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Understanding the risks associated with tutin 2017


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Okay gents please settle down. At the risk of being shot down I'm going to defend the original post.    Tutin is a serious risk. It deserves  to be pushed, even if only for the benefit of ne

For those of you asking if ApiNZ is involved in any work on the management/eradication of scolypopa we have raised this with the Science and Research Focus Group which will be meeting earlier than usu

Hi Rob, as far as I know there is no direct research into the passionvine hopper issue, but there has been bits and pieces. The GWA research was done as a lot of other industries could see how th

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3 hours ago, Karin Kos said:

 

Hi @Rob Stockley,

 

Thanks for your feedback. ApiNZ is working with MPI to develop and deliver information on tutin during the high-risk period to all registered beekeepers via multiple channels, including this forum as well as the NZ Beekeeper Journal, an email to all registered beekeepers, and offers of updates from MPI at club and hub meetings. Following feedback from last year, as a new feature MPI are answering any technical questions via this discussion thread. Raising awareness about tutin is crucial at this time of year and we want to make sure all beekeepers understand what it is and what their legal obligations and options are for meeting them.

Karin, 

Would it be fair to say that your objective is to educate new beekeepers about the risks of tutin meanwhile reminding more experienced beekeepers of the same risks? You're not posting here to discuss new knowledge or new strategies to manage tutin risk?

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4 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

  I think this is just an exercise in time wasting.

money wasting. Employ a consultant with api-nz funds who knows nothing to act as a conduit for questions, when api-nz could instead be engaging someone (and probably for less $$) who knows what they're talking about enough to answer questions themselves.

 

and as for MPI - wonder if it's the same people who were promising to deliver a formal and agreed manuka standard a year or so ago... not sure why we'd be asking them re tutin

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@Rob Stockley i agree with what you have posted.

i'm surprised that the admins of other sites haven't been contacted about posting this Tutin info this year, the page has decent reach and has never asked $$ for anything (and wouldn't do so either). The fact that this, and other channels, are being missed is i guess where a lot of my criticism stems from, along with their behaviour and approach last year (as i think i posted earlier, i thought the poster had been banned from this forum due to their spam approach and failure to engage).

 

anyway, good point, people can change, incompetence can evolve into competence. I'll try and let my preconceptions slide.

thanks for the voice of sanity and reason.

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57 minutes ago, Rob Stockley said:

Okay gents please settle down. At the risk of being shot down I'm going to defend the original post. 

 

Tutin is a serious risk. It deserves  to be pushed, even if only for the benefit of new beekeepers who haven't heard or thought about Tutin before. Maybe this topic belongs in the beginner beekeepers forum. 

 

Last year in Hawkes Bay the levels of tutin detected in commercial extraction were unprecedented. This year promises to be similar. I applaud ApiNZ via Catalyst for drawing attention to Tutin because ignoring it will make people sick.

 

Malcontent with progress on the Manuka standard and general disapproval of ApiNZ is largely irrelevant when considering Tutin risk.

 

On the bright side, the head of ApiNZ @Karin Kos is active on NZBees. Perhaps we'll hear from Paul Martin, the non-commercial board member. I think this is a big deal because NZBees isn't aligned with ApiNZ. In fact we, as a community, were very critical of ApiNZ in it's inception and continue to mark its report card. That they are willing to engage directly is potentially a very good thing. Let's not see them off prematurely.

 

In the spirit of @yesbut declaration, I am a member of ApiNZ. My NBA membership bought me two years. I haven't decided whether I will shell out for a third year. Active engagement in NZBees encourages me. 

 

 

I agree Rob that Tutin is a serious risk and important topic to raise awareness , I am new and I have been made fully aware and understand the risk that the Tutin presents.   What I don't see is anything regarding tackling the pest that causes it.  There is plenty of information on the internet regarding scolypopa, its species etc but nothing on what is being considered as an alternative or complimentary strategy to the awareness campaign.  Its very clear tutin in honey can kill, I would have thought that the impact of it serious enough to prompt a response that suggests there is some proposed research on managing the pest not the trees.  The response to the giant willow aphid was relatively swift.   In any event I would like to hear back from anyone, including ApiNZ, MPI or Catalyst regarding what is being considered. 

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2 minutes ago, BJC said:

I agree Rob that Tutin is a serious risk and important topic to raise awareness , I am new and I have been made fully aware and understand the risk that the Tutin presents.   What I don't see is anything regarding tackling the pest that causes it.  There is plenty of information on the internet regarding scolypopa, its species etc but nothing on what is being considered as an alternative or complimentary strategy to the awareness campaign.  Its very clear tutin in honey can kill, I would have thought that the impact of it serious enough to prompt a response that suggests there is some proposed research on managing the pest not the trees.  The response to the giant willow aphid was relatively swift.   In any event I would like to hear back from anyone, including ApiNZ, MPI or Catalyst regarding what is being considered. 

