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Thread: Australian Bees

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Delta, Utah
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    494

    Default Re: Australian Bees

    I made the big mistake of purchasing 200 Australian queens a few years ago. 80% of them got chalk brood so bad mummies were piled up 1 inch thick on the bottom board. Over half of them died before the first winter. I've tried many queens from many different breeders and these were far and away the poorest I've ever tried.
    -Rob Bliss
    Bliss Honey and bee supplies

  2. #22
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    Mar 2009
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    Shallowater, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Australian Bees

    Interesting reading on this topic:

    I am sure that the Aussie beekeepers and officials mean well and are diligent in their efforts. I'm not suggesting they are careless either.

    But people are imperfect and I see no crisis in our industry that would justify the importation of bees from outside our country. The system was in place since the 1920's to keep bees out and it still did not keep varroa out so why should anyone think that we are going to succeed with this arrangement?

    Furthermore the facts are the Aussie bees have no resistance to Tracheal, Varroa or chalkbrood.

    Many universities and beekeepers are spending inordinate amounts of time and money to develop bees that are resistant (hygenic and VSH) to the various issues our industry faces. We appear to be on the cusp of disseminating these useful genetics nationwide. We have the Russian bees also that are successful. Why would we want to import more bees that have no resistance?

    In my view the importation of these bees is a slap in the face to the work of Spivak, Harbo, Rinderer and others.

    Where is the crisis that justifies the risk?

    p.s. I wonder if Australian beekeepers would be excited about importing queens from the big Island Hawaii right now? We can guarantee there are no bees within 100 miles with varroa mites. Trust me......
    Last edited by ACBEES; 01-19-2010 at 12:05 PM. Reason: wrong address
    "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"...well that horse ain't got nothing on a bee.

  3. #23
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    Millbury, MA, USA
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  4. #24
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    Shallowater, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Australian Bees

    another interesting opinion

    “That is why we have a surveillance and eradication program in place. To get rid of them. Australia has a good track record in eradication of pests that other in the world have failed to eradicate and said couldn't be eradicated. “

    Yes, here in America we too tried to trap and “eradicate” as many AHB’s swarms as possible, moving up from Mexico, in a tight surveillance, I in fact live in one of those states where we have DNA-confirmed AHB’s since 2003, but they are now found in nearly all southern states because even the Almighty cannot seal up the air through which they travel. No man-made barrier, biological, chemical, or otherwise, will stop insects flying in the air. Australia has, it appears so far, good luck in fending off Apis Cerana and mites, trafficking on their own, but the word choice “eradication” is unscientific and unrealistic. It is just a matter of when, not if.

    Australia has not been able to “eradicate” European rabbits and Cane toads, to name just a few, with all the state-of-the-art scientific know-hows, such as making a species sterile and then let it mate? (It may have been much easier to eradicate the aborigines since they can’t fly in the air) I too would like to hear that Australia has completely eradicated Apis Cerana and mites, too, but that is a wishful thinking. How can you quarantine the sky? How can you quarantine flying insects? How can you detect and not miss one swarm infiltrating into a virgin territory? Some mites stay on the bloom, probably not on the bees necessarily (especially so are hummingbird mites that hitchhike onto the next host).

    “Firstly it [Australian imports] would give you clean bees to start with, e.g. on almond pollination, and secondly you can then later requeen with your resistant queens that you are breeding. This overcomes the shortage of bees you have. However if you do not have a shortage of bees, then there will be no market for Australian packages.”

    Ah, here comes the sales pitch. For almond pollination, nearly or close to half of the entire American colonies will congregate around a small area in California, a government-sponsored germ bed for free bee disease-exchange; the clean bees, therefore, will exacerbate and magnify the bee pathogens because they have never encountered many new pathogens brought on by migratory beekeepers, much less having developed any resistance against any. Worse, requeening thousands colonies is not always feasible, granted we get the new queens for free (you wish), thus proving impractical. As for the supply and demand side of almond pollination, I am not sure we are having shortage of bees every year. There seems to be a pattern that each year we go through this rumor of bee shortages; however, when the season actually arrives, the out-of-state beekeepers cannot find any takers at a dirt-cheap rate. I am also aware that many almond growers themselves are giving up almonds due to water scarcity and decreasing profit margins, thus alleviating the alleged bee-shortage even further.

