Serious Spot Shortages for Bees in Almonds

(The following is brought to us by Carlen Jupe, CSBA Sec/Treas)  2/18/13
Lyle Johnston is a respected beekeeper/broker - one of the largest almond bee brokers in the state. Lyle is based in both Colorado and Madera, California.
"This has been a wild ride! Bees ended up at $200 to $225 in this area. 5 framers ended up at $180! Massive shortage. I had growers calling yesterday still needing 2800 hives and many growers needing less than that with no potential of getting any!
I saw this coming last July!! Growers had no idea what was about to happen and they would have no part in listening to me. This shortage will only continue to grow more next year. I have told my guys to expect a steep increase on what I bring out here next year.
Most beekeepers that went down that I know went down to off the chart varroa mite levels. 50 plus mites on ether rolls in Sept. Also definitely something going on in North Dakota with the canola and sunflower areas!"   Lyle Johnston