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Voorkeurkriteria vir nuwe byekolonie-ligging

Voorkeurkriteria vir nuwe byekolonie-ligging


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As 'n mens wil ek 'n huis hê met 'n dak, binnenshuise loodgieterswerk, foutvry, en my vrou gelukkig maak. Ek wil nie te ver ry werk toe nie, en dit moet goed geskik wees vir nageslag.

Wat is die kriteria wat 'n "goeie plek" definieer vir 'n nuwe plek vir heuningbye. Ek is seker dit behels water, skadu, toegang tot nektar en verdedigbaarheid, maar ek weet nie van die besonderhede nie.

Het iemand al ooit maatreëls hiervoor getref? Byeboere? Apioloë? Wat is die dinge wat bye dink is belangrik, en watter waardes dink hulle is die "beste"?


Volgens Thomas Seeley gee hy in sy boek, Honeybee Democracy, die volgende as belangrike kriteria vir heuningbye wanneer 'n nesplek gekies word wanneer 'n byekolonie na swerm beweeg:

  • Groter volume (die minimum neskapasiteit was ongeveer 14 liter met meer voorkeur bo neste met 'n kapasiteit van ongeveer 30 tot minder as 100 liter)
  • Relatief klein ingang (10 tot 30 sentimeter vierkant)
  • Nes met die ingang naby die vloer van 'n boomholte
  • Richting van die nesingang (suidwaarts vir termoregulering gedurende die winter)
  • Nesthoogte (voorkeur gegee aan hoër neste vir kolonie-verdediging)
  • Oorblyfsels van vorige heuningkoeke (spaar werk en energie in die bou van die nesstruktuur)

Interessant genoeg het bye nie noodwendig 'n voorkeur getoon vir die vorm van die ingang, die vorm van die nes, die draftigheid of droogte van die nesholte nie (hulle kan neste toestop en waterdig).

Beskikbaarheid van blomme/nektar/voedsel is nie noodwendig 'n direkte faktor nie, aangesien dit gereeld deur die seisoene verander en heuningbye nie in staat is om hul heuningwinkels (wat nodig is om die kolonie regdeur die winter te onderhou) te verlaat of saam te neem elke keer as die kolonie sukkel om kos te vind. Heuningbye het 'n komplekse en doeltreffende stelsel vir geoptimaliseerde ligging en deel van voedselbronne, daarom is afstand nie so 'n groot faktor nie.


Ek neem aan jy praat van die aanhou van heuningbye apis mellifera , nie ander spesies nie.
Byeboere beweeg dikwels daar korwe rond om die beskikbaarheid van nektar te volg, so ek neem aan nektarbeskikbaarheid word as die belangrikste faktor beskou. In my land is wilgerboom die eerste wat blom salix. Daarna trek hulle na kersie&pruimboomplantasies en daarna na appel&pear.


Kunsmatige byekolonie-algoritme

Die Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) algoritme is 'n swermgebaseerde metaheuristiese algoritme wat in 2005 deur Karaboga (Karaboga, 2005) ingestel is vir die optimalisering van numeriese probleme. Dit is geïnspireer deur die intelligente voergedrag van heuningbye. Die algoritme is spesifiek gebaseer op die model wat deur Tereshko en Loengarov (2005) voorgestel is vir die voergedrag van heuningbykolonies. Die model bestaan ​​uit drie noodsaaklike komponente: werkende en werklose kossoekende bye, en voedselbronne. Die eerste twee komponente, werkende en werklose bye wat kos soek, soek ryk voedselbronne, wat die derde komponent is, naby hul korf. Die model definieer ook twee toonaangewende gedragswyses wat nodig is vir selforganiserende en kollektiewe intelligensie: werwing van vreters na ryk voedselbronne wat positiewe terugvoer tot gevolg het en die verlating van swak bronne deur vreters wat negatiewe terugvoer veroorsaak.

In ABC soek 'n kolonie kunsmatige voerbye (agente) na ryk kunsmatige voedselbronne (goeie oplossings vir 'n gegewe probleem). Om ABC toe te pas, word die oorweegde optimeringsprobleem eers omgeskakel na die probleem om die beste parametervektor te vind wat 'n objektiewe funksie minimaliseer. Dan ontdek die kunsmatige bye lukraak 'n populasie van aanvanklike oplossingsvektore en verbeter hulle dan iteratief deur die strategieë te gebruik: beweeg na beter oplossings deur middel van 'n buursoekmeganisme terwyl swak oplossings laat vaar word.


Voorkeurkriteria vir nuwe byekolonie-ligging - Biologie

Die Afrikaanse heuningby, Apis mellifera scutellata Lepeletier, is 'n subspesie (of ras) van die westelike heuningby, Apis mellifera Linnaeus, wat natuurlik in Afrika suid van die Sahara voorkom, maar in die Amerikas ingevoer is. Meer as 10 subspesies van westerse heuningbye bestaan ​​in Afrika en almal word met reg 'Afrika' heuningbye genoem. Die term "African (Africanized) heuningby" verwys egter uitsluitlik na Vm. scutellata in die by se ingevoerde reeks.

Figuur 1. Volwasse Afrikaanse heuningbye, Apis mellifera scutelatta Lepeletier, op kam in kolonie. Foto deur William H. Kern, Universiteit van Florida.

Subspesies van westerse heuningbye is inheems aan Europa en Afrika, maar is wyd verspreid buite hul eie omvang vanweë hul ekonomiese belangrikheid as bestuiwers en produsente van heuning.

Aanvanklik is slegs Europese subspesies van heuningbye (hierna na verwys as Europese bye) in die Amerikas ingebring, waar gevind is dat hulle produktief is in gematigde Noord-Amerika, maar minder so in Sentraal- en Suid-Amerika waar tropiese/subtropiese klimate oorheers. In reaksie op die swak prestasie van Europese bye in Brasilië, het Warwick Kerr, 'n Brasiliaanse wetenskaplike, na suidelike Afrika gereis om Afrika-heuningby-subspesies vir produktiwiteit en lewensvatbaarheid te ondersoek. Sy besoek het gelei tot die invoer van Vm. scutellata in Brasilië in die laat 1950's.

Dr. Kerr het gehoop dat deur eksperimentering en selektiewe teling, die Afrika-by hanteerbaar en beskikbaar gemaak kan word vir gebruik deur Brasiliaanse byeboere. As sodanig het hy pogings begin om sagmoedigheid in die Afrika-vee te kweek terwyl hy sy baie positiewe eienskappe versterk het. Die teelpoging is nie voltooi nie omdat die Afrika-bye per ongeluk geswerm het, wat hul aanvanklike kwarantyn beëindig het. Hierna het die bye deur Brasilië en na ander dele van Suid-Amerika begin versprei.

Alle subspesies van Apis mellifera kan kruisteel of verbaster. Gevolglik het Afrika-byverbastering met Europese bye gereeld geword namate Afrika-bye na gebiede wat voorheen deur Europese bye beset is, ingetrek het. Dit is hierdie verbastering met Europese heuningbye wat aan hulle die naam 'Africanized' heuningbye besorg het. Tradisioneel is 'African' en 'Africanized' uitruilbaar gebruik alhoewel eersgenoemde werklik na die suiwer ras verwys en laasgenoemde na die baster.

Verspreiding (terug na bo)

Die verspreiding van Afrika-bye deur Suid- en Sentraal-Amerika - aangevuur deur vinnige verbastering met Europese subspesies en die oorheersing van baie Afrika-allele oor Europese - het teen 'n tempo van 200 tot 300 myl per jaar plaasgevind. Omdat hul beweging deur Suid- en Sentraal-Amerika vinnig was en grootliks sonder bystand deur mense, het Afrika-bye die reputasie verwerf as een van die suksesvolste biologies indringerspesies van alle tye. In 1990 het bevolkings van Afrika-heuningbye Suid- en Sentraal-Amerika versadig en na die VSA begin intrek. Vanaf 2012 is Afrika-heuningbye in die mees suidelike VSA gevind: Texas, Kalifornië, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama en Florida.

