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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,369

    Default Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    Was wondering what people were hearing on the bees available for almond pollination.

    Originally I thought with the additional acreage going in along with the ban on Aussie packages bees we would be short on bees in 2011. So far things have been about even. People who where looking for bees were able to get them. As of today the "additional" supply of bees in my circle of beekeepers has seen to dried up and has started to reverse to the point where no one knows anyone who has extras.

    Has anyone else come to the same conclusion that the supply has run out?

    Secondarily: Is there word out there of people looking for bees to fill in for the "dead" ones that were contracted for previously?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Monte Vista, CO 81144
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    Long again. Means those brilliant guys that ship with out contract will start under cutting contracts. Which means the farmers will have chips for poker next year. The road goes on forever & the party never ends!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Re: Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    Over 5000 colonies advertising in the Fresno newspaper.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Re: Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    I counted over 800 colonies that are still on their locations in Ventura county on 2/10/11 as I drove around the area servicing a my own hives.
    About 300 other hives were moved out on 2/8-10/11.
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hughson, CA
    Posts
    153

    Default Re: Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    My sense of 2011 almond pollination is it is about in balance. The overages I am hearing about are insignificant compared to the overall size of the entire market. Any overages will get used after inspections.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Fruitland ,Idaho
    Posts
    421

    Default Re: Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    I agree with Matt.
    Most of the extras I know of are beekeepers who wintered better than they thought they would. So have extras to rent. Some growers putting less hives per acre. Have not heard of any price cutting yet.
    Looks like the American beekeepers can supply the bees for the almonds.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Monte Vista, CO 81144
    Posts
    244

    Default American Bee keepers

    YEA! RIGHT ON NICK! Have you seen the "it's not our fault" letter in the latest ABJ from Brown regarding Aussie imports? Basically he is crying about the ban and how the USDA is hurting all those poor beekeepers and almond farmers. When Austrailia (who maintains some of the tightest Ag import laws in the world) let us ship bees during our fall season to pollenate their precious fruit in North Queensland during their spring, then and only then do we let Aussie bees back in. But actually we should have a world ban on import export of bees. It has only led to disater. ( ie. Foul brood, mites, AFRICANIZATION to name a few)

  8. #8

    Default Re: American Bee keepers

    Quote Originally Posted by simplyhoney View Post
    But actually we should have a world ban on import export of bees. It has only led to disater. ( ie. Foul brood, mites, AFRICANIZATION to name a few)
    Actually we did have a world ban on bee imports and it didn't stop tracheal mites, varroa mites, AHB or SHB. Having said that, I do agree that we don't need to be importing boatloads of bees to pollinate almonds...at least not without rigorous quarantines such as those that Australia has in place.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Monte Vista, CO 81144
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: ban

    Right, that is true

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    While I agree with everyone. I bought Aussie queens, about 900 of them. I bought them to deepen out an ever shallowing genetic base. My bees are doing better for it. Nor did my bees come down with any strange viruses based on the USDA survey that I was part of. So that is something to think about--how do we keep out disease and pest in the USA and maintain a very diverse gene pool with out some stock importations from somewhere. I do not mean drone semen importations either. I mean real stock in the form of queens. TK

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,369

    Default Re: Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    Although I started this thread about bees in Almond pollination I will gladly join in regarding the Australian packages and queens. We have purchased them in the past. We once put good money down for "almond time" Aussie queens through Weavers. For more than one year big beekeepers near me (20 mile radius) purchased nearly 5000 to throw in the Almonds. Every year they would crud out. Finally on guy near me decided to re-queen them all when his own became available. His loss rate on them went from 90% to 10%.

    Aussie bees were great going into the Almonds but beyond that I would not consider them to have delivered any beneficial attributes that would help our situation genetic wise. They were saps beyond compare. The loose ones I bought ended up getting the funkiest looking combination of chalkbrood / foulbrood disease I've ever seen. Haven't seen anything like it since. Thank God. I think 5% made it till the next spring. Really bad.

    Beyond the fact that they saved many a beekeepers rear at Almond time I would hardly doubt you would get anyone near me to give them a thumbs up for anything else.

    They might be swell for problem free Australia but they were junk once they hit our shores. I am talking the genetics solely. Both the Weavers and their suppliers did a grand job getting the bees here in great shape.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    I am sorry to hear that, the ones I got did O.K....But then they did not get stressed out in pollination. But still how do we broaden an ever shrinking genetic base without importation of some new genetics, while preventing the importation of disease??? This question is important if we want to maintain a vibrant bee population that is capable of commercial pollination on the scale that is needed in Almonds, Cranberries and blueberries. I have sent many truck loads of bees for pollination in Cali and Wisconsin in years past, so it is not like I am clueless. TK

  13. #13

    Default Re: Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    how do we broaden an ever shrinking genetic base without importation of some new genetics, while preventing the importation of disease???
    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    rigorous quarantines such as those that Australia has in place.
    When we began importing bees from eastern Russia, they were quarantined for an extended time on an isolated island off the coast of Louisiana. A reasonable quarantine/evaluation program can be implemented. But…it would never work for the numbers of packages and queens that were coming in to support almond pollination.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,369

    Default Re: Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    Bump. Was wondering if anyone had anymore status updates on bees supply/ under supply. Price increases or cutting to get their foot in the door? Lovely rain outside again today. Bees flying from one frame to the other as practice for when the sun shows back up. Not much else happening. Will help the summer situation in the long run.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    Rick Sutton of FL And KY told me that he was getting 150.00 before the expenses were taken out. He asked me why I did not go this year. That where he was above Fresno they could have easily placed my load or two as they were needing more bees. He brokered out through Lyle Johnson's cousin.No, the price of honey is not bad and as a Souix member, I just decided to stay home. TK

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Re: Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    So it seems we may have been a little long on bees this year? I definitely received more calls from beeks looking for placement than calls from folks needing bees; probably 2:1. Anybody have other observations? Long on bees without the aussies, whoda thunk it?

    Was anybody out there unable to rent their good bees?
    Last edited by JBJ; 02-21-2011 at 09:04 AM. Reason: addition
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    A bit long ,I think.No need for Aussie bees at all.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camarillo, CA, USA
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    I am delivering more hive tonight (120) & tommorro (100) to back fill for poor bees.

    Lots of orchard still do not have hives.

    And all extra bees I know of are spoken for.
    Larry Pender,Jubilee HoneyBee Company,Camarillo, CA

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Central San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    490

    Default Re: Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    The bloom around me has begun (You're right on, Tom) and although there are still bees advertised in the Fresno Bee, I see several orchards without bees in or near them. So, for this area, who knows?
    His Hive Honey Farm - Do all for His glory!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,369

    Default Re: Shortage of bees in Almonds 2011?

    Looks like the supply of bees is nearly gone. If your not in in the north your now late. With the latter bloom in the mid section and south people are still looking for fill in bees. I talked with a guy this evening who wanted to buy bees at 250. If that's the case looks like some might get 180 to 200 on straight run bees the next couple odd days. For those concerned about starvation we did get a very small shake on Monday followed by a medium shake yesterday in the southern end of the north. I did not check today.

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