It sounds like the groups that are bringing in lots of nucs/packages (trailer load/truck load/ect) are still able to travel since they are considered agricultural. As for the bees being shipped by UPS/USPS/ect the delivery is much more questionable.
It is my understanding that the semi drivers drive straight through until they arrive from Florida to the midwest. I'm expecting a considerable number of nucs and I have concern about the COVID virus that may be on the boxes or even being close to the drivers that will be handing them out to customers. When we bring groceries into our home we wipe them down and sanitize. Doesn't seem possible to do this with numerous nucs of packages.
Interstate movement hasn't been stopped, beekeeping is deemed essential agriculture (at least in my state). The ironic thing is, is that they sent home all of the bee inspectors in my state so no inspections are being done of imported colonies
I would be very surprised if any of these producers went off schedule by much. This is their living and a lot of the money you spent on the nuc has already been spent by them getting all of the nuc supplies so its not like they can do refunds.
As for transmission problems, I would be worried about using sanitizer since the bees might not like the smell. They will be pretty stressed after their long journey, and any additional stress factors might set them off. If you are worried about transmission, you can wear a cheap, disposal tyvek suit over your bee suit and use gloves. You can find them in the paint section of any hardware store. Its a virus so it won't survive on a surface without a host for very long, 3 days maximum. The chances of becoming infected via touching a surface is very low, most infection occurs with contact with an infected person like the truck driver, wear a mask!
- Just use gloves on ANYTHING that you touch that isn't yours. You can use any gloves and then after just spray well the gloves with 91% Alcohol and let sit. Just touch the box, put it on a sheet in the car, take off gloves next to box, drive home, put on gloves carefully, move box and sheet to where you want (or install immediately if you like), take off gloves before you touch ANY OTHER SURFACE.
There was some speculation that the virus last up to 9 days on some surfaces. I did look at that in the beginning but can't remember where that info is now. Not that it matters. Just leave stuff that you can out for a week+
You can certainly get it from touching a surface and then touching your Nose, mouth, etc. anything that gets the virus into your system, not just by a cough or in the air. Hence why this has spread so wildly.
Just a note on sanitation, you don't want to use high concentration sanitizers like 91% rubbing alcohol or straight bleach or anything like that. What can happen is that the high concentration stuff kills so fast that it forms a protective layer of dead microbes on the surface, preserving live ones underneath. Dilute cleaners have time to penetrate into these masses and kills them all. It may sound really counter intuitive, but always dilute your sanitizers!
Have been a beekeeper for about 10years, and I may decide to take a pass this year as it isn't worth the risk to pick up the nucs I ordered. I could us gloves but once one box is touched the gloves are recontaminated. I doubt the driver and the person handling the nucs will even wear masks. Local bee clubs are having one person at a time pick up their order before the next person goes up. Good idea but not enough. Big decision.
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