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New Zealand Packages

Just got a call from our Alberta provincial Beekeepers Co-op…they supply our packages we get each spring…and they cancelled all packages coming into Canada from New Zealand this spring…and I suspect from Australia and Chile.

Out of curiosity, I asked them what the reason was behind this…and was told that shipping borders were closed between NZ and Canada. I stated that I thought some industrial/agricultural cargo was exempt from that. Apparently the Co-op had tried to charter a jet for package transport from NZ to Canada…there sure isn’t a shortage of jets on the ground these days. But the airlines wanted to charge a return (two way) fare doubling the price for the transport portion…thus making the packages unaffordable.

Traditionally (pre-1988) the USA used to supply the province of Alberta with 300,000 packages per year…USA/Canada border has never been re-opened to packages since then…but we can get US queens…now NZ supplies about 8000 packages/yr.

So what options have you got to get bees for this season Doug?
You wouldn’t have believed it possible that your bee keeping business could be at risk of going pear shaped only a month ago.
Feel for you in your predicament. Lets hope that the world can get back to how it was sooner rather than later.

When you live in a climate like this, you gotta be prepared. Here’s a photo of the wintering house"s ventilation exit in extremely cold weather…takes a lot of bees inside consuming honey to yield this amount of frost buildup.

But I’m not out of the woods yet…too cold yet for them to have their cleansing flight or bring in pollen.

The Co-op said they were still able to bring in all the queens from the USA that we needed…but I hate making splits early in the season using those queens as it diminishes my spring honeyflow…the packages filled that niche by providing nuc equivalents.