beginning, but the homeowner needs the bees out because their roof needs to be torn off and have new plywood put down...and the bees were having no part of contractors working in the area.  I figured I would do the cut out and then requeen them by doing a combine with one of my weak nucs.  I still have a deep full of bees I sucked up that i need to take 100 or so out of to send to the lab.
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Kris - Ulster County, NY
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2011, 01:39:14 PM »

There have been some really hot evil tempered bees in New York for close to 400 years now.  I doubt AHB.
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landellapiaries
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2011, 01:43:01 PM »

Wow..that sounds like an experience!  Time for some raid!!!

Wouldn't be shocked.  The bees may have been there 20 years, but not necessarily continuously.  Could be an AHB swarm moved in from a migratory beek.

Did the property owner mention the disposition of those bees before you got there?

What did you do with the box full of nasties that you had vacuumed up?

The owner didn't really say if they were nasty or not, just that they never go near them and they were going after the contractors.  I put that deep with the bottom half of the vac in my yard for now.  I have a nuc that could use a population boost, but I know for a fact I have drones in the box.  If they do turn out to be AHB, I don't need one of my or any other hives mating with one.  There is a very slim possibility I got the queen when I eventually cut the first piece out and started sucking up bees.  There were a bunch trying to get into the box while I was packing up.
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Kris - Ulster County, NY
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2011, 02:44:02 PM »

Kris, I'd still go with the possiblity that these were the sprayed bees we were talking about on the phone. I'll bet you weren't told and won't be told about the spraying because I made it clear to whoever called me that I want no part of sprayed bees. The contracters may have agitated them for the last few days banging away on the house. Its like going into a hive that skunks have been working at all night. You got ambushed. That kind of sting rate would have put me in the hospital. Sorry I couldn't help.
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landellapiaries
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2011, 03:09:42 PM »

Kris, I'd still go with the possiblity that these were the sprayed bees we were talking about on the phone. I'll bet you weren't told and won't be told about the spraying because I made it clear to whoever called me that I want no part of sprayed bees. The contracters may have agitated them for the last few days banging away on the house. Its like going into a hive that skunks have been working at all night. You got ambushed. That kind of sting rate would have put me in the hospital. Sorry I couldn't help.

That's what I'm hoping for.  The apiary inspector said to check them just in case as the behavior was similar, but I'm guessing (and hoping) that it comes back negative.  I told them I cannot do the cut out with the bees being that aggressive.  I appreciate the help by the way and your probably right.
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Kris - Ulster County, NY
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2011, 08:18:26 AM »

Just a thought from someone who never dealt with them
If you know you have Hot drones in the robo Box
can you slip a queen excluder in it so the drone's cannot
get out
This way you won't pass on the genetics of what ever
type of bee they are
JMHO

Tommyt
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