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Author Topic: I-95 Caution Killer Bees at work ?  (Read 3187 times)
gottabee
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« on: November 25, 2005, 08:29:08 AM »

As a recent beekeeper I read an article which alarmed me greatly. Yes even more than the Varroa mite, SHB, treachea mite, and Chineese beekeepers, .....
KILLER BEES!
An article on the migration of the AHB in the Vol 27, no 3, Fall Edition of the North Carolina Bee Buzz, author Dr David Tharpy, State Apicurturist.  Accorting to the article the AHB have established colonies in Florida. THe article stated that no AHB populations have been sustained east of the Mississippi until recently. The Florida Department of Agriculture has confirmed the AHB colonies have begun to estabilsh colonies in the state. If true this may pose a threat to the beekeepers along the Eastern US, particularly the Southeast. Beekeepers who move bees in and out of the state may become a vector for the dreaded Killers.

Are there any Florida beekeepers or others who can share experiences thus far about what the threat and Migration of the AHB?

How are you managing your colonies in Texas or other regions where the AHB have been established?
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2005, 09:59:29 AM »

I think the "Killer bees" are just some mythological beast.
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gottabee
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2005, 10:32:29 AM »

Right, but the threat of AHB is a concern of interest because of how it might affect beekeepers in their wake (including me).
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2005, 11:16:50 AM »

IF, and this is a big if, the public reacts inteligently, they will encourage beekeepers in their towns to try to crowd out and calm down any AHB that move in.  Nature abhors a vacuum.  But they will probably try to outlaw bees in many towns instead, which will make it worse and make them spread faster.

However, I think they are overdone by the media.

There have always been hot bees and there will always bee.  Beekeepers keep trying to breed them to be nice and fill the places there are no bees and that's the best anyone can hope for.
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Michael Bush
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bill
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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2005, 01:21:19 PM »

trouble is that moniker "KILLER BEES" is tailor made for selling papers. The way I see it is it iit will certainly damage the beekeeping industry and hobbyists will be in a much more restricted, but bees are vital to our food supply so life goes on.  I notice that they still keep bees in south america. Maybe if feral bees should come back due to the african blood it would be a good thing. every wind that blows, blows someone some good.
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billiet
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2005, 06:39:54 AM »

As Bill posted "KILLER BEES" is tabloid hype. If it were true there would be very few people living in Africa. Yes African bees are more aggressive that the bees we keep, as wolves can more aggressive than the dogs we keep. Its a question of approach and dealing with them accordingly. They can be managed though just look at all the beekeepers in Africa.
A true story
When I was a young man living in Africa I was riding my motorcycle wearing literally just a thin short sleeve shirt, shorts and flip-flop sandles when a swarm flew into me. I looked like Finsky's  photo,but head to foot. I stopped ,dismounted and carefully brushed the bees off, the hardest was getting them out of my hair(which was rather long at the time, being the late 50's) It took about ten minutes to strip off and remove the bees and bearing in mind I was no beekeeper then, did not get stung once. Also bearing in mind I was travelling about 30 miles an hour it was quite an impact for the bees I think that should of caused some aggression on their part too.
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listen to others. You do not always know as much as you think you do.
FordGuy
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2005, 06:21:36 PM »

Quote from: Diver
As Bill posted "KILLER BEES" is tabloid hype. If it were true there would be very few people living in Africa. Yes African bees are more aggressive that the bees we keep, as wolves can more aggressive than the dogs we keep. Its a question of approach and dealing with them accordingly. They can be managed though just look at all the beekeepers in Africa.
A true story
When I was a young man living in Africa I was riding my motorcycle wearing literally just a thin short sleeve shirt, shorts and flip-flop sandles when a swarm flew into me. I looked like Finsky's  photo,but head to foot. I stopped ,dismounted and carefully brushed the bees off, the hardest was getting them out of my hair(which was rather long at the time, being the late 50's) It took about ten minutes to strip off and remove the bees and bearing in mind I was no beekeeper then, did not get stung once. Also bearing in mind I was travelling about 30 miles an hour it was quite an impact for the bees I think that should of caused some aggression on their part too.


someone more experienced can chimein, (and i'm sure they all will!  haha) but i thought a swarm of any type, AHB included, was generally less prone to stinging as they had a single mind set to get from A to B in one group.  that you did not get stung is more of a commentary on swarm behavior than AHB behavior.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2005, 07:50:50 PM »

Any bee caught in my hair or beard eventually gets frantic and stings me, if I don't get it out.  Any bees hit at high speed I would expect to sting. Smiley

But yes, swarms are usually pretty calm.
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Michael Bush
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imabkpr
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2005, 10:28:04 PM »

"FordGuy" Before a swarm leaves the hive the bees gorge themselves with honey therefore they cant arch their bodies to sting. cef
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Diver
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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2005, 07:36:57 AM »

But these are "KILLER BEES"  that many on one body that smacked into them, they should have killed me many times over.

Seriously though. I was trying to point out they not as fearsome as the hype. Just a bit more aggressive (and they do tend to follow or chase, a longer distance).  The other posts in general show that beekeepers see them for what they are.

