New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 16, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas
County AgentTexas A&M laboratory busy identifying suspected ‘killer bees’
By JOE G. TAYLOR Comal County Extension Agent
Honey bees can’t easily swarm Texas incognito anymore. A new laboratory at Texas AWI University has the make on them.
Tile Texas honey bee Identification Lab has begun analyzing Africanized honey bee (AHB) suspects as pan of the state’s plan to minimize the impact of the dreaded insect.
“Often after the first measurement of a sample it is obvious that the honey bees are domestic,” said Leon Praetorian, entomology research assistant who supervises the lab. “But if there is a possibility that they are Africanized, we do ‘die full set of tests.
It can take up to six hours to prepare and analyze one sample of bees.” Scientific identification is important because the AHR is almost identical to the ordinary domestic honeybee. Special microscopes, a digitizing computer program and genetic tests are usa! to determine whether a honey boc is Africanized.
Bees collected both in die Texas A&M trap line from cast of Kingsville to Laredo and by the general
public can he identified at the new lab with the microscopic and computer techniques. The identification service is free.
Dr Horace W. Van Cleave, Texas A&M entomologist and lab administrator, expects strong demand from the public for bec identification.
“We have built cxpandion into lite budget,” Van Cleave nid. “We have feared up to handle the load It s just a nutter of when to pull the switch and start going.”
He said that will be determined by the level of concern from ’he public x hee swarms become more prevalent this spring.
“When swarms start showing up we will stan getting more samples,” Van Cleave predicted
Three parts of the honey bees are ' measured in the lab the forewings. hind w ings and a segment of lite abdo men from which the wax is nude.
If those measurements suggest a swami is African!zed, samples are sent to a LLS department of Agriculture lab in Beltsville. MD., for genetic confirmation.
The first AHB swami in the United State* was detected near Hidalgo, a small town near the Rio Grande River in South Texas, on Oct 15, lddO.
Praetoruis provided these sugges uons for sending a sample to the lab for identification:
• Remember that the Africanized honey hee looks just like a domestic honey bee. Do not send wasps, buiub tcbces, hornets, yellow jackets or ans olhcrinscct for identification
• Collect at least 50 individual honey bees if you know how to handle bees
• Put honey bees in a jar filled with rubbing alcohol. This keeps the bees soft and easter to dissect.
• Pack Ute jar well in a small box. Encase that box in another well-packcd box.
• Include the following lniorma lion: collector’s name, organization and phone number; time and date oi collection; sue of die swami or colony, city and county; precise locaiion (tree, building, hive, other).
• Mad to 'I exas A&M, Dc par uncut of Entomology, Honey Bee Identifer uou Lab, Riverside Campus, Building 4431. Rom 312, College Station, lex as 77840-2475.
Caille and calf puces again set record highs in March. As meal pack cr competition lor light cattle slocks push cattle futures ever htglier, anal ysis arc starting lo blame Ult price escalation on a severe si tor urge cl beef resulting horn randier's economic piobicms ut die iiiid-KOs, followed by die severe drought ol die late 80s, loss of income tax benefits arui odiei investment disincentives Some anal ysis are even questioning die size of die cattle inventory and die mediods used by USHA to estimate die inventory.
Many lancliers consider mg iicid expansion are wondering just bow modi they can atloid lo pay lot a cow ljkUUiaies can be calculated using Ute same pioccdures used to estimate outer capital luvesuneul. the maxi inurn economic mvesUnenis is die cur cm value oi Ute projected net alter tax cash How expected ovci die life of die utvcsuneui
bi agriculture, pi ejected r etui us are highly variable depending on pruduc Uou levels, die cost ol ptoducuon and Ute market puce lea die piodue I produced
Iota! pioducUoii costs per cow vary bom as low ax DI50 to o*cdi V400 per year. Ut cause ol die se varu Uons, good production and iutuitciai I ecol Us ore absolutely essential lo) providing die udorinanon necessary tor I ai id »ei s to make sound economic decisions based on die spec'll ic ti tai actu istics ol Uu. a own ope I antal VV idt expected pi ices ol $1 to $1.10
per pound for a 500 lb. steer, and assuming IO percent lower prices for a 460 lb. heifer, the projected annual net return from a cow is about $d0 to SI21, assuming an 85 percent calf c rop ai id S300/year total production costs, including variable and overhead costs. With the same set of assumptions, hut using the average price for >00 lh. steers for the past un years of about SO.80/lb., annual revenue per cow unit drops to $25.
The maximum cow purchase pine can Iv estimated by dele*mining the net present value of inc future income stream generated r*v the cow
Assume, for example, hut die cow will tx1 in the herd fo- seven years I sing a I peu ct a disv oculi ate a rancher would allord to >*a> $065 Un a cow assuming anneal nci levcnue ut $ 123 per cow inc luding cull cow sale*
(VHI lbs HHK > $0 4o,lb tutu > 14 i percent culled per sea '
To provide the latest information iii this field, the Ibdl Texas Gamebird c w*«ilw u ii\ c* w iii tv lieid Mas N al iik Kletvrg Animal and Food bv icuvw Center at Texas AAM University Di I led Thomborty, i \ ic us ion Sci vice pouluy specialist, >aiU the conference program is designed to meet educational ne a In relating to md USU > pi ohlems He said the confer
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