CATCH THE BUZZ
Who's Mnding The Store? And Who's Looking For Bees?
The following story was taken from the Editorial Notes section of THE AUSTRALASIAN BEEKEEPER, April, 2010 Edition.
The trucking magazine "Big Rigs" issue of 21 January 2010 contained two reports from truckers who, on going to the wharf (it is not clear what wharf, but one in Australia somewhere), containers being collected were NOT being inspected if collected between 10 PM and 6 AM. One truck driver, leaving the wharf at 5:30 AM was waved through, as the quarantine office was not open until 6 AM. The second driver interviewed pointed out to the quarantine staff the hypocrisy of only being inspected after 6 AM, and was told to take it up with the Federal Government.
To this the Editor of THE AUSTRALAIAN BEEKEEPER added:
"All very well, but what happens when a swarm of Apis mellifera carrying Varroa destructor happens to be on a container leaving the quarantine area at 5:30 AM?"
Australia does not have, and does not want Varroa destructor on its soil.
And to this Bee Culture magazine adds:
"All very well, but what happens when a swarm of Apis cerana, without any mites, viruses, pests, diseases or any problems whatsoever happens to be on a container leaving the quarantine area at 5:30 AM?"
Two years after the first find of A. cerana in Australia authorities still are finding swarms from the initial incursion...yet incidents such as recorded above continue. The issue here isn't only whether there are mites or other problems associated with these bees, but that they can't even find all the bees, and quarantine situations are apparently not considered a serious security issue. And U.S. beekeepers do not want cerana bees in the U.S., nor do U.S. beekeepers want new pests in the U.S. Still, Australian authorities continue to say this cannot occur because the bees are located so far from any areas honey bees are exported from.
Until they get on a truck.
There is currently an ongoing comment period to APHIS on the safety of importing Australian honey bees into the U.S. Find out how to make a commont on how safe you feel about these bees. Got to www.Beeculture.com, click the BUZZ archives link and then the original story with the link to to the APHIS page. How safe do you feel?