To Bee or Not To Bee

I recently found an actual gardener and today was his first day.  I've had a number of 'chopereras', I think that's correct; you know guys that come in and cut and trim, and clear cut if you are not careful.  
Finding an actual gardener has been a trial.  Let's hope he's all he's been built up to be.

Well one of the things I wanted him to do today was to take several large limbs out of my flamboyane.  It throws seriously dense shade and some of the plants, and the grass for sure are suffering.  He came up to the kitchen and asked me to come with him, ...dangerous.  OK, he doesn't have English, and my Spanish is a work in progress, slow progress. 

He took me to the garden and pointed up all the while going on about Afrikan, peligroso, ... 

There in the tree is a swarm of bees.  We had the same thing happen once at our garden in Colorado.  You can see the swarm in the photos.  This was a relatively small swarm, the size was about the same as a US Football.


We had a discussion about the type, he say not apis, but Afrikans.   It's possible it is both.   They have been cross breeding here in the Yucatan. 
GOOGLE Honey Bees Yucatan, it's an amazing amount of very interesting stuff

We'll trim that tree next week!




Hybridization Between European and Africanized Honey Bees in the Neotropical Yucatan Peninsula 

link to article here

THOMAS E. RINDERER 1, J. ANTHONY STELZER 1, BENJAMIN P. OLDROYD 1, STEVEN M. BUCO 2, and WILLIAM L. RUBINK 3 1 USDA Agricultural Research Service, Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Research Laboratory, 1157 Ben Hur Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70820
2 Statistical Resources, 7338 Highland Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
3 USDA Agricultural Research Laboratory, Honey Bee Research Laboratory 2413 Eastern Highway 82, Building 205, Weslaco, TX 78596


A population genetic analysis of honey bees of the Mexican neotropical Yucatan peninsula shows that the range expansion of Africanized bees there has involved extensive introgressive hybridization with European bees. Yucatan honey bee populations now include 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 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 bees in the United States.
Submitted on February 11, 1991
Accepted on May 8, 1991