    Importing bees, at best, is a stop-gap measure, a myopic policy that ignores the long-term survival of bees and bee biology. American bees have been fighting mites for nearly twenty years now, having just barely established a toe-hold against mites in certain regions, in particular in the advent of AHB’s, among other known and unknown factors. By bringing in “pure” bees from Australia, are we not regressing and retarding our bees back to twenty years ago? Why? Isn’t this an act of animal cruelty? You have just rescued the bees from the gas chamber and then you put them right back in it because “they have never been in there”? Can we not simply say, “been there and done that,” and move on into a new era of beekeeping? Why would anyone like to make a nightmare last longer?

    Granted that Aussie breeders use selective Italian stocks known to be mite and other pathogen resistant in Italy, that is not the same thing as actually using bees in America saturated with cut-throat competition here and right now. That is not even a field study. Nature “red in tooth and claw” forged our bees to come to terms with all the pathogens we humans have introduced to them here in America. Why do we want to set the clock back to Stone Age? Why do we want to open up yet more opportunities for yet other bee disasters, invariably associated with global trafficking of bees?

    Why do we have to become the world’s largest parking lot for all sorts of pathogens? No one has ever suffered death from not eating an almond or an orange. There are other fruits and vegetables that contain higher nutritional values than these two special crops offer. Sure, I too like to eat them once in a while, but importing bees from outside to fatten a few growers’ bank accounts ignores the long-term, unforeseen consequences. Isn’t this how we ended up with mites, SHB, and AHB in the first place? The greed of the few will subject all of us into serfdom once unknown bee pathogens and enemies come to roost in this world’s largest parking lot. Are we ever going to learn anything? You sure we Americans are not suckers?

    Yoon
    Last edited by ACBEES; 01-19-2010 at 12:13 PM.
    "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"...well that horse ain't got nothing on a bee.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Australian Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    interesting thread on this on bee line:
    thanks for doing the bee-l search for me, that was one of the people I was refereing to. thanks
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  6. #26
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    Sep 2009
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    Millbury, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Australian Bees

    Hi Yoon,

    Nice post. I'm being shut out on B-Line. Won't put my posts past the moderators. guess I'm too controversial because I raised this point earlier there. Glad you're posting here too.

  7. #27
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Australian Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
    Well, only the PPB are the ones buying them & putting everyone else at risk.
    PPB? I'm out of the loop on that abbreviation.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Millbury, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Australian Bees

    Piss Poor Beekeeping

  9. #29
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Australian Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
    Well, only the PPB are the ones buying them & putting everyone else at risk.
    I'm having trouble copying the link so I copied the post from bee-l.



    >So I think the list can see that the Aussie bees I use are very tolerant of

    > varroa & tracheal mites.
    >

    Bob, could you please clarify? I found Terry's bees to be excellent
    producers, but a bit nippy. However, I didn't see any tolerance to varroa,
    but could have been given a different line.

    Thanks,
    Randy Oliver


    Rany Oliver seems to have Aussie bees, and I don't consider him a PPB.

    if i remember correctly from previous posts he is evaluating them for Terry.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Concord, CA
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    4,191

    Default Re: Australian Bees

    I talked to Randy last spring. If I'm not mistaken someone gave him a couple aussie hives. He hadn't overwintered any at that time.

    It was more a curiosity experiment than an endorsement for Aussie bees, Ask him.
    Dan

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Davis,South Dakota,USA
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    401

    Default Re: Australian Bees

    The only tollerence is either babysittinng,or striking a match.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,280

    Default Re: Australian Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    Rany Oliver seems to have Aussie bees, and I don't consider him a PPB..
    This was for a study project, Randy did not buy them, I'm thinking P.R. from the supplyer.

    apples & watermelons.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

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