Out-of-state honey bee colonies will be able to quench their thirst and keep cool as they wait to be inspected and cleared for entry into California for the 2013 pollination season. CDFA announced on Sept. 28th that with joint funding from the CA State Beekeeper's Association (CSBA), Project Apis m. (PAm), Almond Board of CA and the CA State Apiary Board, the upgrading and installation of hose bibs at those stations that see the bulk of truckloads coming through is underway. The watering system is already in place in Blythe (along I-10) and Yermo (I-15). CDFA is currently working on: Vidal (CA Hwy 62), Needles (I-40), Benton (US Hwy 6), and Truckee (I-80). 'Planting Seeds', t he Food & Farming News from CDFA, states that while the ag border stations don't want pathogens and pests entering,'there are some things that we want to welcome in, though - and bees are right at the top of that list.' Good news for the over 2,700 (2010) truckloads that will begin to migrate this month to California to pollinate the almond.
Beekeepers and Truck Drivers:
Preparing Honey bee Colonies for CA Border Inspection Stations
PAm, in conjuction with CSBA, initiated a meeting with CDFA last year to help alleviate the stress caused by heat and dehydration that honey bee colonies suffer during the transportation of colonies to pollinate almonds and other crops. Out-of-state beekeepers are encouraged to: 1. Outfit trucks with soaker hoses and carry additional hoses and sprinklers click here; 2. Remove skirts from semi's 3. Obtain "Ant Free" Certification and; 4. Keep pallets as clean as possible - free from soil, weeds and plant debris. To assist beekeepers, PAm has a PDF which can be downloaded by clicking here and a BMP video on YouTube narrated by PAm scientific advisor, Dr. Gordon Wardell. This short video covers the topic of honeybee colonies entering California to pollinate almonds and other crops. Border inspection stations and how to prepare for mandatory inspections are some of the issues addressed. To view the Transportation video click here.