Die verspreiding van Afrika-bye in die VSA gaan voort, alhoewel teen 'n baie stadiger tempo as wat in Suid- en Sentraal-Amerika plaasgevind het. Hierdie vertraagde tempo van gebiedsuitbreiding verskyn onder meer as gevolg van klimaatsbeperkings. Afrika-bye oorleef nie so goed in gematigde klimate soos Europese bye nie. Daarom het hulle nie daarin geslaag om bevolkings onder ongeveer 32&° breedtegraad in die suidelike halfrond te vestig nie. Alhoewel hulle verder as hierdie parallel in die noordelike halfrond uitgebrei het, kom Afrika-bye se uitbreiding noordwaarts ook klimaatsmatig beperk voor, en word tans slegs onder ongeveer 34&° breedtegraad aangetref.

Figuur 2. Inheemse verspreiding van Apis mellifera scutelatta in Afrika. Illustrasies deur Jane Medley, Universiteit van Florida.

Figuur 3. Verspreiding van Apis mellifera scutelatta in die Amerikas vanaf 2007 (links) en in die Verenigde State vanaf 2011 (regs). Illustrasies deur Jane Medley, Universiteit van Florida (links) en die USDA-ARS (regs).

Beskrywing (terug na bo)

Afrika-heuningbye kan nie maklik van Europese heuningbye onderskei word nie, hoewel hulle effens kleiner as die verskillende Europese rasse is. Laboratoriumpersoneel gebruik morfometriese ontledings om die waarskynlikheid te bepaal dat 'n gegewe kolonie geafrikaniseerd of volledig Afrikaan is. Met heuningbye is die meting van vlerk-venasiepatrone en die grootte en kleur van verskeie liggaamsdele (morfometrie) belangrike determinante van identifikasie op die subspesifieke vlak. Morfometrie is sedert die 1960's gebruik om heuningbyrasse te onderskei en bly die eerste rondte van identifikasie wanneer verdagte kolonies ontdek word. Morfometriese ontledings is vir die eerste keer gebruik om Afrika- en Europese heuningbye in Suid-Amerika te onderskei in 1978. 'n Meer streng identifikasie word verkry deur genetiese ontleding en is dikwels nodig wanneer die verdagte bye 'n baster tussen Afrika-bye en die Europese subspesies is.

Ander verskille tussen Afrika- en Europese bye manifesteer hulself gedragsmatig. Vir die toevallige omstander is die primêre identifiserende gedragskenmerk van Afrika-bye hul verhoogde verdedigingsvermoë in vergelyking met dié van Europese subspesies. Seleksiedruk wat deur die mens veroorsaak word, kan deels verantwoordelik wees vir hierdie verhoogde verdediging. 'Byteboerdery' (bestuur van heuningbykolonies deur mense) is meer algemeen in Europa, waar die inheemse heuningbye geteel is vir sagmoedigheid en gemak van bestuur. Daarteenoor is 'heuningjag' (byna volledige vernietiging van korf om inhoud te oes) meer algemeen in Afrika, wat lei tot 'n by wat meer verdedigend van sy nes is. Ander seleksiedruk wat tot 'n verhoogde verdediging by Afrika-bye kon gelei het, sluit in klimaatstremming, beskikbaarheid van hulpbronne en predasie deur voëls, soogdiere en verskeie reptiele. Hierdie seleksiedruk het gelei tot 'n Afrika-byras wat baie keer meer verdedigend kan wees as die meeste van die verskillende Europese byrasse.

Alle heuningbye verdedig hul neste geredelik, en 'n aanval beteken gewoonlik dat die slagoffer te naby aan die nes is. Terwyl Europese rasse bye 'n nes indringer met 'n paar bye kan aanval (gewoonlik nie meer as 10-20 bye), kan Afrika-bye dieselfde indringer met honderde bye aanval. Verder verdedig Afrika-bye gewoonlik 'n groter radius rondom hul nes en benodig gewoonlik laer vlakke van stimuli om 'n aanval te begin. As gevolg van hierdie eienskappe is Afrika-bye in staat om groot soogdiere, insluitend die mens, dood te maak. Hierdie verdediging het aan hulle die bynaam 'moordenaar' besorg. Dit is belangrik om daarop te let dat hul vermoë om mense dood te maak, niks te doen het met hul grootte of die sterkte van hul gif nie. Afrika-bye is kleiner as Europese bye en lewer waarskynlik 'n betreklik kleiner dosis gif aan hul slagoffer as Europese bye. Omdat beide bye dieselfde tipe gif gebruik, is menslike sterftes gewoonlik die gevolg van die aantal steke wat ontvang word eerder as 'n verhoogde sterkte van Afrika-byegif, tensy die slagoffer allergies is vir bye in welke geval 'n enkele steek die dood kan veroorsaak.

Nog 'n verskil in gedrag tussen Afrika- en Europese bye het betrekking op voortplanting op kolonievlak en nesverlating. Afrika-heuningbye swerm en verdwyn in groter frekwensies as hul Europese eweknieë. Swerm, bye-reproduksie op kolonievlak, vind plaas wanneer 'n enkele kolonie in twee kolonies verdeel, wat sodoende help om die spesie se voortbestaan ​​te verseker. Europese kolonies swerm gewoonlik een tot drie keer per jaar uit. Afrika-kolonies kan meer as 10 keer per jaar swerm. Afrika-swerms is geneig om kleiner as Europese swerms te wees, maar die swermbye is gemaklik in albei rasse. Ongeag, Afrika-kolonies reproduseer in groter getalle as Europese kolonies, wat vinnig 'n gebied met Afrika-bye versadig. Verder verdwyn Afrika-bye gereeld (verlaat die nes heeltemal) tydens tye van gebrek of herhaalde nesversteuring terwyl hierdie gedrag atipies is by Europese bye.

Figuur 4. Afrikaanse heuningby, Apis mellifera scutelatta Lepeletier, swerm in boom. Foto deur Universiteit van Florida Honey Bee Lab.

Figuur 5. Afrikaanse heuningby, Apis mellifera scutelatta Lepeletier, swerm op palmblare. Foto deur W. H. Kern, Universiteit van Florida.

Nog 'n algemene verskil tussen Afrika- en Europese heuningbye is hul keuse van nesliggings. Afrika-heuningbye is minder selektief wanneer 'n potensiële nesplek oorweeg word as Europese bye. Hulle sal in 'n baie kleiner volume as Europese heuningbye nesmaak en is gevind in watermeterbokse, sementblokke, ou bande, huisafdak, braairoosters, holtes in die grond en hang blootgestel aan boomlede, om net 'n paar te noem plekke. 'n Mens vind selde Europese kolonies in enige van hierdie plekke, want hulle verkies om in groter holtes nes te maak soos dié wat deur boomholtes, skoorstene, ens. voorsien word. Soos 'n mens jou kan voorstel, verskaf mense per ongeluk verskeie nesplekke vir Afrika-bye. Daarin lê die primêre rede waarom Afrika-bye gereeld deur mense teëgekom word.

'n Laaste gedragsnuuskierigheid van Afrika-bye gaan oor nes-oorname (of kolonie-oorname) van Europese kolonies. Klein Afrika-swerms wat 'n koningin bevat, land dikwels op die buite-infrastruktuur van 'n Europese kolonie ('n muur, byeboerbestuurde korf, ens.). Soos die tyd verbygaan, begin die werkerbye in die Afrika-swerm kos/feromone uitruil met die Europese werkers van die kolonie. Dit verseker geleidelik die aanneming van die Afrika-bye in die Europese kolonie. Iewers tydens hierdie proses gaan die Europese koningin verlore (dalk deur die Afrika-bye doodgemaak – haar lot bly op hierdie stadium onseker) en word die Afrika-koningin in die kolonie ingevoer en word sodoende die regerende matriarg. Europese bye vertoon nie hierdie gedrag nie, maar word dikwels die slagoffer daarvan en skep dus 'n Afrika-kolonie uit 'n bestaande Europese een.

