AFRICANIZED HONEY BEES Honey Bees In The United States Honey bees are not native to the Am

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AFRICANIZED HONEY BEES Honey Bees In The United States Honey bees are not native to the Americas. During the 1600's, settlers brought honey bee colonies with them from Europe, hence the name European honey bees (EHB). Today, honey bees are commonly seen visiting flowers to gather nectar needed to produce the sweet food product, honey, that is associated with this insect. In the process of visiting blossoms, honey bees pollinate cultivated crops valued at $30 billion annually. Additionally, honey bees play an important role in pollinating plants that are necessary for wildlife. Bees have numerous predators, including humans, that take the honey, pollen, and beeswax that the colony produces for its survival. Consequently, honey bees have developed effective colony defense strategies. If unprovoked, honey bees rarely use their stingers; but if they do sting, they only do it once and die soon afterwards. Africanized Honey Bees In 1956 researchers in Brazil attempted to develop a more appropriate honey bee than the races that had been imported from Europe. Honey bee queens from Africa, whose offspring were presumably better suited for tropical Brazilian conditions, were imported and established in test colonies in Rio Claro, Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 1957 some African bee swarms escaped into the Brazilian countryside where their queens hybridized with the more docile resident European honey bees. African honey bee queens were also given to beekeepers at that time. The offspring of these bees defended their nests more vigorously, swarmed more often, and were generally better suited for survival in the tropics than European honey bees. Researchers named this African - European hybrid the Africanized honey bee (AHB). However, as a result of widely publicized stinging incidents, the movie industry and media used the name "Killer Bee" to describe the Africanized honey bee, thus giving the public serious misconceptions about this type of honey bee. Occasional swarms on ships coming from South and Central America are a concern but are not major threats to the public or to the beekeeping industry. The first Africanized honey bee colony found in the United States (as a result of natural range expansion) was reported on October 15, 1990, at Hildago, Texas, very near the Mexican border. Other AHB swarms have been found since then, but all known AHB swarms have been destroyed. Defensive Behavior Of Africanized Honey Bees Unlike the docile European honey bees common in the United States, the Africanized honey bee defends its hive more quickly and will pursue intruders greater distances. Most serious stinging incidents have involved animals; but, on rare occasions, humans have also been stung. Stinging occurs after a human or animal has intruded the territory of the honey bee colony. In some cases, vibrations from machinery have provoked stinging incidents. Chance encounters with individual AHB's on blossoms pose no greater threat than an encounter with European honey bees. Even though mass stinging is terrifying and could be life threatening, it is rare. Also, the venom from one AHB sting is no more potent than the venom of a single EHB sting. Common sense is the best defense for avoiding stings from all stinging insects -not just honey bees. If you are being stung or you are in the vicinity of large numbers of insects you think might sting, calmly but quickly move away from the area. Other Africanized Honey Bee Traits In spite of its "big" reputation, the AHB is actually smaller than the European honey bee. However, the difference is not obvious. For identification, special techniques must be used. Beekeepers in areas recently Africanized commonly complain that honey yields have dropped precipitously. However, after developing different management schemes over several years, honey yields in Africanized areas have recovered somewhat. The AHB produces swarms more often than the European honey bee currently found in the United States. This is due in part to their shorter development time and the propensity to use resources to rear more bees, rather than to store their resources for periods of shortage. Consequently, Africanized honey bees sometimes gain a population advantage over European honey bees. Africanized honey bees frequently construct nests in exposed areas that would rarely be selected by EHB. However, the higher frequency of exposed nests could be because the preferred sites are occupied. Since these bees are well suited for life in warm climates, there is reason to believe that the warmer states will have to contend with feral Africanized honey bee establishment first. However, due to potential encounters with EHB in great numbers, the AHB could become further hybridized. In the future even honey bees in northern states may show some Africanized honey bee traits. Both European honey bees and Africanized honey bees require pollen collected from plants as a protein source. The Africanized honey bee's unique manageability characteristics concern many U.S. beekeepers who move thousands of colonies each season for crop