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  1. #1
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    Default Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    A relatively large Australian beekeeper, breeder, and package seller tells me that according to discussions among Australian beekeepers, they are 80% sure USA will lift the ban on bee importation beginning the first of next year (2014). I have asked for his source of this information but have not received anything.

    Has anyone heard anything about this?
    California Almond Pollination Services, Inc.
    http://www.almondbeepollination.com

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    the other option is to allow the Mexicans bring bees in for almonds, would seem to me that would be a less expensive option for the almond growers.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    the other option is to .
    Well WB, they could keep the mites down & feed Nutra Bee sub, then we would be long on bees in the almonds, all done right here in the U.S. of A.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
    Well WB, they could keep the mites down & feed Nutra Bee sub, then we would be long on bees in the almonds, all done right here in the U.S. of A.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    The breeding sucked and as a result they were more prone to disease collapse
    Could you please elaborate on this?

    I ask, because here in New Zealand, a neighbour to Australia but not Australia, we have not had mites as long as you in the US, so we are not as far down the track with tolerant bees as you guys. So mainly wanting to know if you mean the breeding is of bees that do poorly against mites, or some other thing.

    My suspicion is that our NZ bees do not have near the mite resistance as a lot of US bees. But not allowed to import bees here so cannot run any comparisons.

    BTW, it's highly unlikely you could possibly import apis cerana in an Australian package. The two species do not interbreed, and a cerana has a much smaller hive, not really suitable for a lang, although I've heard it has been done. I cannot imagine an Australian beekeeper accidentally housing a cerana, much less breed or make packages of them, or breed an a cerana queen by mistake.
    Last edited by Barry; 05-04-2013 at 11:03 AM. Reason: edit quote
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    BTW, it's highly unlikely you could possibly import apis cerana in an Australian package.
    It's not the Apis cerana...it's the Tropilaelaps

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    Oldtimer:

    Honey4all is trying to say that any of the Aussie bees (I have firsthand experience with 3 of the 4 main suppliers) are prone to chalkbrood. I have seen colonies die because of chalkbrood. They do not make a whole bunch of surplus honey. They do not do especially well over the winter, like they die. You get a whole bunch that supercede. They are relatively nasty and are not especially pleasant to work with when loading and unloading to go to pollination. They are extremely poor at making jelly to fed larvae and this is the crux of all their problems. If you remove the queen from arelatively good hive along with 2 frames of brood and maybe two shakes (we do this all the time when making nucs) feed the rest of the hive, then divide the rest of the brood and population into nucs, move the queenless nucs to other bee less yards then the adults commit suicide, they fly off never to be seen again.

    I do not have firsthand knowledge of my next comment but I heard that they do not handle the blue shop treatment very well.

    On the plus side they generally arrive in pretty good shape from very far away when they say they will arrive.

    Beekeepers brought them in, in an effort to keep their customers. As an observation beekeepers seems to put way too much value on contracts. Firstly customers have dropped me for $5.00, irrespective of quality of the colonies. Secondly there are many to choose from especially in California. They only need 1,500,000 hives and I believe I read next year it grows to 1,800,000 colonies. That is a lot of customers and contracts. If you truly value your customers float Keith or any other pollen sub outfit $20-$30 per colony for pollen substitute, use an approved miticide, budget some syrup in there and a little bit of extra labour for the feding side. Make sure you collect and extra $50 for your efforts. The bees will be in good shape, growers could probably pay $200 for good hives at 1.5 hives per acre ($300/acre) instead of 2 hives/acre at $150/hive for aussie packages (still $300/acre) If I am a grower I know which one I will choose. Make the case to your grower. If $200/hive does not cut it, plead your case for $225.

    If you spend the $ on your bees then you will have bees and can make choices as to how you wish to generate revenue from them.

    Jean-Marc

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    OK thanks for the detailed reply. Never worked with Aussie bees myself, guess they are OK in their homeland.