Ander gedragsverskille tussen Afrika- en Europese rasse bestaan ​​en is die moeite werd om kortliks te bespreek. Byvoorbeeld, Afrika-bye is dikwels meer 'vlugtig' as Europese bye, wat beteken dat wanneer 'n kolonie versteur word, meer van die bye die nes verlaat eerder as om in die korf te bly. Afrika-bye gebruik meer propolis ('n afgeleide van sappe en harse wat van verskeie bome/plante versamel word) as Europese bye. Propolis word gebruik om die nes weerbestand te maak en het verskeie antibiotiese eienskappe. Afrika-kolonies produseer proporsioneel meer hommeltuie (manlike bye) as Europese bye. Hul kolonies groei vinniger en is geneig om kleiner as Europese kolonies te wees. Laastens is hulle geneig om proporsioneel minder kos (heuning) as Europese bye te stoor, waarskynlik 'n oorblyfsel daarvan dat hulle inheems is aan 'n omgewing waar voedselbronne regdeur die jaar beskikbaar is.

Figuur 6. 'n Afrikaanse heuningby, Apis mellifera scutelatta Lepeletier, kolonie tussen stutwortels van 'n boom. Foto deur W. H. Kern, Jr., Universiteit van Florida.

Lewensiklus en Biologie (terug na bo)

Paringsbiologie en ontwikkelingstyd speel 'n belangrike rol in die sukses van Afrika-bykolonies om Europese kolonies in 'n gebied te vervang. Vir die grootste deel is paring en ontwikkelingsbiologie soortgelyk vir Afrika- en Europese bye, maar sleutelverskille verleen aanpasbare voordele aan eersgenoemde.

Maagdekoninginne van alle westerse heuningbye kom uit grondboontjie-rompvormige wasselle. Na 'n kort tydjie van verdere rypwording sal 'n maagdelike koningin die kolonie verlaat om met hommeltuie te paar. Alle paring vind in die lug plaas, met die vinnigste hommeltuie die suksesvolste vryers. Koninginne sal in die loop van sewe tot 10 dae verskeie kere paar en gedurende hierdie tyd sal hulle met gemiddeld 10 tot 20 hommeltuie paar. Koninginbye stoor semen in 'n orgaan wat 'n spermatheca genoem word. Afrika-kolonies produseer meer hommeltuie per kolonie, so hommeltuigbevolkings in 'n gebied is geneig om Afrika-bye te bevoordeel. As sodanig is maagdelike Europese koninginne meer geneig om met Afrika-drone te paar eerder as met Europese. Verder, vlugtyd en afstande van paringsvlug vanaf die kolonie is geneig om daartoe te lei dat Europese koninginne meer gereeld Afrika-hommeltuie teëkom as Europese hommeltuie, en sodoende die verhoog vir verbastering voorberei.

Alle heuningbye ondergaan volledige metamorfose, maar die tyd van eier tot volwassene verskil volgens subspesies. Die pasgepaarde koninginby lê ovipos in wasselle wat deur werkerbye gebou is. Bevrugte eiers lei tot vroulike nageslag, hetsy werkers of koninginne. As 'n dieet ryk aan koninklike jellie gevoer word, sal die vroulike larwe in 'n koningin ontwikkel, met die wederkerige waar vir die ontwikkeling van werkers. Hommeltuie spruit uit onbevrugte eiers en erf gevolglik net genetiese materiaal van hul ma (hulle het geen pa nie).

Ontwikkelingstyd verskil volgens groepslid (sien die ontwikkelingstydtabel) en bevoordeel Afrika-heuningbye omdat hulle oor die algemeen vinniger ontwikkel as Europese bye. Wanneer byekolonies besluit om 'n nuwe koningin te maak, word nuutgekome vroulike larwes voortdurend koningjellie gevoer. Omdat Afrikanige nageslag, insluitende koninginne, vinniger as Europese nageslag ontwikkel, is 'n koningin met 'n Afrika-genotipe meer geneig om vroeër te verskyn as 'n koningin met 'n Europese genotipe. Die eerste koningin wat na vore kom, vermoor haar koningin-susters wat nog nie uit hul selle te voorskyn gekom het nie. Die Afrikaniseerde maagd gaan voort om te paar in 'n gebied met hoër digthede van Afrika-drone. Met verloop van tyd het dit tot gevolg dat die kolonie meer Afrikaan word met die Europese gedrag wat feitlik heeltemal vervang word. Hierdie proses word verder vererger as gevolg van die dominansie van baie Afrika-genetiese eienskappe bo Europese.

Ten slotte, Afrika-bye is meer bestand teen baie heuningby-plae en patogene as Europese bye. Westerse heuningbye staar 'n magdom plae en siektes in die gesig, waarvan die ernstigste Varroa-myte insluit (Varroa vernietiger), trageale myte (Acarapis woodi), klein korfkewers (Aethina tumida), en Amerikaanse vuilbrood (Paenabacilis larwes). Hierdie byeplae het byna alle wilde kolonies Europese heuningbye in Noord-Amerika uitgeskakel. Omdat Afrika-bye bestand is teen baie van hierdie plae en siektes, word hul oorlewing in die natuur bevoordeel bo dié van Europese bye.

Openbare risiko's (terug na bo)

As gevolg van hul verhoogde verdedigingsgedrag, kan Afrika-heuningbye 'n risiko vir mense inhou. Kinders, bejaardes en gestremde individue loop die grootste risiko van 'n dodelike aanval as gevolg van hul onvermoë of belemmerde vermoë om 'n aanval te ontsnap. Afrika-heuningbye word geroer deur vibrasies soos dié wat veroorsaak word deur kragtoerusting, trekkers, grassnyers, ens. Verder plaas hul nesgewoontes hulle dikwels in die nabyheid van mense. As gevolg hiervan moet voorsorgmaatreëls getref word in 'n gebied waar Afrika-heuningbye gevestig is. Hierdie voorsorgmaatreëls word nie voorgestel om mense bang te maak vir heuningbye nie, maar slegs om versigtigheid en respek vir heuningbye aan te moedig. Die voorsorgmaatreëls sluit in om waaksaam te bly vir heuningbye wat in of uit 'n gebied vlieg (wat daarop dui dat hulle naby nes maak), wegbly van 'n swerm of nes, en dat wilde kolonies verwyder word van plekke wat mense gereeld besoek. Laasgenoemde is dalk die belangrikste raad wat ’n mens kan ag slaan wanneer jy met Afrika-bye te doen kry. In die VSA vind 'n groot persentasie van Afrika-bye-aanvalle plaas op mense wat weet dat 'n nes teenwoordig is, maar verkies om dit nie te laat verwyder nie (of probeer om dit self te doen).

Figuur 7. Afrikaanse heuningby, Apis mellifera scutelatta Lepeletier, kolonie wat hom in 'n swermlokval gevestig het. Foto deur Universiteit van Florida Honey Bee Lab.

As 'n aanval plaasvind, sal die onthou van 'n paar eenvoudige aanbevelings 'n mens se kanse verhoog om die gevolge en erns van die aanval te verminder. As 'n slagoffer aangeval word, moet 'n slagoffer van die area weghardloop deur sy hemp te gebruik om sy kop en veral lugweë te bedek. Om deur lang gras of klein bome te hardloop, sal help om die aanvallende bye te ontwrig. Die slagoffer moenie op die bye staan ​​en slaan nie. Die bye verdedig hul nes, en die slagoffer moet so gou as moontlik van daardie nes af wegkom. Dit is belangrik dat die slagoffer dekking kry in 'n bybestande voertuig of struktuur indien enige een beskikbaar is. Mens moenie in die water spring of in bosse wegkruip nie. Die bye kan vir 'n geruime tyd verdedigend en in die gebied bly, wat die risiko vir die slagoffer verhoog. As hy gesteek word, moet die slagoffer die angel vinnig verwyder deur dit te skraap eerder as om dit te trek. 'n Mens moet dadelik 'n dokter sien as asemhaling aangetas is.