pollination and honey production. If Africanization Is Suspected If Africanization is suspected, contact your county agent, state apiarist, state beekeeping extension specialist, or the local bee inspector for help. Determining whether or not Africanization has occurred is a difficult procedure that will require technical assistance. The county extension office will usually have the address and telephone numbers for authorities who can help. Collecting Honey Bee Samples for Identification: Dead bee samples can be collected and preserved in several ways. A small jar or plastic container with a 70 percent alcohol solution is appropriate for preserving bees for morphometric identification. Ethanol is best, but isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol or methanol can also be used. Collect 50 to 100 adult worker bees. Another way to collect a similar sample requires collecting live bees in a sealable plastic bag and immediately putting the bag in a freezer. Live bee collection should be performed by an appropriately trained individual. All samples should be submitted to the appropriate State Apiary Inspector or State Extension Apiculturist for routing to the proper authorities for identification. The county agent will be able to help in contacting them. Disposing of Africanized honey bee swarms and feral colonies: The increase in the number of swarms that normally accompanies the Africanization of an area and the greater public awareness of all honey bees means there will be more requests for assistance to dispose of unwanted colonies. This activity requires properly trained and equipped response teams. Untrained, unprotected individuals are at high risk of being severely stung. Again, state beekeeping authorities should be contacted for assistance in destroying suspected Africanized honey bee colonies. Understanding The Africanized Honey Bee Scientists have studied the Africanized honey bee in other countries for many years. These projects conducted in Argentina, Venezuela, French Guiana, Brazil, and other South and Central American countries during the past twenty years have yielded much information about AHB behavior and biology. Cooperative programs between the United States and Mexico have also been helpful in understanding the Africanized honey bee's swarming behavior and rate of spread. Though much has been learned about the Africanized honey bee, more research is needed. Articles about deaths associated with the Africanized honey bee have been published, but the actual number of deaths has been very small. Statistically, everyday risks, such as auto accidents, pose a much greater risk to the public. The public should stay informed about issues concerning Africanized honey bees, but not be unduly alarmed. Any future Africanized honey bee problems are not without solutions. This factsheet was prepared by Dr. James E. Tew, National Program Leader, Apiculture, Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and The Ohio State University at Wooster, Ohio and Dr. Anita M. Collins, Research Leader, Honey Bee Research Laboratory, Agriculture Research Service, USDA, Weslaco, Texas in cooperation with the USDA Interagency Technical Working Group on the Africanized Honey Bee. IMPORTANT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AFRICANIZED AND EUROPEAN HONEY BEES Africanized and European honey bees are members of the same species, Apis mellifera. They represent populations that have evolved under different environmental conditions. The same basic behavior, biochemistry, and structure are expressed by all members of the species. However, there are differences in the range, size, or frequency of expression of some characteristics. The differences that do exist have led to our concerns about the spread of the AHB into the United States; however, they have allowed us to distinguish them from European honey bees. Defensive Behavior The single characteristic of Africanized honey bees (AHB) receiving the most public attention is their excessive level of colony defense. All honey bees respond to perceived threats to the nest; however, AHB do so more readily and more vigorously than European honey bees (EHB). In studies with both types of colonies, the AHB responded to cues of disturbance, alarm pheromone, and moving targets much faster than the EHB. In addition, three to four times as many AHB worker bees reacted and left eight to ten times as many stings in 30 seconds in suede test targets. A greater number of AHB will pursue intruders for a greater distance than EHB. Research has confirmed that there is a great deal of behavioral variation in both populations between colonies and from day to day. It is important to recognize that AHB colonies are unpredictable and have a greater potential for excessive stinging. Africanized honey bees have killed people and domestic animals. In Mexico over 1,000 stingings, which include 58 human deaths, have been reported between September 1986, and September 1991. When an apiary is disturbed by a beekeeper or other intruder, AHB colonies remain aroused and defensive much longer. It may take a disturbed AHB apiary as long as a week to return to a quiet state. The Technical Working Group of the USDA is recommending that beekeepers