Scollypopas are not toxic in themselves. They frequent many species other than Tute. Eliminating scollypopas might have unintended consequences.

 

Tute is the source of the toxin but it's everywhere. As @yesbut points out, eliminating Tute could destroy many stream banks. 

 

Testing is easy. I think we're better to manage tutin risk rather than try to eliminate it. 

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Too true Rob but as our climate changes and hive numbers grow there will an awful lot of honey being affected by Tutin affecting many commercial operators as well as small.  All I ask is has an assessment of pest management been considered by the researchers.  If there has been an assessment and it is not practical I would like to know.

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2 minutes ago, BJC said:

Too true Rob but as our climate changes and hive numbers grow there will an awful lot of honey being affected by Tutin affecting many commercial operators as well as small.  All I ask is has an assessment of pest management been considered by the researchers.  If there has been an assessment and it is not practical I would like to know.

 That's a good question. I'm keen to hear the answer. 

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Hi Rob, as far as I know there is no direct research into the passionvine hopper issue, but there has been bits and pieces.

The GWA research was done as a lot of other industries could see how this could/would effect them and felt it bad enough so they put their hands in their pockets and paid for the work to be done. Barry Foster from Gisborne had a big hand in working with the scion research to do the work. He struggles to get money from the beekeeping industry to pay towards research, even though we all put our hand up when asked if we should do research, when asked to put those hands in your pocket and help pay for the research, the room goes quite.

It has always been the issue with this industry.

Barry showed me a list of all the research involving bees/bees related being done in NZ either through universities, privately or institutions and it was a lot. An very little was funded by beekeepers, and to be fare some of the research would not be for us as the end user.

There is a wasp in Australia that would eat the passion vine hopper, that we know. Now getting that wasp into NZ and making sure that it wont affect anything else is the $$$$$ question. There would be some other industry groups that would be interested in seeing the demise of the P-hopper but it may not be that high on their lists, especially when you can spray a chemical to deal with a localised problem. We as beeks want a nationwide eradication and that is were the rubber meets the road as to who is going to pay.

As far as the tutin plant goes, they ant going anywhere, so as beeks learn to manage your business and stop blaming the plant for your mismanagement, they were here first, we are the

interlopers. Its like buying a cheap house by the airport and then complaining about all the planes.

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On 12/8/2017 at 10:21 PM, Rob Stockley said:

Beekeepers in Waikato and Hawkes Bay are already reporting scollypopa nymphs in their gardens. Is this early or is it normal?

Hi Rob, the number of insects can fluctuate with seasonal variation, but the nymphs (juveniles) generally emerge between October and December. If you are seeing more scolypopa nymphs or adults in the forage areas for your bees, please ensure you test your honey to check for the presence of tutin.  

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On 12/8/2017 at 11:04 PM, BJC said:

Looks to me the weather conditions are ideal in the Waikato and Hawkes Bay with the lack of rainfall, increase in temperatures making for a dry December.  I think John Berry raised the question once regarding the level of research being done elsewhere but nothing regarding scollypopa.    I agree and all good to get the same old information bulletin but is there anything more proactively being done out there or is it a regional problem?  I asked the same question of MPI and Assure Quality when I received the latest notice but never received a response.

Hi @BJC, the most recent research MPI has been involved in relating to tutin was carried out in 2014. This research found that the 2.0 mg/kg limit for tutin needed to be reduced to 0.7 mg/kg to keep honey consumers safe.

 

Other agencies in New Zealand also periodically carry out research, because passion vine hoppers can affect a wide range of plants. Plant and Food Research published an article recently in New Zealand Plant Protection, investigating the survival of passion vine hopper eggs over winter: http://journal.nzpps.org/index.php/nzpp/article/view/37  

 

You can find research like this online, or you could contact agencies like Landcare Research and Plant and Food Research to see what research they are doing. You can also subscribe to the MPI website https://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/subscribe-to-mpi/  to be sent automatic updates from MPI.

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On 12/9/2017 at 1:01 PM, Over Worker said:

How many years of clear tests do we have to have before an area is classed as safe ?  The local council here has people go around our sections making sure we haven't got any noxious plants growing amongst our shrubs and ornamentals. 

You've got to wonder why the government hasn't taken the initiative in regards to Tutu.

 

Hi @Over Worker , the same area will need to be tested for 3 consecutive years (for both honey and comb honey) and cannot exceed the limits (as prescribed below for honey and comb honey). After this, testing is required every 10 years.

 

For extracted honey production, no sample can exceed 0.035mg/kg tutin. For comb honey production no sample can exceed 0.01mg/kg tutin. Box section comb honey can be produced after the initial three years, and during the nine years testing is not required, providing that no individual results have exceeded 0.01 mg/kg.

 

Please refer to option 5 in compliance guide to the Food Standard: Tutin in Honey: http://mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/20489-compliance-guide-to-the-food-standard-tutin-in-honey-2016 for more explanation.