Figuur 8. Defensiewe Afrikaanse heuningbye, Apis mellifera scutelatta Lepeletier, steek swart lap en laat angel- en gifsakkies agter. Foto deur W. H. Kern, Universiteit van Florida.

Baie Afrika-by-aanvalle kan voorkom word deur die aantal nesplekke wat vir die bye beskikbaar is, te beperk. 'n Huiseienaar, skoolwerker, ens., kan sy of haar eiendom 'by-bewys' deur moontlike nesplekke uit te skakel. Dit kan bewerkstellig word deur enige onnodige rommel uit 'n area te verwyder en muur-, skoorsteen-, elektriese en loodgietersverwante gapings wat meer as 30 mm wyd is, toe te maak met 'n kleinmaas-hardewarelap of kalwers. Dit sal bye se toegang tot potensiële nesplekke beperk. Ten slotte moet 'n mens mure en dakrand van strukture gereeld nagaan, op soek na bye-aktiwiteit.

Ekonomiese impak (terug na bo)

Die ekonomiese impak van Afrika-bye in 'n gebied kan aansienlik wees. Houers van Europese bye merk dikwels 'n afname in hulpbronbeskikbaarheid vir hul bye op omdat die digtheid van Afrika-bykolonies in 'n gebied, en dus die aanvraag na die beskikbare hulpbronne hoog is. Verder begin stede, munisipaliteite, ens., dikwels uitroeiingsprogramme, met baie nutteloosheid. Ten slotte, die verlies van diere- en menselewens is 'n tragiese gebeurtenis, wat bo meetbare koste is.

Afrika-bye kan die omgewing negatief beïnvloed. Afrika-bykoloniedigthede in 'n gebied kan baie hoog wees. Die gevolglike Afrika-bye kan 'n wesenlike impak op die inheemse flora en fauna in 'n gebied hê. Alhoewel hierdie impak dikwels nie gerapporteer word nie en grootliks nie verstaan ​​word nie, kan dit betekenisvol wees as die potensiële aantal kolonies en hul behoefte aan hulpbronne in ag geneem word. So, die wêreld se mees berugte heuningby is een van die natuur se mees enigmatiese wesens.

Bestuur (terug na bo)

Dit is belangrik om te onthou dat Afrika-heuningbye gewasse bestuif en heuning produseer net soos ander rasse van heuningbye. Byeboere in Suid-Afrika gebruik Afrika-heuningbye as die voorkeurby in hul bedrywighede. Afrika-bye kan dus doeltreffend en veilig bestuur word, maar die vaardighede wat nodig is om Afrika-byekolonies te bestuur verskil van dié wat nodig is om Europese byekolonies te bestuur.

Oor die algemeen is die bestuur van Afrika-bykolonies in die VSA ontmoedig terwyl dit in Sentraal- en Suid-Amerika aanvaar word. Dit kan te doen hê met die publieke persepsie van heuningbye, veral Afrika-bye, in die VSA en die robuuste regstelsel wat in die VSA in plek is. Aan die ander kant gebruik byeboere in Sentraal- en Suid-Amerika gereeld Afrika-bye in hul bedrywighede met geringe bestuurswysigings. Trouens, sommige Suid-Amerikaanse lande is onder die voorste heuningprodusente in die wêreld, hoofsaaklik as gevolg van die teenwoordigheid van Afrika-bye in die land.

Byeboere in Suid- en Sentraal-Amerika gebruik 'n aantal bestuurspraktyke om Afrika-bye aan te hou. Eerstens hou hulle enkele byekolonies op individuele korfstande eerder as om een ​​korfstand vir veelvuldige kolonies te gebruik. Dit beperk die bestuursaktiwiteit tot een kolonie op 'n slag eerder as om ander kolonies te vererger terwyl slegs een werk.

Tweedens gebruik byeboere in Suid- en Sentraal-Amerika oorgenoeg hoeveelhede rook wanneer hulle Afrika-byekolonies bewerk. Daar word geglo dat rook die alarmferomoon van die bye verberg en sodoende die verdedigingsreaksie van die kolonie verminder. Die meeste Suid- en Sentraal-Amerikaanse byeboere stem saam dat oorvloedige hoeveelhede rook gebruik moet word wanneer Afrika-byekolonies gewerk word. Dit is belangrik om die kolonies goed te rook voordat enige werk gedoen word, want sodra bye van 'n kolonie geroer word, kan rook nie daarin slaag om hulle te kalmeer nie.

Byeboere wat Afrika-bye bestuur, dra toepaslike beskermende toerusting. 'n Tipiese byeboer wat 'n Afrika-kolonie werk, dra 'n vol byepak, stewels, handskoene en 'n byesluier. Byesluiers (beskermende hoofbedekkings) word deur feitlik alle byeboere wêreldwyd gedra. Tradisioneel is die sluiergaas wat die gesig beskerm, swart gekleur om die son se glans af te hou. Afrika-bye (en die meeste heuningbye) val donker kleure aan sodat swartgesigsluiers dikwels met bye bedek word. Gevolglik kan byeboere witgesig-sluiers gebruik om die bye van hul sluiers af te hou. Byeboere wat Afrika-kolonies bestuur, plak dikwels hul byepakke aan hul stewels en handskoene vas om die moontlikheid van toegang tot bye te beperk.

Ten slotte probeer sommige byeboere in gebiede met Afrika-bye om Afrika-byekolonies met Europese koninginne te herwin. Dit is nie 'n algemene praktyk in Afrika suid van die Sahara nie. Die meeste Afrika-byeboere in gebiede wat Afrika-bye het, gebruik die by graag in hul bedrywighede, en gee min aandag aan die bye se verdediging.

Geselekteerde verwysings (terug na bo)

  • Caron DM. 2001. Geafrikaniseerde heuningbye in die Amerikas. The A. I. Root Co., Medina, Ohio, VSA. 228 bls.
  • Hepburn HR, Radloff SE. 1998. Heuningbye van Afrika. Springer-Verlag, Berlyn, Duitsland. 370 bls.
  • Kern WH. (Januarie 2007). Hou Afrika-bye uit wild-neskaste. EDIS. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in682 (21 November 2012).
  • O'Malley MK, Ellis JD, Nalen CMZ. (Oktober 2009). Swermvangery vir plaagbeheeroperateurs. EDIS. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in785 (23 November 2009)
  • O'Malley MK, Ellis JD, Nalen CMZ. (Oktober 2009). Verskille tussen Europese en Afrika-heuningbye. EDIS http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in784 (21November 2012)
  • O'Malley MK, Ellis JD, Neal AS. (Desember 2007). Bye-proofing vir Florida burgers. EDIS. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in741 (17 Januarie 2008).
  • O'Malley MK, Ellis JD, Neal AS. (Desember 2007). Wat om te doen oor Afrika-heuningbye: 'n Verbruikersgids. EDIS. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in739 (17 Januarie 2008).
  • O'Malley MK, Ellis JD, Neal AS. (Desember 2007). Afrikaanse heuningby inligting vir skooladministrateurs. EDIS. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in740 (17 Januarie 2008).
  • O'Malley MK, Ellis JD. (2008). UF Heuningbynavorsing en -uitbreidingslaboratorium. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/honeybee/ (14 Januarie 2008).
  • Winston ML. 1992. Killer Bees: Die Afrika-heuningby in die Amerikas. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachutes, VSA. 176 bls.

