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john berry

AFB increasing exponentially

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According to official reports it doesn't seem to be getting any worse but what you hear at the coalface is a whole different story. Doesn't mean it's true of course but this seems to be an awful lot of AFB coming from somewhere. You continually hear stories of corporate beekeepers burning hundreds of hives and declaring none, is this just disgruntled beekeepers putting the boot in (which I could understand) or is there some truth in the rumours. There has certainly been a huge jump in AFB numbers in Hawke's Bay. I'm not asking for names but I would like to hear of any dodgy AFB practices going on including nonreporting so that I have some ammunition to use in confronting this problem.

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Non reporting absolutely stinks . If the big guys are into that, I'd be appalled !

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A few years back we had a couple of serial offenders, they would even move and hide their hives.

 

I haven't heard anything of them or found any dodgy hives here for a little while, used to find abandoned hives often, occasionally even put varroa strips in them, but I think most of them have been cleaned up now.

 

So I guess the price being up has at least raised a bit more awareness.

 

I do find it frustrating how people are so focused on varroa, to me AFB will always be a considerably bigger issue, most people know what varroa is but they haven't heard of AFB, when this changes we will have people reporting dirty stacks of gear and I think it will help to get the stats down.

 

It worries me how many new beekeepers are around that haven't seen AFB and haven't burnt hives, I always think if you find one, you will never forget what it looks like once you have burnt a couple.

 

And I'm sure that there will be people who don't report them but I don't know any.

 

I would be happy if I found one, much happier than I would be if I ever didn't find it.

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i think the attitude to AFB has changed.

we (and others on this forum) have had issues with a certain long standing beekeeping company whose owner was rather high up in the old NBA at one point. the attitude now seams to be you get afb so what.

they had hives at a site marked with AFB that they had left to die and be robbed out.

what really shows the attitude was that they where lying to us and saying they had already burnt the hives.

 

i get the feeling that crowds are getting lots of AFB but not really taking it seriously and are slowly becoming the source of it.

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If I knew people were hoarding AFB hives I would be shouting it from the rooftops.

 

If anyone is that idiotic they deserve to be publicly shamed.

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Its a very dangerous, I am suspicious that it could end up threatening some of the big companies outright.... Scary stuff....

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A few years back we had a couple of serial offenders, they would even move and hide their hives.

 

I haven't heard anything of them or found any dodgy hives here for a little while, used to find abandoned hives often, occasionally even put varroa strips in them, but I think most of them have been

 

 

So I guess the price being up has at least raised a bit more awareness.

 

I do find it frustrating how people are so focused on varroa, to me AFB will always be a considerably bigger issue, most people know what varroa is but they haven't heard of AFB, when this changes we will have people reporting dirty stacks of gear and I think it will help to get the stats down.

 

It worries me how many new beekeepers are around that haven't seen AFB and haven't burnt hives, I always think if you find one, you will never forget what it looks like once you have burnt a couple.

 

And I'm sure that there will be people who don't report them but I don't know any.

 

I would be happy if I found one, much happier than I would be if I ever didn't find it.

I have never seen AFB.

I would like to , just to see the reality instead of the theory.

But there's none really around here so hard to get an opportunity

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I have never seen AFB.

I would like to , just to see the reality instead of the theory.

But there's none really around here so hard to get an opportunity

I hadn't seen any really either until I found one, but I had done a disease course.

 

I opened the hive and I knew straight away that something wasn't right..

I just pulled out a frame and thought oh dear.. AFB.

 

I have seen some that you would not think were AFB hives, when they first get infected they can be super strong, and there are only maybe 2-3 cells in the whole hive over slabs and slabs of brood.

 

I have been super fortunate so far that I have not had to burn any of my own hives, but it really sucks to have to tell other people they have to burn theirs and helping other people burn theirs.

 

One day I know I'll have to burn some, I really have no idea why people wouldn't, your going to spread it through your outfit and to everyone else too and it's going to cost you a lot more money then if you'd just done the job properly to start with.

Seems a pretty brainless thing to do.

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I reckon that there is a lot of under reporting. There is a certain stigma and shame involved if it goes public. You can have an AFB problem- from others, poor management, staff.... Generally others can judge you pretty harshly. Your ego gets a bashing.

But if you feel like you will be shamed then where is the motivation to inform/ report? Praise the reporters. At moment AFB reporting is negatively perceived.

 

Mite resistance- this combined with AFB- Resistant mites will kill a hive quicker than AFB (my thinking-no idea if proven).

