Date: Wed, 2 Mar 1994 16:19:00 GMT

This message was from ANDY NACHBAUR to ALL
originally in conference WN-BEENET on WILDBEES (WILD BEE'S BBS)
hI All!

Spring is here in the central valley of California. The almonds are coming into full bloom and the air is full of bees and the heavy aroma of almond pollen. Beekeepers are finishing up on movement of bees into the almonds and the weather has warmed up to the mid 70's.

The condition of the bees placed in the almonds is better then the last few years due to better pasture conditions last fall. As always some notable severe losses due to winter dwindling was experienced by a good number of beekeepers. In some extreme cases the loss approached 75%, and was not thought to be caused by starvation, pests, or pesticides. As far as I know no investigation into these losses is ongoing or planned. Beekeeping is a political incorrect endeavor in the United States today, and no one in California government is going to spend any money to investigate problems for such a unpopular group, especially since 50% of the bees in the state for almond pollination are from out of state and pay little if any taxes in California. Even fuel taxes are so high and quality is so poor, most truckers don't buy any fuel at all in California if they can avoid it.

The only effort from our government services is to put out a continuing warning that the "killer" bees will arrive here any moment, but not to worry. Well someone should tell them the dreaded Afro bees have been part of the gene pool here for many years maybe 90 years or more, and the only difference between the areas that are declared to have Afro bees is the placement of traps, or the looking for them. In effect where ever the government looks for the dreaded Afro bees they are soon found. The almonds require more bees then can be supported year around in California, so we have 500,000+ hives in the almonds that were in other states last summer. Thousands of these hives come from Texas, Arizona, and other areas that are known to be inhabited by Afro genes, so it is reasonable to expect that they have left and will leave their genetic mark on our shirking supply of truly local bees.

ttul Andy-
Conference Host, Wild Net, BeeNet Conference