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5910RE: [beekeeping] AHB in Florida

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  • Lynn Powell
    Sep 2, 2005
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      Here in Arkansas my husband is a state inspector. We are the ones that go
      down to the africanized areas and take samples of bees and send them off to
      be tested. We now, this year, have gotten AHB. The rule here is that if a
      kept hive is found to be africanized, the owner has to simply replace the
      queen with one of known origin - buy one. She is the one that lays the eggs
      that makes the workers and if she is european then the africanized workers
      will dwindle over 6 weeks while she lays european eggs to make european
      workers. We are just now trying to deal with what to do about commercial
      beekeepers because that is very expensive if they have to replace many
      queens in order to be certified and be able to move outside of the
      africanized zone. Anyway, africanized bees can be worked, though you need
      more protection than seasoned beekeepers usually use for european bees.
      BUT.... studies have shown that africanized bees produce significantly less
      honey than european bees. Therefore, it is in the best interest of
      beekeepers to maintain european hives and replace the queens if they suspect
      the hive has become africanized.

      Arkansas info on AHB is on a website now:

      http://www.plantboard.org/apiary/honey-bees/index.html

      Lynn

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