Skrywers: Jamie Ellis, Universiteit van Florida Amanda Ellis, Florida Departement van Landbou en Verbruikersdienste, Afdeling Plantnywerheid
Foto: William Kern, Michael K. O'Malley en en Sean McCann, Universiteit van Florida
Illustrasies: Jane Medley, Universiteit van Florida en die USDA-ARS.
Webontwerp: Don Wasik, Jane Medley
Publikasienommer: EENY-429
Publikasiedatum: Januarie 2008. Jongste hersiening: November 2012. Hersien: Maart 2019.


Ons Operasie

Meadow Sweet Apiaries is 'n klein byeboerdery in die weste van Pennsylvania. Ons meer as 200 korwe word op ideale plekke geplaas om kos te soek om ons bye gesond en gelukkig te hou. Ons bye kan gevind word in verskeie byewerwe aan die oostekant van Pittsburgh en op baie plekke vanaf die Pittsburgh Internasionale Lughawe tot langs die I-79-gang tot by Lake Wilhelm in Mercer County, PA.

Deur hierdie plasing van heuningbye in verskeie gebiede, is ons in staat om 'n verskeidenheid heuning met verskillende geurprofiele te produseer. Die Swart Sprinkaan, klawers, veldblomme, vlerkstam, goue stok, beenset en knotblare is net 'n paar van die belangrikste nektarbronne waaruit ons bye nektar versamel om Meadow Sweet Apiaries Bee Soet Heuning en die stuifmeel wat ons rou en bevrore verkoop te produseer.

Ons is ook geëerd om die enigste byeboer op Pittsburgh Internasionale Lughawe-eiendom te wees. Dit is uniek en voordelig op 'n paar maniere. Eerstens, Pittsburgh International is baie bye-vriendelik aangesien hulle nie plaagdoders gebruik wat skadelik is vir bye op die eiendom nie. Om heuningbykolonies op die terrein te hê, plaas Pittsburgh international ook op die kaart as een van slegs 'n handjievol lughawens in die Verenigde State wat 'n byeprogram het en een van die top drie met die grootste program.

Dit is hier, op hierdie byna 9 000 hektaar, waar ons ons koninginne grootmaak as deel van die Pennsylvania Queen Bee Improvement Project. Hierdie projek fokus op die skep van 'n streeksaangepaste koningin wat aan die hoof sal staan ​​van kolonies regoor die streek met die hoop om oorlewing en produksie te verhoog.

Stephen Repasky

EAS-gesertifiseerde meesterbyeboer, skrywer en konsultant

'n Tweede-generasie byeboer, Stephen Repasky is 'n nasionaal erkende spreker, skrywer en konsultant van Pittsburgh, PA. Hy is 'n gesertifiseerde Meesterbyeboer deur die Eastern Apicultural Society en is die huidige president van die Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association, voormalige president en medestigter van Burgh Bees, en 'n vorige lid van die Raad van Direkteure vir die Amerikaanse Byeboerdery Federasie. Hy is ook 'n aktiewe lid van die PA Queen Bee Improvement Project en is 'n lid van die Penn State Centre for Pollinator Research Advisory Board en die Pennsylvania State Apiary Advisory Board. Stephen bestuur ongeveer 200 kolonies (meestal as enkelbroeikamers) in die weste van Pennsilvanië en is betrokke by heuningproduksie, koningin grootmaak en die verkoop van kernkorwe elke lente en somer aan diegene wat belangstel om hul eie byeboerdery-avontuur te begin of uit te brei!

Hy bestuur ook die byeprogram by Pittsburgh Internasionale Lughawe waar daar byna 100 kolonies is wat in heuningproduksie, navorsingstudies en koninginproduksie gebruik word. Pittsburgh International is die tuiste van die grootste byeprogram in die land wat geheel en al op lughawe-eiendom geleë is.

Stephen het sy eerste boek gepubliseer deur Wicwas Press in 2014 getiteld "Swarm Essentials" en kan gevind word om byeboerderyklasse en werkswinkels in die Pittsburgh-omgewing te onderrig en lesings oor 'n verskeidenheid byeboerdery-onderwerpe by plaaslike klubs en baie streeks- en nasionale konferensies in die Verenigde State aan te bied. State.

Geskiedenis

Namate Stephen meer betrokke geraak het by heuningbye in die Pittsburgh-omgewing en verder, het die aantal kolonies ook gegroei en het die behoefte aan 'n formele naam ontstaan. Meadow Sweet Apiaries is gestig namate die gewildheid van sy bye, heuning, verwyderingsdienste en opvoedkundige dienste gegroei het.

Stephen is betrokke by bye sedert die ouderdom van vier toe hy sy pa sou help om die heuningbykolonies op hul klein plaas in die weste van Pennsilvanië te versorg. Na 'n kort onderbreking en met 'n Baccalaureus Scientiae-graad in Natuurlewe- en Visserywetenskap aan die Pennsylvania State University gegradueer het, het Stephen weer bye begin aanhou, hierdie keer op sy eie. Sy eerste jaar was 'n moeilike begin. Nuwe plae soos die varroamiet was nou teenwoordig wat nie in sy kinderjare teenwoordig was nie. Die eerste paar kolonies was swerms wat hy in Julie gevang het - ongelukkig het daardie bye nie die winter oorleef nie. Die volgende jaar, met 'n vroeër begin en nog verskeie swerms, het Stephen se byeboerloopbaan begin. Daardie paar kolonies het sedertdien verander in meer as 200 kolonies heuningproduserende korwe, 'n koningin grootmaak-operasie en die verkoop van kernkorwe elke somer aan diegene wat belangstel om hul eie byeboerdery te begin of uit te brei.

MEADOW SWEET APIARIES IS 'N PRODUSENT VAN PLAASLIKE Heuning, produkte van die korf, plaaslike QUEENS EN KERNKOLONIES. WHETHER YOU ARE JUST STARTING OUT OR WANT TO REPLACE YOUR CURRENT QUEEN WITH A LOCAL QUEEN FROM SURVIVOR STOCK WE CAN HELP YOU HERE! We are also an Authorized dealer of Mann lake beekeeping equipment and carry all of the essentials.I HAVE ALSO PUBLISHED A NEW BOOK ON SWARMING ENTITLED "SWARM ESSENTIALS" THAT CAN ALSO BE PURCHASED HERE.

2021 NUCS - SOLD OUT!!

2021 Nucleus Colonies (or nucs) are great for getting a fast start. They are made up of 5 DEEP frames with a mated laying queen, brood of all ages as well as frames with honey and pollen. Frames are less than two years old and in good shape. 5 frame nucs are comprised of at least 2 frames of brood plus a frame of honey, a frame of pollen and a frame that may be full or partially drawn to allow for growth - all on DEEP frames. These nucs will grow fast.

Credit Card Orders - $180 -SOLD OUT

2021 3lb Packages - Sold out!

2021 Packages are another way of obtaining bees for additional colonies or start new! These packages contain approximately 10,000 bees and a cage queen of italian/carniolan heritage (mutts). They will be great way to start up a new colony or boost a weak colony this spring!

Credit Card Orders - $145 - SOLD OUT

2021 LOCAL QUEENS - Available mid May

2020 Queens -Our locally mated queens are raised from proven stock. They are Carniolan based and open mated with local drones. This year, we will have daughter queens raised from breeder queens with lineage of Purdue Mite Biters, New World Carniolan, VSH queens and local survivor stock. Color will vary as we select for survivorship, productivity and mite resistance. Prices include marking if desired. Shipping cost will vary depending on method used (prefer to ship overnight due to less stress).

It is usually best to plan ahead if you can when ordering queens so that you know that we will have them available, although there will be times where accidents happen and you need a queen NOW! Meadow Sweet Apiaries can help you with any of those circumstances! Mated queens will be available starting mid-May. Virgin queens and cells are also available for purchase. No shipping available for cells. Contact us for availability. Prices range from $15-$20 for virgin queens and $30-$40 for mated queens.

