Thanks for the contact information.....Im planning on getting some Buckfast Queens from Canada if I can....
Thanks for the contact information.....Im planning on getting some Buckfast Queens from Canada if I can....
The US just passed a bunch of new regulations on importing queens from Canada. Most of the Canadian queen breeders will not be able to afford to meet all the requirements. I think Canadian queen being imported here may be a thing of the past thanks to excessive government intervention.
I'm not sure what additional costs Canadian bee
producers might face, as the "requirements" are
so minimal as to be no more than what any bee
producer would do as a normal part of their
business operation. As Canada already has
well-funded federal and provincial bee programs,
they are in much better shape than the US is in
light of the impact of complying with WTO requirements.
You can read my Bee Culture article in the January
2005 issue for the details on how the existing
system of state-level bee regulation in the US
is hurt by this, but I assure you that it is NOT
"excessive government intervention". The US has
no choice but to apply the WTO regs to all imports,
and to allow imports from NZ and Australia, even
though Canada has decided that they would rather
have US bees, as the quality and quantity of bees
they got from NZ and Australia did not satisfy
The US is also forced to ask Canada to follow
the same rules as NZ and Australia, and who
knows who else. To not do so would be to "play
favorites", which would make NZ and Australia
whine and complain even more.
Their complaints would be valid in such a scenario.
It WOULD be "playing favorites", and the WTO
agreements simply do not allow such things.
Not to worry, the producers that export queens
from Canada may moan and groan and cry "unfair"
about something that is exactly fair under the
treaties both countries signed, but they are
sure to ship queens. They make good money at
selling queens, and the US is a "growth market"
As for the NZ and Australian bee producers,
all I can say is that schemes involving shipping
bees from the other side of the planet need only
the addition of "sharks with friggin laser beams
on their heads" to bring them up to the level of
Here is a quote from a Canadian queen producer:
" I have finished reading the new regulations regarding
the export of queens
to the US and the results do not bode well for 2005.
The regulations from the USDA and APHIS Federal
Registry, Vol 69 No.203
Oct 21 2004 states that we need an inspection health
certificate 10 days
before shipment, an export license issued by the
Canadian Food inspection,
the shipment has to go through a port of entry manned
an APHIS inspection agent, the importer has to apply
for a licence to
import, sign a document and return it to the APHIS
agent at the port of
entry days before the shipment arrives. If the
security of the package does
not measure up to a 'standard' then the shipment is
destroyed at the
shipper's expense. It goes on and on. Draconian to say
Regretfully, it would seem the trade protectionists
in the American
legislature have won again!! Canada bashing is getting
to be a way of life!
The American Honey Producers Assoc has been agitating
for many years to
'protect' the US bee business, from where I stand they
have succeeded in
cutting us out completely.
My previous business was ruined by the NAFTA
agreement (I think that should
be renamed, North American UNFAIR Trade Agreement) now
someone has taken
this business as well.
What does it all mean? Simply put, the legislation is
a mine field for the
small business queen breeders and so it is with a
heavy heart I have to
close down the US service queen supply, any monies
will be refunded, all
orders are cancelled.
David Eyre, The Bee Works"
sitting here reading this post made me wonder why nobody else in the USA deals with buckfast abbey for there queens to raise and sell, the weavers do or did but there surrounded by AHB, is it something or someone that you have to know to get these queens from buckfast abbey, with a bee so famous you would think there would be a few more people dealing with buckfast abbey and raising and selling these queens or am I missing something.
I've been thinking the same. Would love to hear from "buckbee" on the subject. "Do you have any clout over there, Buckbee?"
If I had the money, I would make the trip to just to see the Abby.
I am done with Weaver until they address this.
> we need an inspection health
> certificate 10 days before shipment
Yes, you do. How else would you know if you were
shipping disease-free and pest-free bees? Since
Canada has very few SPS/WTO "reportable" diseases
or pests, the list of things that one need inspect
for is very limited.
> Draconian to say the least.
Only if you have no disease/pest control program.
If you have no disease/pest control program, you
shouldn't be shipping bees anywhere, not even
between provinces within Canada.
> Regretfully, it would seem the trade protectionists
> in the American legislature have won again!!
This is a laughably misinformed foaming at the mouth.
First, no "American legislature" had anything to do
with the imposition of the new requirements. Both the
US and Canada are WTO participants, and their respective
WTO negotiators AGREED to these rules, likely without
every considering the impact on people who want to ship
live animals. The rules are less taxing when one is
shipping something that is not a living creature.
Second there is nothing "protectionist" in these regs.
They are imposed on shipments from Canada simply because
they MUST be imposed, or the US faces charges of showing
favoritism to Canada versus other countries that want to
ship bees to the USA.
> Canada bashing is getting to be a way of life!
Sorry, everything is not all about you.
