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Hmmmm .....

 

Pathogens, no pathogens ...... I'll be blunt and say it's a crock of . The biggest pathogen is the varroa mite.

Drenches have nothing to do with stocking rate . Stocking rate is dependant on soil fertility and feed availability. For sure , by increasing the stocking rate one  puts more pressure on worm burdens ..... but get the soil right and the rest looks after itself.

 

The biggest issues facing the bees is not overstocking. The biggest issue is the mite. Sort that and we will find a natural balance.

 

 Our best customer here is a conspiracy theorist. He's planning for Armageddon .... and buys honey like there is no tomorrow, only Armageddon 'aint here yet and he eats the honey and comes back for more. We love him ..... I just hope Armageddon don't come in the next year or so !

To be honest ...... I've given up listening to scaremongerers ..... life goes on and as problems present themselves we engage the top two inches and sort the problem. Earlier this week I went north for a few hours to check out some bee sites. And as we drove through the lush country I thought about climate change and how as a community of farmers we are being pressured into altering our practices to reduce our emmissions . And as we travelled past vineyards and sheep farms and beef farms and forestry blocks I did wonder .... all the greenness growing is absorbing Co2 ...... way more than is being emitted.

Forgive me, but it is my opinion that  we as a Nation have become a Nation of leemings ..... listening to a few outspoken people with an agenda that we are not privy too.

 

Edited by jamesc
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5 minutes ago, jamesc said:

 

Drenches have nothing to do with stocking rate . Stocking rate is dependant on soil fertility and feed availability. For sure , by increasing the stocking rate one  puts more pressure on worm burdens ..... but get the soil right and the rest looks after itself.

 

 

 

Drench resistance has advanced in  NZ, because we didn't do what the Aussies started doing 40 years ago, and import and release dung beetles - it takes a long time for them to spread and cover the ground. The drench manufacturers  companies commissioned bogus research in NZ to try and stop the import of the dung beetle, as they loose the bulk of their market - one of those rare situations where the Aussies are way ahead of us.

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And as we sat and had lunch  and surveyed the view ..... of bench dropping to bench that dropped down to the beach , I commented to my offsider that the benches were formed by  the ocean rising and falling with the changing planet.  And we concluded that the ocean had dropped quite a few metres in the the last billion years, so a rise was a natural correction.  

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9 minutes ago, jamesc said:

And as we sat and had lunch  and surveyed the view ..... of bench dropping to bench that dropped down to the beach , I commented to my offsider that the benches were formed by  the ocean rising and falling with the changing planet.  And we concluded that the ocean had dropped quite a few metres in the the last billion years, so a rise was a natural correction.  

Did you consider the possibility that the land had risen

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10 minutes ago, Sailabee said:

 

Drench resistance has advanced in  NZ

Because the drench is sold by sales people in glossy packets with flashy promotions . It’s a business that relies on drench resistance so we keep buying the next best thing. 
 

I hardly use the stuff . My cattle are resistant because they are healthy which is largely due to supplying them with minerals . There are other factors as well . Long grass , healthy soil , all the feel good stuff .

 

But how do we relate this to bees and varroa . 

Treating with the glossy products induces mite resistance , but no treatment ensures bee death . 
 

Dunno , there’s probably a connection there . How do we keep

our bees healthier . Perhaps the pathogens are harming them more than we realise 

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27 minutes ago, Sailabee said:

 

Drench resistance has advanced in  NZ, because we didn't do what the Aussies started doing 40 years ago, and import and release dung beetles - it takes a long time for them to spread and cover the ground. The drench manufacturers  companies commissioned bogus research in NZ to try and stop the import of the dung beetle, as they loose the bulk of their market - one of those rare situations where the Aussies are way ahead of us.

 

Ahhh dung beetles, when I was a kid we lived in PNG for a couple of years, there was no TV up there, and not much else really, so to entertain ourselves we'd capture dung beetles and then tie a piece of string around a part of them (cant remember what part) and they would fly around and around in circles.   Oh sorry, we were talking about drench...

Edited by CraBee
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12 minutes ago, M4tt said:

Treating with the glossy products induces mite resistance , but no treatment ensures bee death .

