Apparently SHB have been found in an overwintered colony at the Beaverlodge research station in northern Alberta. The bees came from packages that were purchased from Australia last year (oops!!).
So I guess that's another reason to open the border to packages from the US of A or to keep every border closed and prevent any movement of any bees anywhere. This of course all depends on which side of the fence you happen to be on.
The one thing that could help cooler heads from prevailing is if the other packages that came from that pallet were distributed into B.C. , Alta. and Sask. That way everybody has got some SHB and everybody can then carry on beekeeping instead of worrying about SHB. Anyways this issue will be interesting to follow. I'm not sure the industry has learned anything from the first varroa find in Wisconsin (I think). I did not have bees at the time but I remember Gard Otis walking into the lecture room anouncing that the border had been closed to packages and queens coming from the U.S.A. I did not understand at the time the impact that those words had on peoples lives and businesses. It meant bankruptcy for some, broken families, visits to the funny farm for others. Overall it was very devastating to the industry. Hive counts had been on the rise before the border closure and stopped after it closed. Only recently have hive numbers started to climb in Alberta and that is due to the hybrid canola pollination contracts.
The way I see it is if I'm Australian it's time to start loosing sleep over this one mate. If I'm an American queen and package producer, well a slight reason for optimism. Don't get to excited, because the wheels of bureaucracy turn ever so slowly over here. I'm sure glad I do not have them yet and more importantly they were found elsewhere first.