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Discussion Starter #1
This just in a few hours ago:

I just received word that the matter has been resolved. The border is open and permits will be issued starting tomorrow.

The border closure came about when Canada asked the US to provide certification of "no more than 1% varroa in 5% of the apiary". The USDA responded to Canada by asking that varroa be removed entirely from the certification. They have been negotiating and closed the border during the "discussion".

Canada's requirement of "1% varroa" will be upheld for now and the matter will be reviewed by our government authorities again in the Fall.
My comment? Thank goodness we don't get half the government we pay for.
 

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Figures. Wouldn't want to make a decision during bee season and rush into things. How in the world did the industry turn over it's decision making power to government? The suppliers from Hawaii are apperently claiming that they are making headway in the negociations. I suppose that means the USDA is conceading at this point and will do the testing. Olivarez, Big Island Queens will be able to meet the 1% requirement in 5% of the outfit.

Jean-Marc
 

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We all already have varroa, right? So why does it matter?!? :s:s
I've wondered this myself...

Moreso, I wonder why we keep importing queens from a lineage that have never seen Varroa, and introducing them into an environment that has it...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
> Moreso, I wonder why we keep importing queens from a lineage that have never seen Varroa, and introducing them into an environment that has it...

It is a common misconception, and one that is often repeated, sometimes disingenuously, that imported queens from ABC necessarily lack genes for resistance/tolerance of XYZ due to an absence of the specific pest in the source country.

Breeders around the world import the best genes they can find and then have their products evaluated in various customers' yards in many countries. Oftentimes, they themselves appear on the ground there to see for themselves how their stock is performing.

This is not new. It was over a decade ago now and maybe two, since the son of a prominent Australian beekeeper showed up at our door and toured our yards.

There are good reasons besides merely pleasing their foreign customers. It is expected that the pests will eventually show up everywhere and being prepared can prevent a disaster.

As for Hawaii, Gus Rouse is very prominent in Alberta and always comes to our conventions. I have queried him often about resistance to various bee problems in his stock, and he always has a good answer. Most recently, yesterday in fact, I was informed that the Hawaiian breeders are working on incorporating VSH properties into their stock. Kona queens are a favourite of knowledgeable Alberta beekeepers due to their superior performance and the only complaint I ever hear is that there are simply never enough when we need them.

In the US, the worst stock comes from some US breeders who fail to get with the program and probably do not even know it.

Marla Spivak's recent project is working with US breeders to reduce that amount of stock susceptible to various problems.

An example of variability in US stock can be seen at http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/articles/tracheal.htm

Although this example is only referring to tracheal mites, I am told on good authority that the variability is typical of other desirable properties.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It must be a make-work program for government employees and part of the stimulus.

Frankly, I cannot imagine why the customer would care. In fact, some might contend that if the source apiaries can survive and raise queens with significant mite loads, that should be in some ways a Good Thing.
 

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This is hot off the press: Apparently the border has been opened to Hawaii queens , yeah. Medhat told Derrek from the Co-op last night. So good news.

Jean-Marc
 

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Oh well, I tried. Anyways I have recieved my import permit for California queens. If you want a copy I could fax it to you. I would think that the reguations are out there somwhere on the web.

Jean-Marc
 

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We all already have varroa, right? So why does it matter?!? :s:s
The OBA has put all it's resources into creating a $140 nuc and $30 (June) queen industry. If you look at who sits on the Board, you'll understand why they won't be letting bees in anytime soon.
 

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It's already a done deal Mr of Mrs. numbers. Do you have a name? Unfortunately for our industry some provinces seem to be very protectionistic.

Jean-Marc
 

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It's already a done deal Mr of Mrs. numbers. Do you have a name? Unfortunately for our industry some provinces seem to be very protectionistic.

Jean-Marc
We've been 'allowed' to import queens all along, but as mentioned earlier, the southern producers aren't very willing to jump through hoops to ship a few hundred queens, not that I blame them. The varroa argument lost steam a fews years ago, now the OBA is 'protecting' us from AHB.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It all started when we agreed to go along with a temporary, precautionary closure when tracheal first arrived. We figured that if we co-operated with them then they would with us. Not so.

The government interference with trade has cost far more than any mites ever have. The restrictions bankrupted many and keep the rest running to stay still. Beekeeping used to be a six-month of the year business for many. Now it is a 13 month a year business for quite a few of the survivors.

Fittingly, the embargoes have cost the supporters more than those who found ways to overcome or circumvent them. Alberta is the sole province to even approach the pre-embargo hive counts and profitability, and that has been due to a deliberate avoidance of intra-provincial regulatory actions.
 

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Oh well, I tried. Anyways I have recieved my import permit for California queens. If you want a copy I could fax it to you. I would think that the reguations are out there somwhere on the web.

Jean-Marc
Jen-Marc,
Thta's probably just for BC and not for Quebec or Ontario, right?
 

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An email would be better. I gave away my fax years ago.

I wasted some time on the web and came up empty, and the link on the CHC site turned out to be a bad email address, so a copy would be nice. You have my email, I am sure.
 

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We've been 'allowed' to import queens all along, but as mentioned earlier, the southern producers aren't very willing to jump through hoops to ship a few hundred queens, not that I blame them. The varroa argument lost steam a fews years ago, now the OBA is 'protecting' us from AHB.
Really? That's not my understanding. I helped the Ontario Bee Girls and Franscois Petit get combs of eggs and larvae into Onrtario for a number of years, becasue Buckfast Bees couldn't be imported from Weaver Apiaries. So, i don't think that you have been allowed to import live queens for quite some time.

If the Provences of Canada allow queens from the US, then wouldn't the next thing be packages and then hives and then Canadians would go back to wintering in FL and US beekeepers would get into Canadian Blueberrys for pollination?
 

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Bees and used equipment can be imported after applying for a permit AND the seller fulfilling the requirements set out by the Ont. Gov. It's a rather lengthy process that is probably designed to eliminate imports. As you mentioned, you have assisted some with this so clearly it is possible.

I know an Ont beek that sold several hundred nucs in 2008 and they were stocked with Hawaiin queens. I'm certain they were imported legally.

As far as the wintering in FL, I guess it's possible but I don't see what advantage would be gained. An open border would = cheap, early package bees from down south.
 

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Bees and used equipment can be imported after applying for a permit AND the seller fulfilling the requirements set out by the Ont. Gov. It's a rather lengthy process that is probably designed to eliminate imports. As you mentioned, you have assisted some with this so clearly it is possible.
I see a difference between live queens and what I helped w/ which was comb w/ eggs and larvae for grafting.

A friend of mine, just yesterday, got a load of combs and cappings from a large beekeeping outfit from Ontario. He, the beekeeper, had to work w/ a broker who handled all of the permits. When he wanted to bring back to Ontario some of the wax that was at my friends, he had to get the broker to handle the requirments at the border.

What sort of permits and requirments are you talking about? If it were as easy as you make it out to be, I wonder why The Bee Girls, Allison Skinner and friends, did it the hard way? Are these permits and regs something new?
 

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The 'Bee Girls' probably did it the hard way, because that is the only way. Now you know why folks aren't bothering with it. The Bee Girls are paid to spend their time on that sort of thing.
Google, 'importing bees into Ontario' or something similar. It might be of help.
 
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