not attempt to manage Africanized colonies. They should requeen, move, or destroy such colonies. Even a few colonies of defensive bees in an apiary may cause problems. Weather, season, and food availability can affect the demeanor of any honey bee colony. Consequently, predicting times when a colony may become defensive is difficult. Assuredly, unprepared beekeepers are at risk of being seriously stung. Honey Production The honey production potential of the Africanized honey bees is a characteristic that is often misunderstood. This trait is highly dependent on the quality and quantity of nectar available for collection by foraging bees. The differences in behavior that are seen in AHB are ones that make them more effective survivors in a tropical environment where nectar flows are often scattered, are of poor quality nectar and are irregular. It is rain that stimulates blooming, not the season. Those same characteristics make them unsuited as effective honey producers in temperate climates where the pattern is a seasonal one, nectar flows are intense, and there is a long period with no bloom (winter). For the beekeeper, this means that for most areas with economically important nectar flows, the European varieties will outproduce Africanized honey bees. Colony Reproduction One survival adaptation of Africanized honey bees is to multiply quickly and then to swarm. The Africanized honey bee has the propensity to swarm more often than the European honey bee. Africanized honey bees have a shorter development time, emerging as adults approximately one day earlier. Another difference is in the brood pattern. The AHB brood is often in a wide pattern filling an entire frame. Beekeepers listed the characteristic full frames of brood as being the most significant visible difference between EHB and Africanized honey bees. All this brood may be maintained with little stored honey and pollen. As soon as nectar and pollen are brought into the hive, they are used to feed young larvae. Body Size and Color The expression of body size is the difference that is used for the official identification of the Africanized honey bees. The AHB is smaller than the EHB. A method called USDA-ID uses measurements of wings, wing angles, legs, and wax mirrors to predict the probability that a sample of ten bees from a colony is AHB or EHB. The procedure requires dissection of the bees and measurement with the aid of a computer. Body color is a very unreliable characteristic for identification of AHB. Although they tend to be dark and distinctively striped, there is considerable variation within the AHB population. Also, some European honey bees may show similar coloration. Another size measurement that has been used to make preliminary identifications in the field is the length of ten cells of honey comb. This distance in EHB is usually greater than 5.0 cm and in AHB less than 4.9 cm. Several measurements must be made in areas of naturally drawn comb with no distortions. Other Observable Differences Africanized bees on the comb are nervous, or "runny." Often they will fly off a frame when it is handled, or may hang from the bottom edge in festoons. Since the queen frequently runs on the comb, she can be difficult to find within the hive. Additionally, mated and laying AHB queens have been observed to fly away from a colony as it is being examined. It is not unusual to have to remove all the frames from a hive to search for the queen. The AHB may also "parade" around the empty bee hive in great swirls. Africanized honey bee colonies often show heavy propolizing, especially around the entrance. Their behavior in reducing the entrance area with large sheets of propolis may be a defense against ants or other predators. An invalid identification attribute is the quick, jerky flight attributed to the AHB. It has been incorrectly reported that only returning Africanized honey bee workers seem to fly directly into the entrance without landing on the landing board. European honey bees may also act this way during good nectar flows. This factsheet was prepared by Dr. James E. Tew, National Program Leader, Apiculture, Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and The Ohio State University at Wooster, Ohio and Dr. Anita M. Collins, Research Leader, Honey Bee Research Laboratory, Agriculture Research Service, USDA, Weslaco, Texas in cooperation with the USDA Interagency Technical Working Group on the Africanized Honey Bee. HONEY PRODUCTION AND POLLINATION CHARACTERISTICS OF THE AFRICANIZED HONEY BEE Honey Production by Africanized Honey Bees Beekeepers in areas recently Africanized have a common complaint--honey yields have dropped precipitously. Honey yields have recovered somewhat after several years of developing management schemes more appropriate to Africanized honey bees (AHB). Africanized honey bees are essentially gleaning bees - bees that tend to forage individually. Even on a weak nectar/pollen flow, AHB still forage and return with nectar and pollen. Since a weak flow will not support brood nest expansion or swarming preparation, Africanized honey bees store the nectar as honey. Under the same conditions, European honey bees (EHB) will not forage marginal plants that Africanized bees will accept. European