The US had no choice in the matter, and if you had spoken
for even 5 minutes with anyone else who shipped goods from
Canada to the US, you might be able to learn a little about
how to export in the 21st Century. We can't have one set
of regulations for Canada, and another for everyone else.
No one can. We have WTO, NAFTA, and a pile of other trade
agreements, and none of them really work for the unique case
of shipping live bees. If you'd like to "fix it", I'd love
to help, but first you have to learn a bit about how the
current regulations work (and don't work well for bees).
When the US wants to "bash Canada", it is easy enough for one
of our hockey teams to take away the Stanley Cup for yet another
year. As I recall, last year it was a team from Florida, where
the skating rinks have to be painstakingly hand-assembled from
individual ice cubes ordered from room service. That must have
really hurt, eh? [img]smile.gif[/img]
If any bee producers in Canada want to get
serious about shipping bees, I am happy to
assist them - Lord knows I've done my homework
on this issue just to write articles about
the whole mess.
Some Buckfast bees that were closer to the
actual "Brother Adam" Buckfast bees would be
nice to have for many people, and the cold-tolerant
bees are very useful to beekeepers in the
Northern tier of US states.
But I can't help anyone who is so misinformed
to think that this was some sort of deliberate
plan to "bash Canada".
jfischer, If you will post the exact requirements to the best of your understanding and if you will assist in getting at least one queen producer in Canada set up to ship to the U.S. that is.
For my part, I will apply for an import license to bring a small number of Buckfast queens into the U.S. this year.
Are you up to it?
Fusion (you can contact me through my website http://www.selectedplants.com/)
For those of you looking for Buckfast bees, here is a name I ran across. Phil Kurkoski Apiaries, 2472 Hidden Valley Lane, Stillwater,MN 55082 Phone-(651) 439-8051. I do not know if he is still beekeeping. I got this from the following link Http://eppserver.ag.utk.edu/bees/tes...producer.html# If he is in business I would like to requeen my hives this fall with Buckfast.
> jfischer, If you will post the exact requirements
> to the best of your understanding and if you will
> assist in getting at least one queen producer in
> Canada set up to ship to the U.S. that is.
But you are not in Canada, are you?
Are you thinking of trying to become an "importer"?
Most exporters would simply ship direct to the
beekeeper ordering the queens, and would not
want to deal with a "middleman".
Anyway, the requirements are not something you can
satisfy. As a prospective importer, you are on
the receiving end, and it is the producer in
Canada who must provide certifications, get
testing done by qualified inspectors, set up
tracking and record-keeping for periodic
In short, the party who has the mating nucs
is the one that must do the paperwork, and
must be able to prove that the claims made
in the paperwork are both accurate and truthful
when audited or inspected.
I understood that jfischer, I do in fact know at least one "qualified" queen producer in Canada. I also know one person in aphis who is an inspector at a port of entry for the U.S. I also know one person who is tied into the effort in the Canadian government to achieve compliance with all the many recently implemented "rules" albeit she is more interested in the plant and seed related aspects. It wouldn't take much to put something in place to make this feasible and workable!
I am asking you to provide a short sweet list here on this forum of the requirements for the queen producer and details on what I as a queen importer must do. I don't need many queens in the first place. If beekeepers are to be saddled with riding this horse, I figure we might as well get a bridle on him.
An example of what I need:
Who has to inspect the bees at the queen producers end?
What specific pests/diseases should they look for?
How often do they have to be inspected (presume monthly shipments to the U.S.)?
What are the valid "port of entry" locations with an aphis inspector?
From my end, how do I apply for an import license?
Who would I send it to?
Put names, people, and places into this discussion.
Sorry, I said I would be happy to help Canadian
queen producers. I did not say I would write a
book-length plain English translation of the
regulations and how-to guide, certainly not on
a Sunday night with at least 10, maybe 12 dinner
guests arriving in a few hours, and about
eleventy-dozen things I need to do in the kitchen.
Here's the basic regs, if you want to do your
homework so that you can ask some more specific
Ok, I read the rules and restrictions. Here are a few of the answers.
1. The beekeeper must submit a notification of arrival (section 322.7) containing:
a. my name, address, phone number.
b. receiving apiary name, address, phone number.
c. producers name, address, phone number.
d. name of the port of arrival which MUST be staffed by an APHIS inspector.
e. expected date of arrival at the port.
f. species name being imported (Apis Mellifera for honeybees)
g. description of items being imported (queen bees, packages, nest boxes)
h. total number of organisms being imported.
The notification of arrival must be submitted by one of the following means:
by mail to
4700 River Road Unit 133
Riverdale, MD 20737-1236
or by fax to:
or by email to:
On the producers end, the requirement for Canada will be that the bees to be shipped into the U.S. must be inspected within 10 days prior to shipment and must be certified free of undesirable germplasm, tracheal mites, varroa mites, and other pests and diseases. There are particular sections specifying that the bees must be produced from germplasm that was produced in that region in other words no queens produced from drone semen from Africa, etc. The bees must be accompanied by an export certificate issued by the appropriate regulatory body of the country of origin.
