LDAF Press Release - Africanized Honeybee
August 1, 2005
Traps set up to detect the arrival of Africanized
honeybees will be moved east as part of the Department of Agriculture
and Forestry’s response to the detection of Africanized
honeybees in Louisiana, Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry
Bob Odom said this morning.
“When Africanized bees arrived in Texas,
we set up a protocol for how we would respond once they entered
our state,” Odom said. “Our first step will be staying
in front of the bees by moving our trap line that runs north to
south along the Texas-Louisiana border further east. We’ve
learned from other states they’re virtually impossible to
stop but we do want to keep a handle on where they are and how
fast they’re expanding.”
The traps, which originally closely followed
the border, will now be located starting at Converse in Sabine
Parish along Highway 174 to Pleasant Hill up Highway 177 to Armistead
then up Highway 371 to Minden. In Minden the traps will follow
Highways 159 and 521 to the Arkansas line.
The department will also contact beekeepers in
the area surrounding the trap where the Africanized honeybees
“Our first goal was to let the public know
so they are aware the bees are here,” Odom said. “We’re
not trying to scare anyone but it’s especially important
for people who work outside or spend a lot of time outside in
recreation to watch out for these insects and avoid stinging.
“We also want to protect beekeepers and
their livelihood by certifying their colonies for sale or movement
into areas requiring certification.”
Odom said the certification process will begin next spring when
beekeepers get their packages ready for sale.
Africanized honeybees were first confirmed in
Louisiana last Friday when LDAF received notification from USDA
that samples sent to the bee lab in Tuscon, Ariz., were positive
for the Africanized variety. The samples were taken in June from
a swarm of bees found in a trap near the town of Rodessa in north
Caddo Parish. This is the first case of Africanized bees moving
into the state through natural range expansion.
Africanized honeybees are smaller, more aggressive
bees than the European honeybees commonly raised for honey production.
The venom in Africanized bees is the same as that in European
bees, but Africanized bees will sting in greater masses leading
to a toxic reaction in some cases. Seeking cover immediately will
help to reduce the number of stings in a confrontation with Africanized
Submitted by Arvin Foell
Education Committee Report
The Iowa Honey Producers will be partnering with
four community colleges to offer beekeeping classes after the
first of the year.
Ron Wehr and Vern Ramsey will be teaching a class
in Washington in conjunction with Kirkwood Community College.
Kirkwood was already considering having a beekeeping class before
Ron called them. They were excited that he contacted them.
Pat Ennis has lined up a class at North Iowa
Community College in Mason City. Gale Urquhart brought DMACC into
the fold and I hooked up with Iowa Valley Community College in
The reaction was the same at every location.
They are excited. I had a big sales pitch worked up bur I never
had to use it. I was surprised to find out that Iowa Valley has
a program in sustainable agriculture. Classes will be taught in
January, February and March. Exact dates will be announced later.
Instructors for all of the courses are not firmed up yet but we
have a pool of people to work with. If you have something that
would contribute to these classes, feel free to volunteer.
Submitted by Phil Ebert