The Following is the text of an open letter written by Gus Rouse, Kona Queen, Hawaii to Beekeepers across Canada, and is presented here for your information regarding the current situation in and around their operation.
…..LETTER TEXT ONLY…..
October 15, 2010
Dear Customers and Friends in Canada:
As you are probably aware, the Small Hive Beetle (SHB) reached the East coast of our Island this past April. Kona Queen is located on the West coast. Our State agriculture authorities conducted a thorough inspection here at Kona Queen at the end of June and did not find evidence of SHB in the Kona Queen bee yards.
Unfortunately by the end of summer we began finding beetles and larva in our operation. At that time, we changed our packing procedures and began transferring queens into new cages before shipment.
SHB is being managed and controlled here at Kona Queen. We have established the attached Best Management Practices for SHB and have made some big changes to protect our shipments of queen bees.
The current Certification for the export of honeybee queens from the State of Hawaii to Canada states “…officials of the State apiary office inspected the apiaries from which queen bees are derived and any exporting establishment for small hive beetle (SHB) with negative results within ninety (90) days prior to export”. As the current certification reads, we will not be able to demonstrate SHB does not exist. While we do not want to ask Canada to change regulations that are intended to protect you, we also do not want to be excluded as a supplier of the queens you need.
In an effort to continue business, we hope that some new regulations and safety checks might be inserted and we will be allowed to send your queens next year. As you know we need to work on this issue now and not wait until next Spring. Your input and support are greatly appreciated.
Sincerely, (original letter signed by) Gus Rouse