Swarm Essentials Book

Swarm Essentials Book - 128 pages. Swarming is one of the most powerful instincts that most successful beekeepers encounter. Swarm Essentials outlines the ramifications of swarming behavior (highlighting the often overlooked benefits), proven prevention and management techniques, and how to recover and even prosper from a successful swarm attempt. Second generation beekeeper Stephen J. Repasky's inaugural publication marks the latest addition to the Essentials series and is an excellent read for any beekeeper who hopes to make it past their first year. Price $25.00 includes shipping and handling. ORDER HERE!

BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT

We are an authorized dealer of MANN LAKE beekeeping equipment. We have much of the basic equipment in stock - contact us with your needs, anything not in stock we can order for you quickly.

Products of the Hive

Local Honey - Our local honey is most easily placed into three categories. Spring Summer and Fall. The color and flavor varies from a light bodied, sweet, delicate and lightly colored spring honey from the flowers of maples, dandelions, black locust and basswood. The amber colored more fuller bodied summer honey comes from our clovers, sumacs, blackberries and numerous wildflowers. The season ends with a rich, dark, full bodied fall honey made from the flowers of knotweed, boneset, goldenrod and asters. Price varies from $8.00-$10.00 per pound. SUMMER HONEY NOW AVAILABLE!

Propolis Tincture - Our propolis tincture is an extract of 40% propolis and 60% grain alcohol. Propolis is a product that bees collect from various trees and is used to seal gaps in the hive and more importantly keep the hive healthy. Propolis has been shown to to have anti-microbial and anti-viral properties. Some like to use it to help in taking care of sore throats, boosting immune systems, and various other ailments. Caution should be taken when first using pure propolis products as a small percentage of people may have a reaction to it. Price: $15.00 US Product currently SOLD OUT.

Let your lips bee kissed with our all natural lip balms made with local honey and wax1

Tube Lip Balm - This lip balm has been noted to have the smoothness to keep your lips healthy and soft and have the smell and delightful taste of the popular after dinner mints! Great for putting in your purse or pocket and made from all natural ingredients and local wax and honey. Keep your lips looking great - bee kissed everyday with Meadow Sweet Bees lip balms! Price: $3.00 for a .15 oz classic tube. Product currently in stock

Soothing Lip Balm - The Soothing Lip Balm is similar to the tube lip balm but has some different natural ingredients to assist in quicker soothing for chapped and cracked lips. Our soothing lip balms contain jojoba oils to keep your lips soft and a small amount of propolis to help your lips recover quickly. Price: $4.00 for a .25 oz tin.

Creamed Honey - Creamed or spun honey is a fabulous form of honey that is fantastic for spreading on toast, peanut butter and honey sandwhiches or just having a non drippy form of honey for your tea! Creamed honey is honey that has been crystallized by controlling the time and temperature at which the honey crystallizes producing small, smooth crystals that are very palatable. Price: $9.00 per 12 oz jar. Product currently OUT OF STOCK

Let your hands bee soft and lovely with our bee touched moisturizing lotion.

Moisturizing Lotion Bar - This light and lovely lotion will keep the dry areas of your skin soft and moisturized. Made with natural ingredients and local honey, this can be used year round. Bee Touched with this lotion! Price: $8.00 for a 2 oz tin.

Raw Natural Bee Pollen - Pollen is collected by honey bees from various flowers as a nutritional protein source for the bees. Pollen is collected by the beekeeper using special pollen traps which remove only a portion of the pollen from the bees legs as they enter the hive. Raw, natural bee pollen is considered a super food and best collected fresh and frozen to preserve its freshness and nutritional qualities. Price: $12.00 for an 8 oz. houer.

Cut Comb Honey - This is honey still in the comb straight out of the hive! Cut comb is produced by allowing the honey bees to build fresh delicate wax and fill it with a nice light spring honey. This product is often in very limited supply. It can be eaten just as is or prepared as a nice little dessert. OUT OF STOCK.

2 oz honey bears make great gifts!

Honey Bears - These 2 oz honey bears make great stocking stuffers, shower gifts or wedding favors. They are also great for quick trips or travel on airplanes (TSA approved!). They are filled with the honey available at that particular time of the year when ordered. Price: $2.00-$2.50 per bear. Product currently available.


MATERIALE EN METODES

Study site and colonies

Between April 2012 and June 2013, we performed the PER experiment with 12 healthy colonies of Apis mellifera ligustica Spinola 1806 reared from packages at the UC San Diego Biological Field Station (BFS: 32°53′13″N, 117°13′48″W) in La Jolla, CA, USA. In total, we used 163 bees from 12 colonies to test the effect of salt concentration presentation order (Fig. 1) and 628 bees from 10 colonies to test bee salt preferences (Fig. 2).

Effect of the order of NaCl concentration presentation on the proboscis extension reflex (PER). A value of 1 indicates all bees exhibited PER. Data are means±1 s.e.m. Different letters indicate significant differences (uppercase letters for start-high concentrations and lowercase letters for start-low concentrations, Tukey HSD tests, P<0.05, N=163 bees from 12 colonies).

Effect of the order of NaCl concentration presentation on the proboscis extension reflex (PER). A value of 1 indicates all bees exhibited PER. Data are means±1 s.e.m. Different letters indicate significant differences (uppercase letters for start-high concentrations and lowercase letters for start-low concentrations, Tukey HSD tests, P<0.05, N=163 bees from 12 colonies).

Mean PER responses to different salt solutions. (A) In the full concentration range tests, all bees received the same concentration of each salt. (B) In the finer concentration range tests, we tested a more limited range of concentrations, tailored to each salt, to obtain more detailed information on PER responses. Data are means±1 s.e.m. Different letters show significant differences (Tukey HSD tests, P<0.05, N=628 bees from 10 colonies). All other concentrations were intermediate. If no letters are shown in a plot, there were no significant pairwise PER response differences between concentrations.

Mean PER responses to different salt solutions. (A) In the full concentration range tests, all bees received the same concentration of each salt. (B) In the finer concentration range tests, we tested a more limited range of concentrations, tailored to each salt, to obtain more detailed information on PER responses. Data are means±1 s.e.m. Different letters show significant differences (Tukey HSD tests, P<0.05, N=628 bees from 10 colonies). All other concentrations were intermediate. If no letters are shown in a plot, there were no significant pairwise PER response differences between concentrations.

PER measurements of honey bee salt preferences

We tested honey bee PER responsiveness to different salts. To obtain water foragers, we placed a grooved plate feeder (design of Von Frisch, 1967) containing tapwater at the entrance of each colony. Deionized water and distilled water do not contain salts. We therefore chose tapwater as a realistic, standardized water source for bees. Chemical analysis showed that this tapwater contained the following salts: Na (0.0104%), Mg (0.0027%), K (0.0006%) and phosphate (0%). These concentrations are roughly similar to salt concentrations in freshwater sources that bees collected (see below). Guard bees did not tolerate non-nestmates foraging for water, and this allowed us to determine bee colony origin. Bees collecting water were captured in vials and brought back to the lab, where they were anesthetized at 0°C until their movements significantly decreased (1–2 min). Anesthetized bees were placed in a standard PER harness: a strip of duct tape that restrained the bee inside a 3.7 cm long×15 mm wide stainless steel tube. This harness allowed bees to move their mouthparts and antennae (Giurfa and Sandoz, 2012). The anesthetized bees then recovered for 20 min in a 30°C incubator, followed by 10 min at room temperature (21°C).

