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Tue Apr 10, 2012, 10:06 AM

Partially Africanized bees found in East Tennessee


The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has confirmed the state's first case of partially Africanized honeybees in a bee colony in Monroe County.

The discovery was confirmed last week after the bee keeper notified a state inspector that his bees were acting aggressively. Samples from the hive were sent to a state laboratory in Florida for genetic testing, and those results showed the bees to be 17 percent Africanized.

The colony has been destroyed and state agricultural officials now are working with area bee- keepers to monitor their hives for aggressive behavior.

In addition, officials also will be on the lookout for aggressive behavior among wild bee colonies.


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Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply Partially Africanized bees found in East Tennessee (Original post)
jpak Apr 2012 OP
mopinko Apr 2012 #1
Javaman Apr 2012 #2
Nihil Apr 2012 #3
Javaman Apr 2012 #4
Nihil Apr 2012 #5

Response to jpak (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 10:11 AM

1. gotta wonder if this is really a bad thing.

seems like our bees are in trouble. mother nature stepping in.

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Response to jpak (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:42 AM

2. I find it odd that they destroyed the colony...

simply replacing the queen would have done the job of "deafricanizing" the hive.

I raise bees.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 07:28 AM

3. Do bees do the "kill all offspring of the previous leader" thing?


Thinking here of the way that a new alpha in a pack will kill (or drive away at least)
the offspring of the old alpha, would a new queen in a colony do the same?

If not, surely the already laid eggs are incapable of being "deafricanized" and so
the problem will continue unless the colony is destroyed?

Or am I misunderstanding the idea of "Africanized"? Is it a behavioural (= learned)
term rather than a species as such?

I don't raise bees and know little about them compared to a bee-keeper so was
surprised by the suggestion that there would be a solution that didn't involved
extermination of the colony of invaders ... but am willing to learn!

(Edited for typo ... "beek-keeper"? Honestly ... )

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Response to Nihil (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 09:20 AM

4. The average bee lives only about 3 to 5 weeks.

and they take their "orders", if you will, from the queen.

A new non-africanized queen would go a long way to first calming down the hive via the release of her pheromones.

once accepted, usually in about 3 to 5 days, the queen then starts producing new offspring.

Any larva that is still in gestation will hatch but their aggressive-ness will be greatly stunted via the new Queens pheromones.

After about 3 weeks, the hive is pretty much completely normal and can be contained.

The very basic difference between Italian or American bee and Africanized bees is pretty simple.

When a ordinary hive is disturbed by an outside source, several guard bees come out to harass the intruder. They only sting as a last resort, because the bees actually know they will die if they do.

With an Africanized hive, instead of only a few bees to come out to harass the intruder, just about the whole hive warms and attacks. That's the difference.

Most bees even Africanized bees won't attack you unless you screw with the hive. They must perceive you as a threat. Just walking within 5 feet of a hive won't do a thing. If you kick the hive, poke the hive, shake the hive or do anything physical with the hive in a violent manner any bee will get pissed but Africanized bees get really pissed.

Regular bees are pretty docile. I can walk right up to my hive and observe them with out any problems. Bees will come out and check me out, but that's about it. I only suit up when I'm opening up the hive and use smoke when I have to inspect the frames. They take that as threat, rightly so.

I'm a bee geek. LOL

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Response to Javaman (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 07:27 AM

5. Thanks for that!


I love watching them in the garden and it's good to find out more about their home life!

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