On a national scale we can only guess at that outcome ? Given the state of the industry there's never been a better time to ban all forms of varroa treatment for a few years to see what happens...

 

Edited by yesbut
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9 minutes ago, M4tt said:

Perhaps the pathogens are harming them more than we realize 

whats interesting is how hives in my operation can march along with counts of 20-50 per 300-400 Bees.
One set of examples came from Hives that were treated in the Autumn with 3 boxes of Honey on.

During the arduous task of pulling these Hives to bits to treat and then putting back together with a single Brood and Queen Excluder, on 4 occasions the Queen got above the excluder and spent winter/Spring until November in the supers well away from the treatments.

Result= counts of 50 mites in a splendid Hive.

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1 minute ago, yesbut said:

On a national scale we can only guess at that outcome ?

 

The point is we are focussed on routinely treating the mites .

 

Imagine if we only had to treat mites occasionally and not routinely .

 

Its certainly possibly with worms in cattle , and sheep for that matter 

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3 minutes ago, M4tt said:

Its certainly possibly with worms in cattle , and sheep for that matter 

But worms don't have legs.

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3 minutes ago, yesbut said:

But worms don't have legs.

Hmmm, good point , but there are other ways to travel animal to animal, via eggs for example 

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1 hour ago, Alastair said:

Phil the tests i did were because you insisted. So i spent the money, had them done. I was expecting you must have some purpose in that. What was it?

 

So you have nothing useful to say about the test results at all Phil?

 

Why were you so insistent i have them done if you won't even comment?

 

You have been running your own tests so i think you must know something? 

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20 minutes ago, Alastair said:

You have been running your own tests so i think you must know something?

Its not a matter of knowing something thats now a secret
In that regard there is nothing specific to share.

However Ive seen something that is very interesting and IMO worth further investigation.

What Ive seen relates to Bees apparent ability to self treat.

Its a subtle ability but one that if properly understood might be leveraged for advantage.
Those who have copies of my data will have seen the numbers.
What the numbers dont show is specific Hive details relating to this data and the reason those details are absent is that they are outside the scope of my trials to date.

  
 

My observations would suggest that this self treating or manipulation is not Hygienic Behavior, its something else and may be driven by the queen 

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21 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Its not a matter of knowing something thats now a secret
In that regard there is nothing specific to share.

 

Well in that case I will stop trying to get any help from you in regard to the problems.

 

But. Just wish you'd said that a couple of weeks ago so I wouldn't have wasted all this time feeling like I'm trying to pull teeth, thinking you might be of help.

 

And why did you have me spend money getting tests done when you had no intention of shedding any light on the situation once i had them done?

 

Disappointed.

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1 hour ago, yesbut said:

But worms don't have legs.

We call them centipedes 

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42 minutes ago, Alastair said:

 

Well in that case I will stop trying to get any help from you in regard to the problems.

 

But. Just wish you'd said that a couple of weeks ago so I wouldn't have wasted all this time feeling like I'm trying to pull teeth, thinking you might be of help.

 

And why did you have me spend money getting tests done when you had no intention of shedding any light on the situation once i had them done?

 

Disappointed.

Do you feel that your test results are of no benefit to your operation?

You sell Bees, surely you'd like to know if they are healthy or otherwise?
 

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They are of no benefit to the purpose you wanted them tested for, because you have no clue what the results mean.

 

Or if you do, you are not saying, because it is "secret".

 

Either way, you should not have insisted I spend the money.

 

And by the way, the feedback from the guys i sold bees to this spring is great. The bees are going awesome for them. In fact some want more and disappointed I can no longer supply.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Alastair

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9 hours ago, Alastair said:

 

Thanks John that's handy to know, and so awesome to have a scientist on the forum. 👍

 

A question. It seems you grade infection levels through very low - moderate - very high, plus some in between. How are these gradings arrived at. Would Moderate be average? And are the gradings arrived at by comparing against NZ averages, or against what would noticeably, or not noticeably, affect a hive?

 

Re the advice to heat treat gear, thanks, and I am sure it would work. However I just don't have the technology to attempt it with the number of boxes I have. I would also assume that the most important combs to treat would be the brood combs, just achieving that would be a mission in itself. I am considering chucking some of the older brood combs though.

