P.E.I. border open to N.S. bees despite pest
Some crops on P.E.I. will be pollinated with bees from Nova Scotia this season, despite the discovery of the tracheal mite in some bee populations in that province.
The P.E.I. Beekeepers Association recommended keeping the border open to Nova Scotia bees, but that doesn't sit well with some beekeepers.
"What are they thinking? Bringing a pest in, purposefully," said Stan Sandler.
Island bees have been free of tracheal mites so far, but Sandler is concerned about the future. He's started to sell off his bees.
"I'm worried about whether I'll be able to keep them when there's more diseases," he said.
"We have enough diseases on the go. If the bees aren't healthy I can't operate."
The decision to keep the border open to Nova Scotia bees was made partly under pressure from the Blueberry Growers Association. Association chair Edwin McKie said there are simply not enough bees on P.E.I. to pollinate all the crops.
McKie took CBC News on a tour of his blueberry field.
"You have one here that's never been pollinated," said McKie.
"We got a few small ones. Look at this bush here. There's more that haven't been pollinated."
The health of the bees is not an issue for McKie. He just needs to have them available.
"We don't care if their teeth are brushed or their feet are clean," he said.
"We want to pick the phone up when we need pollination, the same as when we need fertilizer. We pick the phone up and call and it comes."
Sandler warns that's a short-term view.
"It's also unhealthy," he said.
"You've got to be responsible as well as taking the easy road."
For mobile device users: Should Nova Scotia bees be allowed into P.E.I. despite the discovery of tracheal mite?