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Author Topic: Risk of AHB in packages?  (Read 1606 times)
Squirrelhenge
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« on: October 09, 2012, 02:13:17 PM »

Greetings!

I'm getting ready to order my packages so I can start my first hives in spring. While I was discussing various breeds and apiaries with someone, they warned me that I should be cautious about buying packages from areas where africanized honey bees have been documented. Has anyone out there had a problem with AHB in packages they bought from areas with AHB - Texas, Florida, etc?

Thanks!
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Eric Francis
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D Coates
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012, 03:51:02 PM »

I've not and AHB genes are everywhere.  AHB are established in TX, FL, and CA.  Commercial beekeepers go to from their home states to those states.  Queens are reared and exported from all of those states to all of the states we live in.  The genes have been spread around for years.  Does this mean they are all AHB's?  Nope, but logically they've all got some of those genes as hives requeen for whatever reason and the queens mate with local drones.  Don't sweat it.  Get your packages from a reputable retailer and enjoy your new hobby/addiction!  Welcome to the site.
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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2012, 06:54:47 PM »

There is a possibility of getting an AHB queen.   But you can get a hot tempered queen from anywhere and there be no AHB genes in her.  Anytime you get a mean laying queen, replace her. 
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wadehump
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2012, 06:54:10 PM »

buy local nucs
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Caelansbees
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2012, 09:36:00 PM »

Allen is right. I've gotten the hottest as well as the best queens from north and south.   Most recently my hottest hive (from a package) killed a queen I gave them.  I let them raise their own despite being from old queen's genes.  I was w
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AllenF
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2012, 10:20:02 PM »

W.   Really?
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Caelansbees
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2012, 12:37:03 PM »

Sorry didn't see my last post got cut off.  Two months after package install it was clear that they were nasty little buggers. I relaxed the queen with a local but they killed her.  Didn't have time to order and wait as my local source had dried.  They raised their own and now they are calm as lambs. 
But in all fairness I have had great bees from AHB areas I just have had much better luck when they raise their own or I get locally.  Many don't believe it make a difference but I do.  I have Italians and Russians and mutts from in between. 
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David McLeod
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2012, 07:57:53 PM »

I wouldn't know since I don't do packages but IMO what would it matter other than they are hot. If I installed a package or swarm and didn't like the temperment right off the bat that queen would be culled and a replacement installed. I know I'm in Georgia and this won't go over well with our package producers but I am a strong advocate of locally adapted stock either ferals or from a local breeder that uses local bees exclusively. JMO again, but the AHB genes might add to the genetic diversity some when combined with local stock whatever the case I think your best bees are those that have survived in situ for the longest.
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Nature Coast Beek
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2012, 12:53:04 PM »

OP

I would try to go with a local nuc over a package if you can afford and source it. As far as AHB, I live and keep bees in Florida and the AHB issue is mainly contained to the southern area of the state. I think GA packages are probably safe without much AHB influence as well as Florida packages. Florida does test for AHB genetics in registered hives of breeders I believe. Research studies have actually shown that higher humidity and rainfall areas curb AHB population growth. I think the main issue with the more pure strains of AHB are mainly south Cali, and the Southwest US (TX, AZ, NM). Again, try to go with a local overwintered nuc if possible, not that much more in expense and probably a higher probability of success from a more cohesive starting unit.

Just my.02
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2012, 02:51:08 PM »

I've gotten the meanest bees I've ever seen from Texas...
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AllenF
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2012, 02:56:01 PM »

Ditto from Texas.
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Finski
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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2012, 03:01:10 PM »

.

AFB does not move with packages. That is why it has been invented and allowed.

In Swedish university it has been resarched that AFB does move with swarms either.

Very important and common cure for AFB is that you shake the the bees to the hive which have only foundations.
So you get rid off disease.


Local Texas bees..,.. Texas is 3 times as big as Finland- Very local...
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AllenF
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« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2012, 05:44:29 PM »

Not AFB   foulbrood,   AHB   African Hybrid bees (killer Bees).
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Finski
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2012, 01:45:03 AM »

.
sory

.
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AllenF
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« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2012, 03:33:30 PM »

No problem.  Quite understandable. 
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