Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Importing Jobs, again.

Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
First we have the exportation of jobs to other countries. Then we have the problem with bringing in outside workers from other countries.

The Modesto Bee is reporting this morning another story of imported workers. These workers work at the same rate as their American born workers, but they are considered to be the premium employee this year. This employee does what he needs to do, goes about his work without demands, and has assured his employers that he will never have a workmen's comp claim. Who is he?

He's the Australian Honey Bee. He has been imported this year due to a mite problem with American hives. Almond growers use about 1.5 million hives during the pollination season and this year were about 400,000 hives short. Normally they rent hives from around the country but due to the mite problem and a rash of ants being in hives, they had to turn to alternative sources.

The bees arrive boxed, including a queen, are placed in a new hive and within a week begin to produce honey for the Queen and her offspring.
Farmers were a bit wary of these foreigners. They are coming from a warm climate this time of year, and with the rain being as heavy as it has been, farmers weren't sure they'd perform as well as native bees. The Queen settled in, began laying eggs, and the worker bees have gone in search of almond blossoms.

Amazing how agriculture finds a way to get the job done. I'll tell you how date farmers use wondra flour some time.