Author Topic: Africanized bees in Costa Rica  (Read 2709 times)

Gogu

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Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« on: August 03, 2019, 12:23:35 PM »
I'm considering places to grow tropical fruit at, and Costa Rica seems really nice, however I'm allergic to bees, and I'm wondering how much of a problem the africanized bees are.

Should I give up on Costa Rica? If you live in Costa Rica whats your opinion?

SeaWalnut

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2019, 01:53:04 PM »
If your alergic to bees stings ,then any insect sting its a problem,normal bees,wasps,bumblebees ,etc.
Did you get stung?And how big of a problem is your allergy?
I am a beekeeper ,have like 300 000 bees at home and i only get stung once or twice a year from my fault only( wich i like because its healthy if your not allergic and i dislike because those bees die). I do get a little red spot and a skin rash but its a verry mild reaction.
Africanized bees are not like you see in the movies.They are indeed 10 times more agresive than my bees ,but when i open one of my beehives there are just 10 bees that are atacking .With africanized bees i would be atacked by 100 wich is a lot but not like you see in the films where they put 50 000 bees to cover a mans face and say thats atacked by that manny bees.
In those films they use a trick by catching one or 2 queens ,place them in a small plastic box with holes and on a necklace.Then all the beehive will follow the queen and cover her but thats just to protect her and they are not atacking in that state.
When i go fishing i pass through a wood that has sometimes 20 000 beehives on the road sides and i never got stung.
So,unless you are going to open a hive of africanised bees,you dont have to worry much about being atacked more than normal.
You can make a bee stings allergy test at hospital to know for sure how allergic you are and keep somme pills/ treatment with you in case you get stung.

pineislander

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2019, 02:15:03 PM »
Don't give up on Costa Rica but if you have an issue with insects tour there and actually work on a farm as a volunteer before deciding. There are plenty of insects anywhere in the tropics lots of ants, mosquitoes and other stinging biting things. I also recall the guys brushcutting in CR use very heavy aprons sleeves and face shields to protect against the many plants which also have irritants.

Gogu

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2019, 02:18:42 PM »
If your alergic to bees stings ,then any insect sting its a problem,normal bees,wasps,bumblebees ,etc.
Did you get stung?And how big of a problem is your allergy?
I am a beekeeper ,have like 300 000 bees at home and i only get stung once or twice a year from my fault only( wich i like because its healthy if your not allergic and i dislike because those bees die). I do get a little red spot and a skin rash but its a verry mild reaction.
Africanized bees are not like you see in the movies.They are indeed 10 times more agresive than my bees ,but when i open one of my beehives there are just 10 bees that are atacking .With africanized bees i would be atacked by 100 wich is a lot but not like you see in the films where they put 50 000 bees to cover a mans face and say thats atacked by that manny bees.
In those films they use a trick by catching one or 2 queens ,place them in a small plastic box with holes and on a necklace.Then all the beehive will follow the queen and cover her but thats just to protect her and they are not atacking in that state.
When i go fishing i pass through a wood that has sometimes 20 000 beehives on the road sides and i never got stung.
So,unless you are going to open a hive of africanised bees,you dont have to worry much about being atacked more than normal.
You can make a bee stings allergy test at hospital to know for sure how allergic you are and keep somme pills/ treatment with you in case you get stung.

One bee sting is a trip to the hospital for me. Anaphylactic shock. I haven't always been allergic to bees (my dad is a beekeeper), but I have been stung by a yellow jacket while allergic to bees and I didn't have a severe reaction. I have also been stung by a regular honey bee, and maybe it wasn't deep enough, but it also wasn't a severe reaction. Honeybees are the only insect I have had a severe reaction from.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 02:20:20 PM by Gogu »

SeaWalnut

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2019, 03:37:11 PM »
Yellow jacket and bee venom contains the same substance that usually cause anaphylactic shock or allergies,albumin.
Yellow jacket sting hurts 10 times more than a bee sting but the bee can inject more venom if you dont take action to take the needle out fast from your skin.
Is still good to make a test at hospital ( costs just 10 euro here). And there is a good therapy for alergic people to make them non alergic by getting stung for 3 years gradually increasing the venom (its done in a hospital under medical supervision) .
I got a bite from the giant swimmer bug that really hurt and i could barely walk with that leg.After that bite i could barely feel a bee sting,could not believe how mild it can be.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 04:14:13 PM by SeaWalnut »

Johnny Redland

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2019, 03:42:08 PM »
I had Africanized bees take over 2 of my hives. What a nightmare. I had to completely trash two full hives with supers. It was a mess. Couldnít come with min 75ft of my hives without 5-10 of them going at me hardcore

SeaWalnut

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2019, 04:20:22 PM »
I had Africanized bees take over 2 of my hives. What a nightmare. I had to completely trash two full hives with supers. It was a mess. Couldnít come with min 75ft of my hives without 5-10 of them going at me hardcore
Trash 2 hives? How and why?
Also,once you get stung you get marked with a scent that makes them chase you but without that marking scent i doubt even the africanised bees could chase you for no reason.
We have verry hot bees here too that are not africanised but display the same agresivity, kill horses yet bekeepers still keep them.