bees, quite literally, will starve to death located beside an AHB colony that is bringing in enough resources to survive. During good nectar and pollen flows, AHB are more likely to swarm. The AHB colony will start supporting brood production using the excess honey. Then, at the first opportunity, the colonies will drastically reduce the honey crop by swarming. Unfortunately, the idea that using AHB in marginal areas for honey production has been thought of as practical. However, beekeepers must realize that marginal areas are unprofitable under most conditions even using AHB. Under no circumstances should a beekeeper in the U.S. maintain AHB colonies. There are too many potential problems - including severe stinging incidents. In a nectar flow environment where a beekeeper can make a living, EHB will outperform AHB, will be more profitable, and will have fewer problems. Pollination Behavior of the Africanized Honey Bee Africanized honey bees devote about half of their foraging force to pollen collection while EHB rarely use more than 25 to 30 percent of the worker population for collecting pollen. Thus Africanized honey bees collect more pollen over time, partly because they devote a greater proportion of their foraging population to this task. In general, both AHB and EHB do a good job of pollinating flowers. However, other traits of Africanized honey bees make them unsuitable for use in commercial pollination management schemes. They are more stressed by the frequent moving and manipulation which leads to higher levels of absconding, stress-related disease, queen loss, and general disruption of normal foraging behavior. The extreme defensive behavior of the AHB makes it impractical to use in areas being harvested or where farm workers and other persons are present. In areas where beekeepers can maintain bees profitably, EHB will outperform AHB in honey production. Using AHB as pollinators can mean poor colony performance. In both cases, either for honey production or pollination, the use of AHB carries with it the threat of severe stinging of workers, other people, and farm or domestic animals. This factsheet was prepared by Dr. James E. Tew, National Program Leader, Apiculture, Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and The Ohio State University at Wooster, Ohio and Dr. Anita M. Collins, Research Leader, Honey Bee Research Laboratory, Agriculture Research Service, USDA, Weslaco, Texas in cooperation with the USDA Interagency Technical Working Group on the Africanized Honey Bee. THE HISTORY OF THE AFRICANIZED HONEY BEE AND ITS RANGE EXPANSION INTO THE UNITED STATES Scientists believe that all honey bees originated in Southeast Asia because many of the current species, Apis cerana, Apis dorsata, and Apis florea, still exist there. The Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, is believed to have spread out from that region to inhabit areas of Africa and Europe. The bees in Europe underwent natural selection to survive in a climate with long, cold winters and intense nectar flows of relatively short duration. The bees that spread into Africa evolved to survive under more tropical conditions, with an annual pattern of wet and dry seasons, and weak, unpredictable nectar flows. Honey bees did not occur naturally in the Americas. Early American settlers, knowing the value of honey bees, brought many races from Europe. A. mellifera, from Northern Europe, A. mellifera ligustica, from Italy, and A. mellifera iberica, from Spain, were among the races introduced to the new world. These European races did well in North America, which has a climate like Europe, but did not become well established in the tropical areas of South and Central America. Citrus is known internationally as a nectar-producing crop. The growth of the citrus industry in Brazil in the 1950's made scientists aware of the potential for increased honey production in their country. In an attempt to improve the domestic honey bees of Brazil, in the late 1950's, a Brazilian geneticist went to Africa to select and import queens of A. mellifera scutellata for a breeding program. This race of bees was being used by beekeepers in the Eastern Highlands of Africa with both modern and rustic beekeeping methods. Because queens first selected and shipped to Brazil died in transit, early attempts at importation were unsuccessful. However, in 1957, African queens from South Africa and Tanzania were introduced into honey bee colonies in the state of Sao Paulo. The African honey bee became established in the Brazilian jungle after an accident allowed 26 swarms with imported African queens to escape. Additionally, other African queens were given to local beekeepers for their use. Consequently, the African bees adapted to a tropical environment and became established in Brazil. Since African and European honey bees are members of the same species, A. mellifera, they interbred freely. Matings between the African honey bee, A. mellifera scutellata, and European races already in Brazil resulted in a hybrid bee population. These hybrid bees were named Africanized honey bees (AHB). In areas where there were relatively few or no European honey bees (EHB), the predominant hybrid was more African-like. In areas with