 

There are plenty of people doing science here, Alastair. Plus the scientists like @Otto and @Dave Black, along with the Plant and Food guys.

 

The gradings are somewhat arbritrary and cover the Cq range that we see - so not based on NZ averages but more, based on a high, low, moderate Cq across the range.

Yes, the comb sterilisation method was confirmed by James Sainsbury at Plant and Food, using an overseas description as I understand it. Freezing combs does not work (well, except for wax moth!)

3 hours ago, Philbee said:

My guess is that we will reduce our NZ Hive numbers by 40-50% over the next 3 years.


We now know that our nations Hives are laden with nasties.

So what to do?

What we need to know is our options.

What is it going to take to rid our Hives of these pathogens? 

Can we rid them of them? 

Are the pathogens in both the Bees and the gear? 

 

Will these pathogens become less of a threat as the Hive numbers decrease, therefore enabling the problem to solve itself?

To what extent could these Pathogens be decreasing the productivity of the Bees?

If the Pathogens were controlled or removed, could our Hive stocking rate potential increase in the future if need be?

etc, etc

 

Consider for a moment the effects on Livestock stocking rates (Sheep &Cattle) that modern drenches have.
Take that technology away and the stocking rates would plummet.

Like it or not, for better or for worse, medicinal technology in parallel with advanced pasture management underpins our primary Meat and Dairy sector.

 

My opinion is that no amount of breeding will prepare the Bees for the future.

Two of the many reasons for this are,

You cant viably breed for High production and disease resistance at the same time. 

The environment is changing  more quickly than most species can adapt.

 

So my question to the Scientists is, 

What can we do? in theory at least, because if there was ever a second chance to do something, it is now.

 


 

 

I have a few answers and opinions to your questions Phil buts it late and it'll have to wat. But what can you do (your question at the end). Vote yes to a research le . . .oh, too late.

 

3 hours ago, Philbee said:

 

What can we do? in theory at least, because if there was ever a second chance to do something, it is now.
 

 

Well, let's hope there might be a second chance for research levy or funding somewhere. Because the free train has come to the end of the line . . . .

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9 hours ago, Philbee said:

Did you consider the possibility that the land had risen

Yes.

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a

 

 

A small trial on the Hive "Check" phenomenon has been ticking along since 20 September

Its part of the efficacy trial but not a substantial part.

A small Autumn split (Single box) was treated with 4 Staples in April 2019 and opened again on September 20th 2019.

It was small (No more than 4 frames of Bees) 

The over winter Staples were removed as it had a Zero Mite count (300 bees)

The Hive was left a month and treated again with 4 Staples on 23-10-19.

Following is a Raw Data Picture Diary of the Hive to date.

Each photo has a data/time stamp bottom right corner.

The purpose of this particular trial is not to dispute the "Check"phenomenon, but to demonstrate that the phenomenon appears to be variable, given that I very really if ever see it when others do.

Note that on the 26-11-19 the Hive received fresh staples (week 4)

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IMG_3415.JPG

IMG_3488.JPG

Edited by Philbee
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I think this demonstrates it, you could call the hive checked. A typical commercial beekeeper would be expecting such a split made when it was, to be in at least 4 boxes by now.

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4 minutes ago, Alastair said:

I think this demonstrates it, you could call the hive checked. A typical commercial beekeeper would be expecting such a split made when it was, to be in at least 4 boxes by now.

I must say Auckland sounds different to my place !

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You aren't commercial Yesbut. If a hive is not in 4 boxes by now how would a guy who lives on it survive?

 

Most of my staple treated hives are now in 2, with an empty on top, in hope. The others are in 4 or 5, some with 2 completely choca boxes awaiting harvest.

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I can't be bothered hunting out the info, but I'm fairly certain that average honey production per hive in Nelson is about half that of Auckland..

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Yes i recall Frazz saying recently that pollination was an important source of income in that area. Me, I have no pollination income, nor do i produce manuka. So i need a decent crop.

 

Thinking some more, some of the better of my staple treated hives would be about equivalent to the one Phil has posted a pic of. But to me they are dinks, they are unlikely to turn me a profit this season.

Edited by Alastair

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