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Greetings all;

Does anyone have experience in Air-Transport of Bees?

1- What Temperature/Humidity Limits can they withstand (High & Low)?
2- Does Cabin Pressure have any Effect on Bees?
3- Are Bees sensitive to Rising levels of CO2?
4- Any Special Considerations to ake care of Bees to Arrive with minimal Loss?

Any guidelines would be appreciated.

Thank you
RJ_Bee Ransport (Alaa HIJAZI)
 

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I have noticed that some folks that sell and ship package bees at certain time of the year add a label that says 'ground transport only' < I suspect this suggest exactly the problem you are referring to.

1) generally in transporting something as fragile as a package temperature is the larges and most like element to create a problem. Either too cold nor too hot for too long will create problems (package will loose some if not all of their worker population fairly quickly). Not certain there is any research that would confirm this notion but I suspect that heat will kill a package quicker than cold. Optimally you want the temp somewhere between say 60 and 90.

2) I would assume so but what kind of effect or if this effect is negative I have no idea.

3) CO2 is a knock out drug for a honeybee. much more potentially lethal than one might expect < in the old days when folks kept bees in cellars the effect of CO2 was quite obvious.

4) do what you can do > make certain the feed can is full when the package is made up and if the least bit hot apply a mist of good water to the screen at regular intervals.

and good luck..

ps.... my good neighbor just a bit south of my own location has about as much experience in shipping bees via air than anyone on the planet. If you do have other specific questions then just ask and I can email him and try to get you an experienced response.
 

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all of the Australian packages came over via air. If you ship queens/packages via UPS or Fedex they come via air if overnight. Never heard of a problem with temp or CO2.
 

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well actually Camero7 'my good neighbor' was the person who imported the packages of bees from Australia which were then shipped to the California almonds and I do know of at least one instance when he shipped 5000 queens at one time half way around the world.
 

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Yeah, and to my knowledge he didn't have many problems with the air shipments. But those bees weren't all they were cracked up to be... I believe he used Shamrock as a distributor.
 

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I have had considerable conversation with 'my good neighbor' about the Australian package bee imports. It is my understanding that..... these were fairly expensive packages and their main purpose was to fulfill pollination contracts in the California Almonds.... so when folks fell short of contractual obligation they invested in a very pricey package from Australia which was none the less much cheaper than hiring a lawyer.
 

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All true but there were also sales to commercials who lost lots of bees. They were the ones who were disappointed. Absolutely no varroa resistance. I know one commercial on the east coast who used some. Was not impressed.
 

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TO get back to RJ_bee transports question yes they can be shipped by air but need to be handled like produce with consideration to temp and ventilation rather than shipped as cargo. You will need to work with the air shipper to see the needs of the bees are accounted for during shipping.
Welcome to the forum.
 
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