extensive beekeeping and importation of EHB queens, the feral AHB population showed the clear influence of the European honey bee stock. As the AHB expanded its range from the original site in the state of Sao Paulo in Brazil, it moved in all directions. They spread to the coast on the east and to the Andes mountains on the west. The Andes served as a barrier to westward movement across South America until the bees crossed the mountains in Northern Peru. The AHB entered Ecuador from the south and Peru from the north. At the same time the AHB moved north through South America into Central America and from there to North America. On October 15, 1990, an AHB swarm that moved naturally into the United States was captured and destroyed in southern Texas for the first time. The Africanized honey bee has the ability to survive in many different climates. Colonies have been found in rain forest and dry desert areas. They establish nests from the low coastal regions to high mountains (about 9,000 ft in Colombia, 11,000 ft in Venezuela). Early predictions were that the AHB would be limited to the warmest areas of the southern states and California. Other scientists felt that the AHB was cold-tolerant enough to spread throughout much of the United States with the possible exception of the northern midwest. Researchers are still unsure how far north the Africanized honey bee will survive in the United States. This factsheet was prepared by Dr. James E. Tew, National Program Leader, Apiculture, Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and The Ohio State University at Wooster, Ohio and Dr. Anita M. Collins, Research Leader, Honey Bee Research Laboratory, Agriculture Research Service, USDA, Weslaco, Texas in cooperation with the USDA Interagency Technical Working Group on the Africanized Honey Bee. CURRENT RESEARCH ON AFRICANIZED HONEY BEE HYBRIDIZATION The study of the introduction and establishment of Africanized honey bees in specific areas has been intensively discussed in scientific literature. Recent research conducted in Argentina and Mexico has presented information pertaining to honey bee hybridization that has occurred in two areas. In the Neotropics, introduced European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) have been largely supplanted by bees descended from an African race, A. mellifera scutellata Lepetier, which were introduced into Brazil in the 1950's. Recent restriction enzyme analyses indicate that mitochondrial DNA in some neotropical populations is almost entirely of African origin, and these data have been cited as evidence for asymmetrical gene flow between African- and European-derived populations. Evaluation of the nature of hybridization in the Neotropics is, however, confounded by possible population size advantages for the African-derived group. As an alternative approach, genetic interactions have been studied in transitional areas between zones ecologically and climatically adaptive for each geographic type. A study was conducted that transected regions populated by African- and European-derived honey bees in Argentina. Mitochondrial DNA, morphological and isoenzyme analysis from this study showed that substantial hybridization occurs between European and African bees in the surveyed area. In the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, a population genetic analysis of honey bees has shown that the range expansion of Africanized bees there has involved extensive introgressive hybridization with the large resident population of European honey bees. The Yucatan honey bee population now includes many colonies with intermediate morphologies. Genotypes of mitochondria have disassociated from historically correlated Africanized or European morphology, producing diverse phenotypic associations. This suggests that the size of the resident European populations may be important in explaining previously reported asymmetrical hybridization. Evidence of natural hybridization is encouraging for the use of genetic management to mitigate the effects of Africanized honey bees in the United States. This factsheet was prepared by Dr. James E. Tew, National Program Leader, Apiculture, Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and The Ohio State University at Wooster, Ohio and Dr. Anita M. Collins, Research Leader, Honey Bee Research Laboratory, Agriculture Research Service, USDA, Weslaco, Texas in cooperation with the USDA Interagency Technical Working Group on the Africanized Honey Bee. DISPOSING OF AFRICANIZED SWARMS OR FERAL COLONIES Africanized Honey Bee Swarm Destruction Because of the increasing number of feral swarms normally accompanying the Africanization of an area and some misconceptions by the public about honey bees, there is a need for swarm/colony destruction by trained personnel. In countries where Africanization has already occurred, such as those in South and Central America, fire departments or specially-trained units are called to destroy swarms or established colonies. In the United States, this responsibility may be assumed by different parties depending on the state and/or local laws and regulations. Private parties such as beekeepers and pest control operators must be aware of state laws and regulations regarding