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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
maybe we need to quit importing Australian Bees. Here is a recent article:

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26563774-3102,00.html

this quote from Michael Palmer is scary:
There should be a law against importing Australian bees, or any imported bees...period. Haven't we learned enough about the perils of allowing foreign bee imports? Australia has found dozens of Apis ceranae colonies in the north...a truck ride away from the packaged bee industry. A. ceranae is the host of Tropilaelaps clareae...a worse parasite than Varroa. No, they haven't found Tropilaelaps yet, but once they do it will be too late.
 

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it gets worse

these bees have no resistance to chalkbrood, tracheal and varrora. in a time when we are trying to build hygenic and mite resistance in our bees here in the USA these genetics are worthless.

my limited understanding is now that we opened the door its become a international trade issue and its not as easy as it may sound now to close the door.
 

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Aussies will continue to send them to the U.S. as long as people keep buying them. Quit buying them, the market dries up and they quit sending them.

Weaver's fancy new website touts the fact they are neck deep in the Aussie bee importation business.

Congress doesn't need to get involved, U.S. beeks need to quit buying Aussie bees. Me personally, I wouldn't spend a nickle on bees I knew nothing about.
 

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Imagine trying to export bees to Australia. They have an inbound quarantine that...if applied to our imports would put a stop to the entire process.
 

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It's not just bees we need to stop importing! All disease goes at incredible speed through the airlines. It's time to shut down international travel and freight period!
 

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To bring this thread back on topic, I would add that he ability to screen for problems is paramount to the health of our bees. We import a bunch of bees from Australia so all due caution is important. The world is a mighty small place nowadays. It's unlikely that imports will cease so screening and spot prohibitions become the proactive safety mechanisms.
 

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Senator Schumer from New York has made statements in the past year or so that bee imports from Australia should be banned. I don't know how all of this works but is an Act of Congress needed? Couldn't the Secretary of Agriculture just close the door based on an immanent threat to agriculture? I don't see any point to the Australian bees anyway. They were originally brought in as packages for almond pollination. It wouldn't seem like a start up package would be strong enough for pollination.
 

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I just read a thread posted on BEE-L by Randy Oliver. He said a number of bee importers/exporters were present at the convention in Orlando. These folks made it known they feel they are providing an important service to the American bee industry. He also said a number of american beeks have placed new orders for Aussie bees to fill almond contracts.

There in lies the problem. We keep buying them....they'll keep sending them. In the end when some new devastating parasite or disease arrives....we have no one to blame but ourselves.

I can't believe beeks in this country don't have the where with all or intelligence to produce enough bees to fill all our own pollination needs. I can't believe our industry has to resort to importing bees from other countries which harbor known diseases and parasites.

Just like the white settlers introduced small pox which ravaged the American Indians because they had no immunity, by continually importing bees we are setting ourselves up for a cataclysmic event in our industry....WAKE UP!!
 

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Another reason to stop the uncontrolled importation of bees from other countries into the U.S......do a little research on a nasty bee called the Cape bee. In a nut shell, it is a parasitic bee that causes colonies it takes over to collapse. Makes varroa, tracheal mites etc. look like a sunday picnic.
 

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I can't believe beeks in this country don't have the where with all or intelligence to produce enough bees to fill all our own pollination needs.
The Aussies have one significant advantage when it comes to almond pollination. They can produce package bees in the middle of our winter. If almonds bloomed in May, domestic package producers would likely meet the demand. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t support importing bees from anywhere without some significant controls but I understand the unique advantage that Australia has. It doesn’t have as much to do with US package suppliers’ wherewithal or intelligence.
 

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Beeman...So the gulf coast states and california aren't warm enough or big enough to produce enough bees to cover almond pollination in February?? I might be new, but I'm not buying that argument. I've read many a thread on this site from Cali and Fla beeks ready to go on almonds and I'm guessing they didn't buy all their bees from the aussies.
 

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KQ6AR...good point. I didn't even think about Hawaii. There's an island/U.S. state with a tropical climate you can get bees from. And you don't have to go to the other side of the world to buy bees whose genetics are inferior to our bees or worry about what new critters/diseases they are carrying.
 

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He said a number of bee importers/exporters were present at the convention in Orlando. These folks made it known they feel they are providing an important service to the American bee industry. He also said a number of american beeks have placed new orders for Aussie bees to fill almond contracts.
!!
Well, only the PPB are the ones buying them & putting everyone else at risk. :(
 

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as I posted here at one time, some very good beeks are buying bees from Australia becuase they have worked with the breeders over there to import specific genetics into australia (that can't bee imported into usa). they then raise queens off of these genetics and ship them to specific beeks over here.
a way around having to go through all the hoops that they would have to go through with the government. one example, is they imported bees from Italy that are reported to be varro resistent, raised queens and shipped them in with nucs to the beeks requesting them. good or bad?? who knows.
 

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I wasn't aware Australia allowed the importation of much of anything live. I recently read they even spray commercial airliners coming from other countries with insecticides when they land.

I know from working in the purebred cattle business for years Australia had near impossible restrictions on anything coming into the country. You couldn't even export frozen bovine semen or embryos to Australia unless the donor animals were in a quarantine facility in the U.S. and testing negative for nearly a year for all kinds of things. Then samples of the frozen semen and embryos had to be tested. Forget the importations of live cattle from the U.S.

I would like to see some documentation the aussies were allowing importations of live bees.:popcorn:
 
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