    I see you are in Canada, any experience with New Zealand bees, or heard anything about them?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    My concern is that political forces not biological science will dictate the importation of Australia bees and lifting the current ban on that country’s bees.
    Kim Flottum and other notable entomologists/biologist has made several compelling scientific arguments against lifting the ban, however, how often do politicians listen to science when campaign contributions and votes are at stake?
    I fear (hope it is unjustified) that something is brewing between the two countries sponsored by big privet interest groups. Obviously, Australia’s beekeepers have a financial stake in opening trade between them and the U.S. Then you only have to look at the end user on our side to see who would be behind such a lifting of the ban.
    Shortsighted economics say lift the ban to save the almond crop, to some that is all they will hear.
    Honey -4- All, I have been involved for over 18 years in the bee business. I was a partner and had a small-undivided interest in a beekeeping business that owned about 8,000 hives and managed 3,000 other hives. I know all too well the repercussions of cheap hives flooding the California market.
    You can claim all you want that the bees are weak and will not pollinate as well as bees from such states as Florida, the fact of the matter that many almond growers do not view it that way. Beginning in the early 2000s, as we geared up our inventory of hives, our growers began looking for a cheaper source of pollination. I remember vividly tens of thousands of what we called disposable nucs arriving at SFO. In one season, our growers replaced almost 3,000 of our hives with these Australian imports. To save other pollination contracts we had to reduce our rental fees just to save the account and to recover as much of our costs as possible. As the financial officer of our little Co-Op, I estimated that we lost in revenue, the equivalent of 4,000 hive rentals in 2004. That was the beginning of the end of our little venture. We were major supporters when Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced a bill to ban Australian bees in September 2007. It was too late for us, but it protected other beekeepers from financial decline and prevented or at least slowed the Java Strain, Apis cerena and the mite it carries Tropilaelaps clarae from spreading in the U.S.

    Honey - 4-All, If you wait to file a suit on the importation of Australia bees after the Federal, State and county agi-commissions give it their blessing, you have about as much chance prevailing as someone that sues you because your bee stung them. Most of the suits are heading in the wrong direction, Canadian Blueberry growers just filed a $200 million suit alleging crop damage due to the ban on imported American bees. How soon do you think it will be before California Growers follow suit? (no pun intended).

    Honey- 4 All, I’m afraid you and I would be a small flea on a very big dog at taking on that type of financial legal costs.
    Last edited by Shouse; 05-04-2013 at 11:47 AM. Reason: spelling
    California Almond Pollination Services, Inc.
    http://www.almondbeepollination.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    Quote Originally Posted by jean-marc View Post
    Oldtimer:

    Honey4all is trying to say that any of the Aussie bees (I have firsthand experience with 3 of the 4 main suppliers) are prone to chalkbrood. I have seen colonies die because of chalkbrood. They do not make a whole bunch of surplus honey. They do not do especially well over the winter, like they die. You get a whole bunch that supercede.
    Jean-Marc
    I see that the moderator or someone else in charge canned my comment. Anyone here who received it on the autofeed is welcome to re post it if they are feeling lucky. Canned post or not the AU bees were junk. Thats the nice way to say it. A neighbor of mine bought over 6000 of them in 2 years and is lucky if 10% made it to almonds. If you want me to put it in real language please pm me with your real email address and I will gladly use the terms that accurately describe these bottom feeder bees.

    My take is that they came up with the most odd looking unknown brood diseases known here in the US. In one case we had 3 out of 100 AU queens make it to the next year. They might have saved some guys butts back in the die off days but were lousy in the long run.

    If they do come please resist the temptation to buy them. Your short term gain will be quickly replaced by long term regrets. (:

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    Quote Originally Posted by Shouse View Post
    A relatively large Australian beekeeper, breeder, and package seller tells me that according to discussions among Australian beekeepers, they are 80% sure USA will lift the ban on bee importation beginning the first of next year (2014). I have asked for his source of this information but have not received anything.

    Has anyone heard anything about this?
    Unfortunately for them they don't decide when the ban get lifted.

    The Border of Canada was closed to US packages in 1986 to prevent the spread of mites. Canada confirmed Varroa in 1989 and 24 years later they are still trying to get that ban lifted.