As to swarms as Michael states they are usually pretty calm. Fordguy say less prone to sting.
But they can sting imabker I can assure you, whether the are African, italian, Russian or any other strain.  The tendancy to gorge therefore not sting is there, but do you think they all do it, every worker in the swarm? This would make them very vunerable when swarming.
I suggest you check your books again and look at the posts about swarming and and hiving or skepping a swarm, here and on other sites. Nobody would be concerned to ask the way or suit up if you were right.
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listen to others. You do not always know as much as you think you do.
bill
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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2005, 09:15:02 AM »

this thing has got m to wondering if there are statistics to say that more people have been killed since the arrival of african bees because I am sure that some were killed by regular honey bees before. that is not counting allergy deaths that would have been killed by any bee attack, does anyone know?
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billiet
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2005, 05:50:55 PM »

I think the total is somewhere around 2,000 human deaths from africanized bees since their introduction to Brasil.  Honestly, more people are killed on stairs, airplanes, cars, falling matresses and gunshot wounds.  I don't really think they've earned the term "killer".
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2005, 06:09:21 PM »

THere is a story about where the term "KILLER BEE" came from. Seems some General down South didn't like the Scientest that the bees got away from. SO he blamed every sting and death on the excaped "killer bees'.

Anyone know where that story is found?

Also, I think I read/heard somewhere that around 20 people a year die from bee stings. (Huh All bees???) here in the USofA. Ten years of that would be atleast 200 people not attacked by AHB.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2005, 11:25:17 PM »

Deer kill a LOT of people everyyear.  They run in front of cars and cause fatal wrecks all the time.  Smiley  Far more than "Klller"Bees.
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Michael Bush
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imabkpr
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2005, 07:21:05 AM »

'DIVER" Through the years I have hived many swarms of bees,of which only a small portion was our own, as we use swarm prevention tacticts.                                                                                                                                                                                                               Most beekeepers in and around my area when referring to what you call "killer' bees refer to them as bees with africanized traits. We feel that if the general public should hear a beekeeper call bees with africanized traits "killer" bees then it must be true.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Bees when swarming are very vunerable, asyou have experienced when you rode into a swarm.                                                                                                                                                                                                                beekeeping is a vast profession and I don't believe anyone will ever know everything [even though we think we do] about it. Best we can do is to try to learn something new everyday.                                                                                                                                                                                                            I want to thank you for suggesting that I go back to my books on skepping and hiving swarms. Now tha you have made a suggestion to me, I would like to make a suggestion to you. that you heed the message you place at the bottom of your postings.   "listen to others, you do not always know as much as you think you do.
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Diver
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« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2005, 09:21:44 AM »

imbkpr  I do not call them Killer bees In fact I was arguing against calling them that.  The original post by gottabee stated he was a recent beekeeper and alarmed greatly about KILLER BEES and wanting to share thoughts with other Florida keepers
We do not have the African Hybrid problem in England but seeing as I was raised in Africa, felt I could input on African bees as I have had some actual experience of them (other than the story I posted). As to my postcript, it is my creed also. I listen to all who have an opinion.  I heeded your reply to fordguy implying swarms do not sting to which I replied In your current posting you say you have hived many swarms through the years.  By implication you have never been stung by any of these swarms, perhaps I was wrong to suggest you go back to your books, you should be writing a book to help all of those who do get stung.
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Yarra_Valley
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« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2005, 09:36:48 AM »

Quote from: Jerrymac
THere is a story about where the term "KILLER BEE" came from. Seems some General down South didn't like the Scientest that the bees got away from. SO he blamed every sting and death on the excaped "killer bees'.

Anyone know where that story is found?


Here's a little information on it:

http://www.beesource.com/news/article/fruitgwr.htm

I've read the full story in a book before, but don't know where else it can be found.

-J.
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gottabee
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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2005, 08:32:33 PM »

I did not intend to set off a fire storm or provoke and arguement. Perhaps it would have been better to use the AHB term and not the other. None the less I am extremely interested in the affects the AHB populations have had on the beekeeping industry. Of particular interest would be how beekeepers have changed and adapted due to the influx of the AHB populations. I simply would like to how what to expect and whether to anticipate changes to our management practices.
Imbkpr and Diver, thanks very much for sharing your thoughts on the matter.  
Upon catching up on my reading in Bee Culture I found more articles on the Florida AHB ferel colonies.
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2005, 09:58:58 PM »

The latest I got from LSU ( Louisiana State University ) that the AHB is here and spreading from Tx eastward and northward.

Going eastward to where is a ? Same for northwards. The AHB has been found in AR, OK,  and now LA, confirmed. We all know about westward HO.

The beekeeping methods will have to be modified and your state Bee People will have to implement an education program to inform and hopefully educate  the public about the AHB.

The various municipal protective services, Fire dept/EMS, Cops, etc will have to be educated  to know how to differentiate between the good, the bad and the ugly bees.  cry

Bee Keepers, at least those who will want to continue with the possibility of having to cope with agressive bees, will have to be more alert to the hives disposition.  The feral colony removers will have to take precautions above and beyound what they are currently taking to remove colonies and it will be wise to carry liability insurance.

Re-Queening often with known docile stock will more than likely be the surest way to keep the hives manageable.

It is believed that it will be impossible to keep the AHB influence completly at bay no matter what practices bee keepers employ.

I was treated to this information by the LSU bee lab people recently at the www.labeekeepersassociation.org recent meeting this past 2-3 DEC.

In short, the bees be here, and, the bees be staying.
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