pest control and use of chemicals and the potential for liability. Honey bee control, especially with the Africanized honey bee (AHB), could result in stinging incidents for untrained people. Other potential problems are the environmental consequences of chemical use or the damage to buildings including dwellings. Applicators of restricted-use pesticides must be certified by the state. The county extension agent will know when Pesticide Applicator Training programs are available in their county. Recommendations for Removing AHB Swarms There are a number of ways to remove swarms and wild colonies safely. Primary concerns of those performing the removal and destruction service are: their own safety, the safety of onlookers, and the safety of the people or animals around the area after the swarm is removed. Several pesticides are readily available that list honey bees on their labels, including several wasp and hornet sprays. Carbon dioxide and dry chemical fire extinguishers have also been used. However, wasp and hornet sprays and extinguishers may constitute a hazard for nearby observers since bees could fly readily from the cluster. There are, however, other ways of killing bees. Some recent research was directed at identifying the most appropriate methods for killing swarms. The most effective method for exposed bees (such as a swarm settled on a branch) is soap and water. A solution of one cup of liquid dishwashing detergent in one gallon of water is sprayed, using a garden sprayer, on the cluster of bees until all are thoroughly covered. Another material, called "wet water," available to fire departments, is also effective. Bees cannot fly from the cluster when their wings are wet. Adding detergent or a surfactant causes the water to penetrate the breathing tubes. Dead and fallen bees should be collected on a drop cloth or similar material and disposed of in a suitable manner. For nests in cavities, including colonies, the soap method is not acceptable because it is too difficult to achieve good penetration of the bee mass. When the bees are in a confined area that can be closed up, approved insecticides are most effective. If used correctly, most of the bees within the cavity should be immobilized within 15 minutes. Any comb and honey from nests treated with insecticides are contaminated and must be disposed of properly. Another alternative may be used for bees in hives or other structures that can be enclosed in a heavy-duty plastic bag. Enclose the nest in the bag and allow the bees to suffocate in the hot sun, or put the bag in a freezer until the bees are dead. Both approaches require more time to be sure the bees are dead. In all cases of bee removal, dead bees, comb, honey, and brood must be disposed of correctly. Any residue such as rotting brood, melting comb, or fermenting honey may attract more swarms. If possible, the cavity should be made inaccessible to prevent other swarms from colonizing the same site. ONLY USE insecticides registered for use on bees! Registration is a legal procedure and the label is a legal, enforceable document. Using these materials outside their label designations is illegal! Many insecticides are hazardous to humans and animals. Never use fire or flammable materials such as gasoline, paint thinner, or kerosene to kill bees. Suppressing Feral Africanized Honey Bee Populations Should Africanized honey bee populations become established within an area, unmanageable bee populations can be controlled, or at least suppressed, using chemicals or practical procedures. Only individuals having pesticide applicator certification, or in some other way sanctioned to use insecticides by the state, should apply chemicals to honey bee populations. Swarm traps baited with chemical attractants are a proven effective means of eliminating swarms. Using swarm traps is more work than using chemicals, but simpler and safer. This factsheet was prepared by Dr. James E. Tew, National Program Leader, Apiculture, Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and The Ohio State University at Wooster, Ohio and Dr. Anita M. Collins, Research Leader, Honey Bee Research Laboratory, Agriculture Research Service, USDA, Weslaco, Texas in cooperation with the USDA Interagency Technical Working Group on the Africanized Honey Bee. ATTRACTING HONEY BEE SWARMS WITH BAIT HIVES Bait hives (also referred to as swarm traps) are hollow containers placed outdoors to attract honey bee swarms. After a swarm occupies a bait hive, it can be added to an apiary or destroyed. In areas with Africanized honey bees (AHB), destruction of swarms is recommended and may be regulated by the state. Constructing Bait Hives The term "bait hive" originated from the use of wooden boxes or hive equipment to attract swarms. A bait hive may also be a manufactured container such as a box or pulp pot used to attract swarms searching for nest sites. How Bait Hives Work Bait hives operate on the principle of providing a bee swarm with a nest site. The most effective box for a swarm: (1) is about the size of a standard hive body; (2) is sturdy; (3) contains an entrance hole about an inch in diameter; and (4) contains a pheromone lure to attract the swarm. The artificially produced pheromone lure is a copy