Gogu

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2019, 04:22:53 PM »
Yellow jacket and bee venom contains the same substance that usually cause anaphylacfic shock or allergies,albumin.
Yellow jacket sting hurts 10 times more than a bee sting but the bee can inject more venom if you dont take action to take the needle out fast from your skin.
Is still good to make a test at hospital ( costs just 10 euro here). And there is a good therapy for alergic people to make them non alergic by getting stung for 3 years gradually increasing the venom (its done in a hospital under medical supervision) .
I got a bite from the giant swimmer bug that really hurt and i could barely walk with that leg.After that bite i could barely feel a bee sting,could not believe how mild it can be.

I read about venom immunotherapy, and I am considering it. It's a long process though so I'm thinking I should start it after moving to Costa Rica if I decide that's where I want to go.

I'm also considering Indonesia as a place to grow tropical fruit because I have family there and there shouldn't be africanized bees.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 04:44:47 PM by Gogu »

Ulfr

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2019, 04:57:25 PM »
I used to keep a lot of bees and unlike sea walnut, used to get stung a lot. I eventually developed a reaction and while it wasnít anaphylactic I still decided to sell my hives. I always kept stingless bees anyway so only missed the side income.

Anyway, doc offered immunotherapy and while a pain it might be worth it for you. I didnít do it but if I ever have a worse reaction or decide to keep bees again I will. Saying that I have never reacted to any other kind of bite or sting including wasps (no yellow jackets here).

Doug

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2019, 05:58:38 PM »
Maybe I just haven't paid attention to the issue, but for what it's worth, I've lived here for 20 years and have never heard of any problem whatsoever with so-called "killer" bees, or any other type of bee for that matter. I have inadvertently disturbed a wasp nest or two and suffered for my carelessness. If the bee thing were to have been a problem of any size I think I would have heard about it because I do follow the news fairly closely.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 06:01:34 PM by Doug »

Gogu

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2019, 06:07:26 PM »
Maybe I just haven't paid attention to the issue, but for what it's worth, I've lived here for 20 years and have never heard of any problem whatsoever with so-called "killer" bees, or any other type of bee for that matter. I have inadvertently disturbed a wasp nest or two and suffered for my carelessness. If the bee thing were to have been a problem of any size I think I would have heard about it because I do follow the news fairly closely.

That's good to know. I did look it up on google, and there appears to be a few cases where people have actually died from killer bees in Costa Rica, but I wasn't sure how common it was.

SeaWalnut

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2019, 06:57:25 PM »
If id live in Australia,Costa Rica or Indonezia,a bee sting would be the last thing to worry about.Those countryes are full of a lot more venomous insects ,snakes,jellyfish,octopus ,etc.
In my life ive been stung by @ 15 yellowjackets and hornets and at once i got 5 yellowjacket stings at once.Got stung by probaly 20 bumblebees wich really hurt even more than a yellow jacket and also got the bite from the giant water bug ( that bug prays and eats snakes,frogs,fish ,etc)
Compared to that i got about 7 bee stings in my life and i am a beekeeper, have a few hives but my grandfather had @50.

I have peacefull bees and i like to drink my coffee watching them come and go at a half a meter distance from their hive( one foot and a half) and i never got stung because of that or atacked.This hive i keep it right next to my house and the dog house wich never got stung and close to this hive i cut wood with a chainsaw,cut metal with angle grinder ,etc.


The road in my orchard passes at 2 feet distance from my hives( less than a meter) an nobody got stung from.just walking that  close to their entrances of the hives.


« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 07:23:23 PM by SeaWalnut »

Finca La Isla

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2019, 06:58:36 PM »
All honey bees in CR are Africanized.  We have them here.  If there is a wild hive by a house the fire department will come and remove it.  Itís unusual to get stung but certainly possible.
Peter

Gogu

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2019, 07:34:10 PM »
If id live in Australia,Costa Rica or Indonezia,a bee sting would be the last thing to worry about.Those countryes are full of a lot more venomous insects ,snakes,jellyfish,octopus ,etc.
In my life ive been stung by @ 15 yellowjackets and hornets and at once i got 5 yellowjacket stings at once.Got stung by probaly 20 bumblebees wich really hurt even more than a yellow jacket and also got the bite from the giant water bug ( that bug prays and eats snakes,frogs,fish ,etc)
Compared to that i got about 7 bee stings in my life and i am a beekeeper, have a few hives but my grandfather had @50.

