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  • Kenneth G. Sexton posted an update in the group Group logo of Southern New Mexico BeekeepersSouthern New Mexico Beekeepers 2 years, 1 month ago

    We are making plans to moving to Southern NM. Are African Bees a problem ?

    • Africanized honey bees are established in NM and AZ and TX and elsewhere. They are a problem for beekeepers, but less of a problem for the general public. I helped with the first identification of AHB here Grant County more than a decade ago, when a pit bull dog was stung to death. He was on a rope and could not escape.

      • Greetings, Southern New Mexico Beekeepers. This is Patrick Pynes, President of the Northern Arizona Organic Beekeepers’ Association (NAOBA). I learned beekeeping while living in Alburquerque’s South Valley during the 1990s. That was before the more highly defensive bees originally from South Africa and Tanzania made their way northward.
        Here in northern and central Arizona, we also have some of the more highly defensive tropical-evolved honeybees. Generally speaking (but not always) these locally adapted bees (it didn’t take them long to adapt to local conditions) are more challenging to work with compared to temperate-evolved (European) honeybees. Many of us have come to think of these different bees as a challenge and as a solution rather than as a problem. However, it is true that they make urban beekeeping (especially) much more challenging, and some of the more highly defensive colonies cannot and should not be kept in backyard situations. We seem to have an especially strong group of highly defensive honeybees living in the Verde Valley of Arizona. There are also “Africanized” bees living in the higher, cooler elevations above the Mogollon Rim, but they don’t seem as highly defensive in these different environments. As Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller of the Cherokee Nation once said, “context is everything.” We are thinking that it might be possible over the long-term to select and breed for the most productive and least defensive honeybee stock here in the “Africanized zone,” which also includes much of New Mexico. But for now that thought is still pretty much theoretical….Many of us here are working with “pure” tropical-evolved bees, with “pure” temperate-evolved bees, and with all of the “mongrels” (Brother Adam’s word; I prefer “mestizas”) of the fascinating mixing and matching between the two extremes.
        All the Best from the former Territory of New Mexico. –P. Pynes

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