of the chemicals produced by Nasanov glands of worker honey bees. This worker-produced scent is used by swarms to control their movement and cohesiveness and to mark the site of the new nest. Without a pheromone lure, bait hives are not as attractive to honey bee swarms. Three types of bait hives are commonly used. One of these is a cardboard box about 18 by 12 by 7 inches, covered with a blue, yellow, or white plastic bag. The other two are made of brown wood pulp fiber. One is like a flower pot, about 16 inches high and 16 inches in diameter. The other is simply a five-frame nucleus hive. This latter model also has other apiary uses. Hive equipment or wooden boxes can also be used as bait hives. The cardboard box/plastic bag bait hives have some advantages. They are inexpensive and collapsible, making them easy to transport; however, they are not durable. They may last only a few months in the field and are less attractive to honey bee swarms. The pulp pot swarm traps have different advantages. They may be used up to two years in the field and are more attractive to swarms. They are, however, more expensive to purchase and ship. Deploying Bait Hives Bait hives should be in place at times when bees are likely to swarm and in locations where bees are prone to search for new cavities. The beekeeper should position bait hives before the expected swarming season. Ideally, the bait hive should be placed in an open, but partially shaded location that is about 10-15 feet from the ground. Trees provide natural sites for bait hives. One should attach the bait hive securely, to decrease wind movement, and provide a pheromone lure. Lures are effective for about a year. Therefore, they should be replaced annually. During the swarming season, bait hives should be checked weekly and the bees removed. This factsheet was prepared by Dr. James E. Tew, National Program Leader, Apiculture, Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and The Ohio State University at Wooster, Ohio and Dr. Anita M. Collins, Research Leader, Honey Bee Research Laboratory, Agriculture Research Service, USDA, Weslaco, Texas in cooperation with the USDA Interagency Technical Working Group on the Africanized Honey Bee. THE AFRICANIZED HONEY BEE'S ABILITY TO TOLERATE COLD CONDITIONS Research Approaches Researchers have studied the over-wintering abilities of the Africanized honey bee (AHB) since the early 1970's. One of the first steps was to look at the natural range of the African parental race, Apis mellifera, in Africa and then look at the range of AHB populations in South America. In South Africa, A. mellifera scutellata colonies survive in areas that have cold conditions including short periods of snow. Observations on AHB and European honey bees (EHB) in the Andes mountains of South America showed a greater tolerance for cold by AHB than was once believed. Studies were also conducted using refrigeration chambers and with colonies over-wintered in Germany. In this latter study, where less than ten colonies of AHB were used, it was found that after three-and-a-half to four months of average over-wintering conditions, many more AHB colonies than EHB died. However, some AHB colonies survived as well as many European colonies and all of the F1 hybrid colonies. Conclusions Even though none of the AHB wintering studies have been conclusive, several trends and potential scenarios have been developed regarding the range of AHB in the U.S. Contrary to earlier hypothesis, it was found that AHB can thermoregulate quite well at cold temperatures. In fact, AHB, EHB, and their hybrids are equally capable of maintaining adequate temperatures inside the winter nest as long as they have access to food. The accumulated information also dispelled the idea that AHB are unable to form clusters during cold periods. The greatest winter survival difference between the two bee types is the absolute survival time of colonies and of workers over long periods of either flightlessness, confinement, or extreme cold. Future AHB Distribution in the United States The potential distribution of the AHB in the United States is dependent on many factors such as the ultimate level of hybridization with existing populations and various aspects of honey bee over-wintering biology. Several studies on the southern limits of AHB range expansion in Argentina have documented a clearly Africanized tropical population separated from a European population in more temperate areas by a relatively stable zone of hybridization. The bees in this zone show many combinations of AHB and EHB characteristics. It is very likely that a similar situation will come to exist in the US. However, exactly where in this country the northern limit of the AHB population will lie is still a matter for extensive speculation. This factsheet was prepared by Dr. James E. Tew, National Program Leader, Apiculture, Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and The Ohio State University at Wooster, Ohio and Dr. Anita M. Collins, Research Leader, Honey Bee Research Laboratory, Agriculture Research Service, USDA, Weslaco, Texas in cooperation with the USDA Interagency Technical Working Group on the Africanized Honey Bee.

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