Almond Farmers Concerned about Bee Shortage

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, January 24, 2005
An infestation of the Varroa Mite has taken a toll on the hives of beekeepers like Orin Johnson of Hughson.  JOHNSON :05—I’ve lost approximately 30 percent of my hives since the first of September.   Other beekeepers report losses as high as 80 percent.  Because of the shortage, many almond growers are scrambling to find hives needed to pollinate their orchards. Steve Van Duyn of Ripon, found some bees in Washington State, but he's paying a lot more than last year.   VAN DUYN :09—Ninety-seven bucks a hive. Last year I paid forty-six. I’m having to pay over double of what I paid last year, but I found my bees.   Entomologists say the mite has become immune to miticides that have controlled it for over decade. Researchers are working on new miticides but it could be awhile before one is ready for the market. Bob Hensley KXJZ News.