To test the PER, we simultaneously stimulated both antennae for 3 s with a microcapillary pipette dipped into the test solution. We took care to ensure that no solution or residue built up on the antennae. We used a 2 min inter-trial interval between each test (Page et al., 1998). For NaCl, we tested the effects of concentration order (start-low versus start-high, Fig. 1). Based upon these results, we used the start-high concentration order for all subsequent tests. Like experiments that use the PER to measure bee sucrose response thresholds (Page et al., 1998), our salt reward gradient thus went from low reward to high reward. In sucrose response threshold assays, nectar foragers are presented with a low reward, water, and then with successively higher rewards, higher sucrose concentrations (Page et al., 1998). For honey bees, high salt concentrations provide a low reward because bees are attracted to low salt concentrations and are repelled by high salt concentrations (Butler, 1940).

Test solutions contained different concentrations of NaCl, MgCl2, KCl or Na2HPO4 (ACS reagent grade compounds, ≥99.8% purity, Fisher Chemical) in distilled water. We used the following concentrations of each salt: (1) 0%, 0.03%, 0.05%, 0.1%, 0.3%, 0.5%, 1%, 1.5% and 3% NaCl to test for the effect of concentration order (Fig. 1) (2) 0%, 0.05%, 0.4%, 0.75%, 1.5%, 6% and 10% of all salts for the full-range tests (Fig. 2A) and (3) ranges individually tailored for bee PER responses to each salt concentration: NaCl (0–3%), MgCl2 (0–6%), and KCl and Na2HPO4 (0–1.5%, Fig. 2B). These concentrations are all much lower than NaCl concentrations used as training punishment in nectar foragers: 35.7% (Abramson, 1986) and 17.53% (Bhagavan and Smith, 1997). All salt concentrations are given as w/w.

We did not provide a pure water stimulus between each salt test. Sucrose PER assays sometimes include a water stimulus between successive sucrose presentations. This water stimulus controls for increased sensitization or habituation to repeated sucrose stimulations because nectar foragers should not exhibit PER responses to a pure water stimulus (Page et al., 1998). However, in our experiment, we tested the PER response of water foragers to water with different concentrations of salts. Pure water could therefore have provided a reward, not a neutral control stimulus, particularly for salts (K and phosphate) that elicited a largely aversive response at nearly all concentrations. We consequently adopted the protocol of some PER experiments with sucrose solutions (Decourtye et al., 2004 Eiri and Nieh, 2012 Lambin et al., 2001) and did not intersperse pure water presentations between test solution presentations.

Responses were categorized as 1 (proboscis fully extended beyond the mouthparts) or 0 (no proboscis extension). Bees were kept in tubes for approximately 20–25 min during testing. After testing, bees were painted with red enamel on the thorax and released to ensure that we did not pseudoreplicate by using the same bee in subsequent trials. Each day, we ran either two or three sets of 10 bees between 09:00 h and 16:00 h.

Water collection

Because the salinity of water sources may change over time, we only took water samples when bees were actively collecting water, defined as a bee inserting its proboscis into water for more than 10 s, often showing rhythmic abdominal contractions that characterize fluid imbibing.

To maximize water collection, we involved citizen scientists from a local beekeeping group. All water collectors were trained in how to collect samples and, with each sample, were required to submit a written behavioral description and a photo of a bee actively collecting water at the time of water collection. Samples without these written descriptions and photos were not analyzed. We collected samples in clean 50 ml conical plastic centrifuge tubes (Falcon, model no. 352070), rinsing each tube three times with the sampled water before collecting the final sample, which we froze until analysis. Collectors also recorded the type of water source and the GPS coordinates or the nearest cross-street location (Fig. 3). Samples were analyzed by the Oklahoma State University Soil, Water, and Forage Analytical Laboratory for Na, Mg, K and total phosphate with inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) (Murray et al., 2000).


Various variables

Both of these stories ignore the many possible variables that could have produced the outcome you saw. A variable is an element, feature, or condition that can easily change. Going back to my swarms, perhaps it wasn’t the architecture of the top-bar hive that attracted the swarms, but maybe it was the amount of sunlight. Maybe it was the odor of the comb or the recently deceased colony that used to live there. Maybe it was the size of the entrance hole, the height off the ground, or the internal volume of the hive that attracted the bees

Sometimes conditions exist that we don’t account for, simply because we had no idea they were important or because we forget about them. In science, variables that are outside the scope of the experiment, but still affect the outcome, are called extraneous variables or confounding variables.

I knew an entomologist who did extensive controlled testing to learn how much of a certain pesticide caused harm to bumble bees. All the colonies received carefully measured doses, and she had an ample number of control colonies. However, in the course of the experimentation, she forgot to account for ambient levels of pesticide that drifted in from nearby fields, a situation that botched the results.


Bee colony optimization for the bl-center problem ☆

Bee colony optimization (BCO) is a relatively new meta-heuristic designed to deal with hard combinatorial optimization problems. It is biologically inspired method that explores collective intelligence applied by the honey bees during nectar collecting process. In this paper we apply BCO to the bl-center problem in the case of symmetric distance matrix. On the contrary to the constructive variant of the BCO algorithm used in recent literature, we propose variant of BCO based on the improvement concept (BCOi). The BCOi has not been significantly used in the relevant BCO literature so far. In this paper it is proved that BCOi can be a very useful concept for solving difficult combinatorial problems. The numerical experiments performed on well-known benchmark problems show that the BCOi is competitive with other methods and it can generate high-quality solutions within negligible CPU times.


Why are pollinating bats, birds, bees, butterflies, and other animals important?

Do you enjoy a hot cup of coffee, a juicy peach, an-apple-a-day, almonds, rich and creamy dates, a handful of plump cashews, or vine-ripened tomatoes? Do you enjoy seeing the native flowers and plants that surround you?

If so, you depend on pollinators.

Wherever flowering plants flourish, pollinating bees, birds, butterflies, bats and other animals are hard at work, providing vital but often-unnoticed services. About three-fourths of all native plants in the world require pollination by an animal, most often an insect, and most often a native bee. Pollinators are also responsible for one in every three bites of food you take, and increase our nation’s crop values each year by more than 15 billion dollars.

Loss of pollinators threatens agricultural production, the maintenance of natural plant communities, and the important services provided by those ecosystems, such as carbon cycling, flood and erosion control, and recreation. Without pollinators providing the transportation of pollen from flower to flower, about 75 percent of all native North American plants could gradually become extinct as they lose the ability to reproduce.

Since bees are so small and accommodating, we can all do our own part by eliminating non-native weeds and shrubs and encouraging wildflowers to grow on our properties. Adding native flowering plants to even the smallest yard can help. The pollen and nectar from only about 5 flowers supports the food needs of a bee from egg to adulthood.


3. Replace the Queen

“Ninety percent of the time, the queen that leaves with the swarm is replaced by the bees,” Flottum says. “As soon as she lays eggs, the bees begin the process to get rid of her. If you let the hive raise a new queen, you will wait while she matures and mates, and it will be six to eight weeks before more bees are mature enough to support the colony.”

That gap is too long for Flottum because it means the bees aren’t productive enough to survive the winter months. Eighty percent of swarms don’t survive the winter if left to their own devices, he says.

Savvy beekeepers engage the bees with a new queen as quickly as possible, giving the bees more time to build up the hive and prepare for the winter months. Swarms already have a particular momentum and drive to make honey so they can survive, Flottum says, and quickly requeening the hive is a strategy to harness all that energy.

McAlpin also finds requeening to be an effective approach with his bees. The feral bees he harvested were very aggressive, indicating the absence of a queen. By acquiring and introducing a new queen, the bees became manageable.


Attract Mason Bees – No Protective Gear Needed

Few strategies for keeping our environment healthy are as interesting, simple and fun as raising mason bees, tiny insects that are gaining popularity with gardeners and farmers alike. What’s more, encouraging wild mason bees to your slice of earth – no matter how small or urban – could help counter negative effects of declining honey bee colonies. Some experts even believe that continuing to build up wild bee populations, and managing them to work more extensively as orchard or field pollinators, could be an important step in ensuring that some of our most nutritious foods, like almonds, melons, and blueberries, continue to be readily available, high in quality, and affordable.