I have peacefull bees and i like to drink my coffee watching them come and go at a half a meter distance from their hive( one foot and a half) and i never got stung because of that or atacked.This hive i keep it right next to my house and the dog house wich never got stung and close to this hive i cut wood with a chainsaw,cut metal with angle grinder ,etc.


The road in my orchard passes at 2 feet distance from my hives( less than a meter) an nobody got stung from.just walking that  close to their entrances of the hives.




Yeah I'm certainly not that afraid of regular bees. I grew up around bees, and I've worked with them until I had an allergic reaction. At the very least I can easily run away from 1 angry honeybee. Just trying to get a better understanding of the behavior of africanized ones.

SeaWalnut

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2019, 08:38:54 PM »
@ Gogu, most likely the first bee sting that caused you anaphylactic shock actually saved your life because your body got used a little with the venom before the yellow jacket stung you.If you didnt experienced the bee sting first,then when you got the yellowjacket sting ,your body would have had a lot stronger reaction because a yellowjacket sting= 10 bees stings and the chemical that causes the anaphylactic shock its found in yellow jackets also.
Conclusion is that if you are alergic to bee stings then you are alergic to any himenoptera sting ,vasps,hornets and bumblebees included.
Avoid walking too close to africanised bees hives.Id reccomend at least 3 meters away  and you could also get somme injectable medication to have with you just in case.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 08:40:38 PM by SeaWalnut »

Johnny Redland

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2019, 10:00:22 PM »
I had Africanized bees take over 2 of my hives. What a nightmare. I had to completely trash two full hives with supers. It was a mess. Couldnít come with min 75ft of my hives without 5-10 of them going at me hardcore
Trash 2 hives? How and why?
Also,once you get stung you get marked with a scent that makes them chase you but without that marking scent i doubt even the africanised bees could chase you for no reason.
We have verry hot bees here too that are not africanised but display the same agresivity, kill horses yet bekeepers still keep them.

Couldnít get near any of my hives. Even wearing a full suit some were able to penetrate. Who wants to deal with that? Iíve got plenty of hives. I could afford to chuck two of them far far away

SeaWalnut

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2019, 10:05:16 PM »
I had Africanized bees take over 2 of my hives. What a nightmare. I had to completely trash two full hives with supers. It was a mess. Couldnít come with min 75ft of my hives without 5-10 of them going at me hardcore
Trash 2 hives? How and why?
Also,once you get stung you get marked with a scent that makes them chase you but without that marking scent i doubt even the africanised bees could chase you for no reason.
We have verry hot bees here too that are not africanised but display the same agresivity, kill horses yet bekeepers still keep them.

Couldnít get near any of my hives. Even wearing a full suit some were able to penetrate. Who wants to deal with that? Iíve got plenty of hives. I could afford to chuck two of them far far away
If you get africanised bees or hot bees ,you dont have to destroy that colony.Just replace theyr queen with a normal bees queen that makes docile bees and after a month and a half all of those africanised bees will die of old age but after they have raised a new generation of docile bees.
Its not big deal to change the queen with another queen.

Future

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2019, 02:29:18 PM »
If id live in Australia,Costa Rica or Indonezia,a bee sting would be the last thing to worry about.Those countryes are full of a lot more venomous insects ,snakes,jellyfish,octopus ,etc.
In my life ive been stung by @ 15 yellowjackets and hornets and at once i got 5 yellowjacket stings at once.Got stung by probaly 20 bumblebees wich really hurt even more than a yellow jacket and also got the bite from the giant water bug ( that bug prays and eats snakes,frogs,fish ,etc)
Compared to that i got about 7 bee stings in my life and i am a beekeeper, have a few hives but my grandfather had @50.

I have peacefull bees and i like to drink my coffee watching them come and go at a half a meter distance from their hive( one foot and a half) and i never got stung because of that or atacked.This hive i keep it right next to my house and the dog house wich never got stung and close to this hive i cut wood with a chainsaw,cut metal with angle grinder ,etc.


The road in my orchard passes at 2 feet distance from my hives( less than a meter) an nobody got stung from.just walking that  close to their entrances of the hives.




So on our last night in Costa Rica, I noticed a scorpion in our beachside hotel. Hmmm.  A quick google search tells all on the potential killers in CR.  For better or worse, urbanization is reducing risk, which is already fairly low but not zero.

Swept out the scorpion (capable of the equivalent of a bee sting).

While appropriate precautions are a must, especially with know physical susceptibilities, fear is by far the biggest killer.

Johnny Redland

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2019, 09:11:43 PM »
I had Africanized bees take over 2 of my hives. What a nightmare. I had to completely trash two full hives with supers. It was a mess. Couldnít come with min 75ft of my hives without 5-10 of them going at me hardcore
Trash 2 hives? How and why?
Also,once you get stung you get marked with a scent that makes them chase you but without that marking scent i doubt even the africanised bees could chase you for no reason.
We have verry hot bees here too that are not africanised but display the same agresivity, kill horses yet bekeepers still keep them.