There is quite a bit more and what I have written is a synopsis so don't take it as complete. Read the original.
I know it costs me $150 to get inspected. And I only do it once a year. If I had to spend a half day getting inpected and pay for it every 10 days it would not be worth it at all for me to sell queens. And that is regardless of all the other restrictions. For something that is barely worth while as it is, any restrictions can make it not worth it.
As for diseases and pests, what do they have in Canada that we don't already have? Nothing! And if they did, you can't convince the bees to stay on their side of the border anyway.
What goes around comes around as they say.The Canadian border closure wreaked havoc on US queen producers.This closure stayed in effect long after it should have been lifted.So the Canadians should quit whining and suck it up!
> I know it costs me $150 to get inspected...
Ah, but you forget a basic point. The WTO SPS
guidelines are amazingly vague about who is a
qualified to be an inspector, and don't say
if that person is a state inspector, a federal
inspector, or merely certified as "qualified"
by some, as yet unnamed certification agency.
Right off the bat, we can conclude that the
existing state-level inspectors in the USA
are NOT inherently qualified, even though they
are the sole issuers of "health certificates"
for interstate shipments (within the USA).
Why? Because the WTO does not even recognize
state (or provincial) disease and pest services
as "valid". They speak only of a "National
Authority", which in the USA, would mean APHIS,
which has zero people assigned to work on bees,
and cannot claim to be a valid "National Authority"
due to a lack of staff, funding, and charter.
Some people might look at this, and think that
the US can't export until the federal government
creates a "bee group" within APHIS, but even
they would lack the ability to claim that they
were qualified to inspect a single hive and
certify it as "disease free". What possible
use would a degree in entomology be in hive
inspection? It's like asking a person with
a electrical engineering degree to wire your
house - maybe he would do it properly, but
an EE degree does not include any training
on how to wire a 3-way switch or properly
ground a service entrance panel, let alone
teach "craftsmanship" issues. An electrician's
license has nothing to do with an EE degree.
So, what does this mean? I think it means that
individual bee breeders can stand up and state
that they ARE qualified, that they have studied
the text books, and studied the SPS guidelines,
and are therefore qualified to SELF-CERTIFY
until someone comes along with a certification
and training program. Most bee producers would
be well within their rights to claim that they
are more knowledgeable and have more hands-on
experience that the bulk of the bee inspectors
currently employed by the states.
This is just one tiny little tidbit example
of how one needs to look at these rules, and
my intent is to sell my services at laughably
low prices to any and all bee breeders who need
to slog through this junk and ship some darn bees.
You see chaos and brick walls. I see the
opportunity to raise the bar, and force an
admission that larger bee producers have
part-time teenage employees who are better
equipped to inspect for diseases than most
of the inspectors currently on state payrolls.
I'll say it again - nobody wanted to hinder the
ability of beekeepers in the northern tier of
states from buying Canadian bees, but the WTO
rules are not just "twisted", they are completely
broken when you try and apply them to bees.
And the only way to "fix it", is to negotiate
with people who don't even yet realize that bees
are "international trade goods".
How do I know all this crud? I've been working
on this issue for years, and I've had time to
learn the details, look at other export operations,
and talk to the people who came up with these
I think the Canadian border closed because US queen breeders and packages were bringing mites into the Country ...now whats come around is if you want mite resistance bees that winter and don't have AHB genes you need to get them from Canada.Look at Hawaii they don't and haven't allowed imports for the same reason that Canada closed its borders.Look how many billions of dollars mites have caused the beekeekers to lose can you really blame the Canadian Goverment.
Cant blame anyone for looking out for their own interests.My point is that after both mites became widespread in Canada,the closure looked like it was hurting Canadian honey production more than it was helping,particularly in the western provinces.
>now whats come around is if you want mite resistance bees that winter and don't have AHB genes you need to get them from Canada.
You dont really believe that do you?!!
No I don't believe that totally,I don't think AHB would be a big problem in Canada....but SHB could start showing up more now that the borders are opened.I basicly said that because Id like to get a few Buckfast Queens from Canada and it looks like it could be a regulation,paper work nitemare.Weavers might have improved their breeding program and Id buy from them again I have bought good queens from them before so I don't know whats going on there.
"I believe that Weavers are the only Buckfast breeder in the USA registered with us - let me know if anyone else is claiming to supply them."
Do the registars of Buckfast bees do any type of certification or inspection of their certified breeders? Virtually all post I have read indicate that beekeepers have a history of problems with defensive Buckfast bees purchased in Texas. I understand Buckfast bees to be famous for their gentle behavior. Does something seem wrong?