Shares in Select Harvests (ASX code SHV) were badly stung last week by news that the dreaded varroa mite had been found in bee hives in NSW outside the exclusion zone around the original discovery at Newcastle.
The Punter's outstanding bid for 500 SHV at $4.90 was quickly filled as the shares dropped 16 per cent overnight.
The mites are not only a serious threat to the honey industry, but the ban on the movement of bee hives throughout NSW could have a major impact on the pollination of fruit and nut crops.
Commercial almond crops are totally dependent on European honey bees for pollination, normally during the last three weeks of August.
"Clearly, this is an extremely serious issue for Select Harvests and Australia's food security," the company's managing director Paul Thomson said.
"We have every confidence that the national eradication program will contain the incursion and pollination services will be provided from NSW hives....in the event the incursion does not get contained, it will impact Select's 2023 crop pollination."
The Punter seriously considered dumping his SHV immediately at a small loss but decided, with fingers firmly crossed, to gamble on the authorities quickly eradicating the outbreak.
Meanwhile, ACM (which owns The Land and numerous other regional publications) is to buy farmbuy.com, the online real estate platform, for $800,000.
Current owner, Future First Technologies (FFT), has been on the Punter's radar, mainly because of farmbuy.com, but he has now dropped FFT from his watchlist.
However, the global analytical and laboratory services group ALS Ltd (ALQ) has been added to his watchlist following its agreed 16c-a-share cash bid for HRL Holdings, the NZ-based food testing company.
The Punter sold his HRL shares in January at 13c. Drat!
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