Not really enough mite resistance education I feel. Lots of talking/doing on the forum but not from Agencies/Government. I have learnt a heap via internet, but I have to dig and try (lots of international stuff like Randy Oliver)

 

How about wash/shaking workshops after which monitoring equipment is distributed? (I know it's not that hard but providing it will get others to monitor- besides we all are duplicating the process of constructing why not do it once and many?) A quick method of testing for resistance via a lab? (free) - Providing clear threshold levels for periods of the year- it's pretty vague at the moment.

 

We have been given some tools- the varroa handbook is already over 10 years old and our Apistan, Bayvarol, Apivar.... there are others but nothing new that's going to give 80% + kill rates over a good period of time. Need to get a high kill rate to have an effective programme. Short on options. Been following the oxalic/Gly with interest- coming from individuals trying and sharing, not an official agency.

 

Sure AFB is bad- not always the people involved.

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I personally think a lot of hobbyists and beekeepers that sell their nucs aren't reporting afb to keep their history clean

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Welcome to the forum @Anselm ! :)

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I reckon that there is a lot of under reporting. There is a certain stigma and shame involved if it goes public. You can have an AFB problem- from others, poor management, staff.... Generally others can judge you pretty harshly. Your ego gets a bashing.

But if you feel like you will be shamed then where is the motivation to inform/ report? Praise the reporters. At moment AFB reporting is negatively perceived.

i don't think thats the case in commercial beekeeping. i think its more a case of AFB is regarded as just a part of beekeeping and they just can't be bothered reporting it even when they do everything else right.

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Mite resistance- this combined with AFB- Resistant mites will kill a hive quicker than AFB (my thinking-no idea if proven).

Not really enough mite resistance education I feel. Lots of talking/doing on the forum but not from Agencies/Government. I have learnt a heap via internet, but I have to dig and try (lots of international stuff like Randy Oliver)

resistance can bite quicker in that it can be hidden or more commonly simply ignored or written off as something else.

the catch is PMS makes AFB diagnoses difficult and even checking hives more time consuming.

resistance was mentioned from day one, but as mark goodwin said "no one listens to him".

they wildly guesstimated that resistance would occur in 10 years time and it did. they info is and always was there.

the beeks simply ignored most of his advice at the time and simply did the cheapest easiest thing they could.

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I personally think a lot of hobbyists and beekeepers that sell their nucs aren't reporting afb to keep their history clean

When I read "no history of AFB" I imagine the beekeeper is either new, naiive or lying. Without exception, all the beekeepers that I look up to have had to deal with AFB.

 

If you keep bees long enough you will deal with AFB. No one should be judged for having AFB. It's the quality of the response that matters.

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There are some markets that require area freedom from AFB so for some people there is a marked financial incentive not to report. I don't know what it would cost but testing the compulsory testing of a small sample from every batch extracted would soon pick up those that needed further investigation. There are some new tests in the pipeline which could make this approach very viable. Years ago way too many honeys sampled random showed high spore numbers but despite the fact AFB hasn't gone down much spore numbers in honey have dropped dramatically (not sure about the last couple of years). My very first hive when I was about eight got AFB and had to be burnt so I learned my lesson pretty early on. An old friend of mine who died last year had bees forever and only got an AFB in his last year of beekeeping which is pretty sad.

AFB is like nits , I would never judge someone for catching them but I would judge them for passing them on.

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it even when they do everything else right.

I think that is it in a nutshell.

There must be a large number of beeks, probably more often hobbyists that dont even know why their hive died, it just died.

A large number also that work it out but do nothing, just leave the empty box in the backyard, catch another swarm next year type mentality.

People criticise commercials but when its their livelihood even if they dont report it i'm sure the majority will "do everything else right"

They have a vested interest.

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You continually hear stories of corporate beekeepers burning hundreds of hives and declaring none

At least they are burning them John.

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I personally think a lot of hobbyists and beekeepers that sell their nucs aren't reporting afb to keep their history clean

Do you have any stories to share?

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official agency

Official agencies arnt structured or financed to do this work.

Once upon a time in the USSR maybe

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A point of view.

AFB is like Herpes.

If you get it you don't shout about it.:eek:

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An illogical and unhelpful view.

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An illogical and unhelpful view.

... without reference so we have no idea which view you are referring to....

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... without reference so we have no idea which view you are referring to....

I think Jaeger01 is inferring that the Pink Cat doesn't talk about his fleas, so why should a beek report AFB

Pink Cat is responding to that inference.

That's my take on the comment anyway

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I think Jaeger01 is inferring that the Pink Cat doesn't talk about his fleas, so why should a beek report AFB

Pink Cat is responding to that inference.

That's my take on the comment anyway

Your powers of inference are far stronger than mine :unsure:

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