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5 hours ago, Dennis Crowley said:

As far as the tutin plant goes, they ant going anywhere, so as beeks learn to manage your business and stop blaming the plant for your mismanagement, they were here first, we are the

interlopers. Its like buying a cheap house by the airport and then complaining about all the planes.

Thanks Dennis there was never a complaint about the plants just the scolypopa and the increased presence of tutin as the climate becomes hotter.  Fair point about paying for the research but I would like to think we could lobby a bit harder for it.

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21 hours ago, Rob Stockley said:

Karin, 

Would it be fair to say that your objective is to educate new beekeepers about the risks of tutin meanwhile reminding more experienced beekeepers of the same risks? You're not posting here to discuss new knowledge or new strategies to manage tutin risk?

 

Rob – That’s correct. The purpose of the campaign is to educate new beekeepers or beekeepers unaware of their options/steps they can take in meeting obligations, to remind/direct anyone to existing information on managing the risk of tutin contamination in their honey and to provide the opportunity to ask the MPI Animal Products team questions about tutin.

 

If there are any updates/new information we are aware of it will be posted on here and updated on MPI’s webpage on tutin: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/growing-and-harvesting/honey-and-bees/managing-tutin-contamination/

 

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1 hour ago, ApiNZ_tutin said:

This research found that the 2.0 mg/kg limit for tutin needed to be reduced to 0.7 mg/kg to keep honey consumers safe.

 

When you say “keep consumers safe” That’s a bit of an over exaggeration of any harm that might occur.

 

This is from  food standards 

https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/code/proposals/Documents/P1029-Tutin-AppRSD1-RiskAssessment.docx

 

Quote

Based on the results of the human pharmacokinetic study, it is considered possible that adverse effects such as mild light-headedness and headache may be experienced following the consumption of honey containing tutin at the current ML of 2 mg/kg. 

Such adverse effects are more likely if a large amount of honey (≥0.9 g of honey per kg bodyweight) is consumed in one sitting, as was the case in the pharmacokinetic study. The risk of adverse effects is increased if the ingested honey has a ratio of tutin glycosides to tutin at the high end of the observed range.

 

I think it was 2 people who were part of the testing that got a headache at the previous level of 2mg/kg ...hang I can get a headache after eating honey with no Tutin content at all. 

If you have to eat 0.9 g of honey per Kg of body weight to actually get that headache then you deserve to get a guts ache to go with it.

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1 hour ago, Anakei said:

Given that the passion vine hopper seems to be active earlier this year, is it till safe to take honey before 31 December without testing? 

 

Does anyone known if it’s adult and nymph stage that are the problem? Or just adult? Given when the problem happens I’m guessing adult only, but it would be nice to know.

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2 hours ago, Anakei said:

Given that the passion vine hopper seems to be active earlier this year, is it till safe to take honey before 31 December without testing? 

Welcome to the forum @Anakei !

I wouldn't be worried about tutin just yet.  The presence of the hopper is not of itself the issue, it's when the population builds up in the absence of other floral source that risk rises. We haven't got any yet.  Don't forget that December cutoff  takes into account subtropical far north, where you could reasonably expect  hopper numbers to build up quicker than  further south. My last harvest is usually the first week of February.

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On 12/11/2017 at 9:30 PM, kaihoka said:

This year I am concerned about tutin.

The commercials in our area can blend their honey and dilute any tutu.

But I have too small an amount.

The only thing I can do is regularly monitor the tutu for hoppers and bees.

 

Hi @kaihoka

 

There are several options. You can:

a)      Harvest your honey before 31 December from honey supers placed on hives after 1 July. Harvesting honey within these dates should avoid any significant risk of tutin contamination as vine hopper numbers do not usually build up until late summer. This is option 2 of the compliance options, you can read more in section 6.2 of the compliance guide: http://mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/20489-compliance-guide-to-the-food-standard-tutin-in-honey-2016

b)      Show there is no significant number of tutu bushes in the forage areas of your bees. This is often difficult to prove as bees can forage around a 3km radius. You can read more about it in option 3 of the compliance guide: http://mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/20489-compliance-guide-to-the-food-standard-tutin-in-honey-2016

c)       Run your hives in the South Island below 42 degrees South (deemed to be in low risk location). You can read more about it in option 4 of the compliance guide: http://mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/20489-compliance-guide-to-the-food-standard-tutin-in-honey-2016

 

If you are unable to comply with the above options, you can:

a)      Feed the honey back to bees when honey supers are not present on hives (you will need to test any subsequent honey crop); or

b)      Dispose of the honey.

 

If you are in any doubt about whether your honey may have tutin in it, the safest option is to test it as you have noted.

 

For more information, you can refer to clause 4.2(1) and 4.3(1) of the Food Standard: Tutin in Honey 2016: http://mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/11137-food-standard-tutin-in-honey

 

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