So, what is a mason bee? And how is it different than the European honey bee, known and loved by all for putting honey on our biscuits? For starters, mason bees don’t make honey. But they do pack a punch with their pollination skills, making it possible for plants to set seed and reproduce, for fruit trees and berry canes to increase their yield, and for flower landscapes to burst with color. They are extraordinary pollinators – just 250-300 females can pollinate an entire acre of apples or cherries – and are often touted as being more efficient than honey bees. Of the roughly 150 mason bee types in North America, most are native. Also, many types of mason bees occur naturally over wide geographic regions, so it’s possible you have some flitting about your backyard already. With a few supplies and some knowledge in hand, you could easily start propagating your own population of these native pollinators.

Two mason bee types – the Horn-faced bee (left) and Blue Orchard Bee – are currently used commercially for their super pollination skills. Photo courtesy of Crown Bees.

A Gentle, Tunnel-Nesting Bee

Before luring mason bees into your garden, it’s helpful to understand some basics. They are tunnel-nesting, solitary bees, which means that unlike the social honeybee, every female is a “queen” who lays eggs and raises offspring on her own, without the support of a highly-organized, social colony. They are non-aggressive and rarely sting. These bees lay their eggs inside existing tunnels, such as those left by wood-boring beetles or the hollow stems of pithy plants. Luckily, mason bees also nest in man-made tunnels – if the tunnel meets certain criteria (more on that later).

Mason bees will use hollow reeds as nests. This tunnel has been plugged with mud to protect against predators. Photo by Mace Vaughan

Early spring mason bees emerge from hibernation when temperatures reach about 55 degrees (some types of mason bees emerge in late spring or summer under different conditions, but in general they are spring pollinators). After mating and finding an existing tunnel for her nest, the female bee gathers mud in her large jaws and uses it to build a wall at the back of the tunnel – thus the name “mason bee.” Next, she makes dozens of visits to garden flora to collect pollen and nectar, which she heaps into a golden nugget at the end of the tunnel. This nutritious pollen-nectar mass will be her egg’s first meal when it hatches. Finally, she backs into the tunnel and deposits an egg on top of the food source. Once the egg is laid, the female bee collects more mud and uses it to build a wall that seals off the egg inside its own chamber. She repeats this process until the tunnel is filled with well-provisioned eggs, each tucked inside its own cell partition. Then she closes the tunnel with a mud plug to protect her offspring from predators.

An Active Spring Pollinator

This pollen-gathering and egg-laying work is done during the early spring months – when spring flowers, bushes, and fruit trees are in bloom. In the US, this typically occurs between February and May, depending on where you live. A mason bee will fill as many nesting tunnels as she can during her roughly 4-week life span – pollinating flowers profusely as she forages for food to supply her nest. Then she dies.

Inside the nesting chambers, eggs begin their transformation to adult bees. They hatch into larvae and consume the pollen-nectar masses. After a rest period, the larva spins a cocoon, and by about September, a fully-formed adult bee lies inside each chamber (if you purchase or make a special observation tray, you can actually watch this process happen). The adult bee now waits through the winter months until the spring air temperature rises to a consistent 55-degree range, at which point it emerges from the tunnel to mate and repeat the egg-laying, pollen-gathering cycle all over again.

How to Start Attracting Bees

During the early spring months, you can try attracting mason bees by providing nesting tunnels, plenty of bee food, and a mud source. Mason bee houses can be bought or made from wood, thick paper straws, or hollow reeds. My father started his mason bees years ago by making a few wooden nest blocks in one afternoon. He simply drilled a non-treated block of wood with about twenty holes that were 5/16” in diameter, the size preferred by mason bees.

Wood nest blocks are simple to make, but can lead to pest and parasite problems if not used properly. Photo by Judy Beaudette.

By using a sharp drill bit, he ensured the holes were free of splinters (important), and he did not drill all the way through to the end (bees won’t use the holes if you do). Innocently, he drilled his holes 4 inches deep – not an ideal depth. Six-inch holes are better. Here’s why: the mason bee controls the gender of each egg she lays. Female eggs are deposited in the back of the tunnel (tucked away from rummaging woodpecker beaks or other predators) and males in the front. Since mason bees lay more male eggs than females, a 6-inch tunnel produces more female bees, which in turn increases the potential for a bigger bee population the following year.

According to Mace Vaughan, the Pollinator Program Director at the Xerces Society (a nonprofit dedicated to protecting invertebrates and their habitat) the rustic 20-hole nesting box is fine, with a critical caveat. He cautions that in order to keep your bee population safe from debilitating disease and parasite problems, you must retire the wooden nest blocks after a couple years, or use an emergence box, which allows you to clean your block without harming developing larvae. Emergence boxes – along with other DIY nest construction ideas, maintenance, and native bee facts – are explained in the must-read fact sheet Tunnel Nests for Native Bees, distributed by the Xerces Society. See Additional Resources at the end of this article for a link to this free publication.

If making mason bee nest boxes is not your thing, you can purchase a wide variety of types at gardening centers or online through companies like Crown Bees, located in Washington State. Dave Hunter, owner of Crown Bees, discourages the use of wooden nest blocks. He recommends stackable wood nesting trays, bundles of reeds, or paper tubes, which are easier for keeping bees healthy and growing their numbers.

Wood nesting trays allow you to remove cocoons for visual inspection and cleaning. Courtesy Crown Bees.

Unlike the 20-hole nesting block, these three options (which you can make or buy) can be opened during the autumn months, enabling you to remove the now-sturdy cocoons. Once “harvested,” you can count the number of fully-formed bees you have. You can also inspect cocoons for parasites or disease, clean the cocoons if desired, and even share a handful with neighbors. Wooden nesting trays and paper tubes are also far easier to clean (or replace) on a yearly basis – and minimizing disease, parasites and other pests is important for maintaining or increasing bee populations each year.

Spring mason bee cocoons containing fully-formed adult bees. Photo by Judy Beaudette.

Where to Place Your Nest

Regardless of the nest type you choose, be sure to place it in the proper location. Mount it securely on the side of a building, tree or fence where it will receive the warm morning sun (east or south sides are best) and protection from wind and rain. Bees need warmth to fly and dry nesting tunnels to propagate. Placing the nest four to seven feet off the ground provides additional protection from moisture, and it’s a good height for observing your bees. Try to have a clay-like mud source nearby – within about 50 feet, if possible.

It’s important to place your nest within 200-300 feet of pollen-rich, spring-blossoming plants and trees, so the bees need not waste energy or time foraging for food. Also, it’s ideal if nearby plantings offer blossoms during the bee’s entire foraging season, so females can lay eggs to their full potential.

This mason bee, Osmia ribifloris (on a barberry flower), is an effective pollinator of commercial blueberries. Photo Courtesy of USDA_ARS, by Jack Dykinga.

For a list of native plants that attract these native pollinators, check out the fact sheets offered by The Xerces Society called Plants for Native Bees each fact sheet targets one of seven specific regions in North America. And finally, try to solve your garden pest problems without using pesticides. Many types can be harmful or even lethal to bees.

Protect Your Nest during Cold Winter Months

In the fall, take down your egg-filled nest boxes and store them in a dark, unheated garage or shed during cold winter months. In early spring, prior to the onset of fruit tree blossoms and other spring-blooming flowers, return cocoons to your garden. As the days warm to a 55-degree range, watch for bees streaming in and out of your nests and then for mud-plugged holes, indicating that a new batch of pollinators – and another season with mason bees – is on the way.

Additional Resources for Raising Mason Bees

Dogterom, Dr. Margriet. 2009, 2 nd Ed. Pollination with Mason Bees: A Gardner’s Guide to Managing Mason Bees for Fruit Production. BeeDiverse Publishing.


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