Couldnít get near any of my hives. Even wearing a full suit some were able to penetrate. Who wants to deal with that? Iíve got plenty of hives. I could afford to chuck two of them far far away
If you get africanised bees or hot bees ,you dont have to destroy that colony.Just replace theyr queen with a normal bees queen that makes docile bees and after a month and a half all of those africanised bees will die of old age but after they have raised a new generation of docile bees.
Its not big deal to change the queen with another queen.

I tried to requeen both hives twice with Italian queens. All 4 times unsuccessful. Not my first rodeo

pvaldes

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2019, 02:29:57 AM »
If you have a problem with africanised bees, you will love Asian Hornets in Europe. They can kill you faster than bees of course, but will munch bees also. Available in warmer areas of Romania in a few years, probably.

In Costa Rica Phoneutria would be a major concern for me. And Lonomia also. Mosquitoes.Kissing bugs spreading Chagas disease...
« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 02:36:46 AM by pvaldes »

SeaWalnut

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2019, 03:59:12 AM »
If you have a problem with africanised bees, you will love Asian Hornets in Europe. They can kill you faster than bees of course, but will munch bees also. Available in warmer areas of Romania in a few years, probably.

In Costa Rica Phoneutria would be a major concern for me. And Lonomia also. Mosquitoes.Kissing bugs spreading Chagas disease...
Those asian vasps that got in Europe are not those big,skary hornets,Vespa Mandarinia.They are smaller than Mandarinia thogh people were badly informed by newspapers that they are the big ones.Compared to the giant water bug that bite me its mild and also the european centipedes we have here might be a lot painfull than any vasp ,even Mandarinia .I wasnt bit by the centipede thogh so cant compare  ;D.
This is the giant water bug bite and the guy says its worse than Vespa Mandarinia sting. https://youtu.be/mjCAyo2Litw

professor

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2019, 12:42:19 AM »
Hello Gogu,  Ive been here in Costa Rica for 6 years and I think only have been stung by the Africanized honey bees once (hit a hollow log with a machete that was a fallen home of theirs).  Seen many swarm flying and in a ball in the tree or under the eves, and I walk around them while they are doing their work every day with the flowers and trees.  Tonight I actually opened and re-housed a wild hive of them from a neighbors dead tree that he wanted removed and they are quite calm using the right techniques (plenty of smoke).  I have been stung many more times by the endless types of wasps here than honey bees.  Working with fruit trees its not uncommon to get stung by a wasp or two by disturbing an unseen nest as you work your trees.  I get stung maybe 2-3 times a month, but you get used to it and learn to look out for them where they normally put their nests, but it still happens where you don't see them.  There have been some cases around my area where people have disturbed a nest on the ground in a log and had to go to the hospital because of the stings, but its fairly rare.  I wouldn't let the africanized honey bee be a factor in deciding to move here.  There are other significant factors to consider, such as cost of living, economic factors and government stability, etc. that I would be looking at as well as so many other things relative to moving to another country.  The sting therapy however to immunize yourself is an excellent choice however and can actually build your immune system :)

Gogu

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2019, 06:06:40 AM »
Hello Gogu,  Ive been here in Costa Rica for 6 years and I think only have been stung by the Africanized honey bees once (hit a hollow log with a machete that was a fallen home of theirs).  Seen many swarm flying and in a ball in the tree or under the eves, and I walk around them while they are doing their work every day with the flowers and trees.  Tonight I actually opened and re-housed a wild hive of them from a neighbors dead tree that he wanted removed and they are quite calm using the right techniques (plenty of smoke).  I have been stung many more times by the endless types of wasps here than honey bees.  Working with fruit trees its not uncommon to get stung by a wasp or two by disturbing an unseen nest as you work your trees.  I get stung maybe 2-3 times a month, but you get used to it and learn to look out for them where they normally put their nests, but it still happens where you don't see them.  There have been some cases around my area where people have disturbed a nest on the ground in a log and had to go to the hospital because of the stings, but its fairly rare.  I wouldn't let the africanized honey bee be a factor in deciding to move here.  There are other significant factors to consider, such as cost of living, economic factors and government stability, etc. that I would be looking at as well as so many other things relative to moving to another country.  The sting therapy however to immunize yourself is an excellent choice however and can actually build your immune system :)

Thanks for the info. I've ended up moving to Hawaii, but if it doesn't work out for some reason I'll consider Costa Rica again.

Mark in Texas

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Re: Africanized bees in Costa Rica
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2019, 09:42:47 AM »
Everyone should have a bottle of liquid benadryl  handy.  It might save you or Fido's life some day. 

 

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