    The Ausie ban was imposed in 2010 so short of a national crisis they have a few decades before being able to ship here again.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    Oldtimer:

    I have orked with New Zealand bees. I do not have as much first hand knowledge of them. They are better or let me put it this not as bad as the Aussie bees. They still have plenty of issues with them. Some efforts have been made in recent times to import Canadian drone semen and introduce it into the bees and apparently they are better. This information comes from the supplier side so I would cergtainly take itwith a grain of salt. My biggest complain with the New Zealand bees would be supercedure after 1 round of brood, typically 20-25%. Overwinter poorly. Pretty good at getting to 3 boxes high but not much happens after that when you need them to go 5-7 high so they can pay for themselves. Essentially unless the queens are changed preferrably with your own stock it is a sure fire way to financial ruin. It is not sustainable. I had a Kiwi working for us one season, knowledgeable, fine fellow, queen breeder... knew his stuff and so on, the point being that NZ and Aussie bees may perform just fine at home but on the other side of the world they do not.

    Case in point, my neighbour claims they are great, I do not buy his BS... yet every year he buys more to sustain the outfit. Too many are lost from day 1 to the following year.I don't think it is from a lack of skill that the bees do not perform well here, it is more of a severly limited genetic pool that has been selected to work in those parts of the world. Not too much minus thirty or forty in New Zealand AFAIK yet it is a yearly reality on the Canadian prairies. Here we cool weather with rain and sometimes a lot of rain.This season is exceptionally beautiful... actual pollen and nectar. I sort of had lost hope over the past 3 years of actually seeing a spring.

    Jean-Marc

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    Would the NZ bees have been Carniolan, or Italian? (Or both).

    The main thing I'm interested in is how they resisted mites, compared to the local bees?

    Your other comments are very plausible, our bees have not been bred for hard winters, and likely other Canadian conditions. Some semen was imported over a period 10 - 12 years ago, but has now been stopped in the wake of new research showing possibility for virus transmission, it wasn't from Canada though.

    I'm pretty sure some of your Canadian genetics must have some NZ genes in the mix because when I was a young guy (40 ish years ago), we used to send thousands of queens to Canada. All Italian at that time.

    Unless they all died, hope not!
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 05-04-2013 at 05:21 PM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    Vanderpool Farms, L.L.C., Salem Oregon is very proud of the fact that they never purchaced, or had a need to purchace offshore packages ever.
    We always make sure to have a good supply of strong, healthy overwintered nucs to make repairs in almonds.
    I am firmly in Keith's corner in this discussion; DO YOUR JOB AS A BEEKEEPER!!!!
    Offshore packages cannot replace that.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    [QUOTE=Shouse;934407]
    Honey - 4-All, If you wait to file a suit on the importation of Australia bees after the Federal, State and county agi-commissions give it their blessing, you have about as much chance prevailing as someone that sues you because your bee stung them. Most of the suits are heading in the wrong direction, Canadian Blueberry growers just filed a $200 million suit alleging crop damage due to the ban on imported American bees. How soon do you think it will be before California Growers follow suit? (no pun intended).

    I am betting that California is going to produce the biggest almond crop it has ever seen in 2013. So how do file a suit stating there was a lack of pollination, after coming off a record crop year? The biggest challenge facing almond guys right now is wether they have enough irrigation water to keep the nuts on the tree. I drove through the valley last week and didn't see an orchard that wasn't loaded with nuts.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    So much for Dan Crowder.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    Quote Originally Posted by jean-marc View Post
    Oldtimer:

    Some efforts have been made in recent times to import Canadian drone semen and introduce it into the bees and apparently they are better. This information comes from the supplier side so I would cergtainly take itwith a grain of salt.



    Jean-Marc
    Just wondering how do the restrictions keep bees from crossing the boarder of US and Canada

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbillydog View Post
    Just wondering how do the restrictions keep bees from crossing the boarder of US and Canada
    Passports? You talking about individual bees or truck loads of bees? Maybe you just need a smiley on that message?
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Australian Bee Imports in 2014?????

    Quote Originally Posted by jean-marc View Post
    Oldtimer:

    I have orked with New Zealand bees.
    I find the queens bounce off the start, and lay frames of brood, build fantastic hives, and make me happy with honey yield, so much so that every time I go to pinch those queens I change my mind because of the fantastic job that is being done. Until I find the winter losses next spring,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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