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jamesc

AFB Dogs

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Several years ago when the Missus and I sat down after a long day and chilled out in front of the TV  to be entertained by quiz shows and cooking programs, we actually struck it lucky with Border Patrol and the Dog squad. Anyway, the long and short of it was that Renee came to the rescue of our AFB problem with the "Milion Dollar Noses" ..... Jess, and Georgie, and Flynn, and Milo, and Pipi, and Pandorra, and Molly ....

And we put it to the AFB management agency that if they were serious about eradicating AFB in NZ then the dogs might be quite a good tool to help. The agency really did'nt take the idea too seriously, which is a shame because for a program to be effective it needs an umbrella organisation to marshall it and set a standard. The Agency is the perfect vehicle for that.

Our lives and operation has been transformed since we went into remission from AFB two years ago.

There are other operations out there that have taken the lead and are training their own dogs, which is, dare I say it, bloody good. The issue I see arising is that we need a standard and an accreditation that the dogs and handlers are up to speed.

So here is another challenge for the Board members of the AFB Management agency ... I could reel their names off, but most people know who they are .... Why not rise to the challenge. Embrace the future and the tools that are being offered to the industry to make it the gazillion dollar export industry that it is being touted to the  nation and world .

 

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As you said in another posting, old dogs, slow to learn new tricks! Bit of a shame really!

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its a shame we can't all get together and build our own management agency, 

allowing new fresh ideas and a keenness to make things better. 

 

like drag the old dog out of its flash kennel up on the hill and replace him with a 10month old down at the yards... where all the work gets done. 

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@jamesc data is everything to the "powers that be". No doubt you are clocking up some powerful paperwork. It then becomes almost negligent if the agency doesn't act on what could be one of the best tools to utilise.

 

"Softly, softly, catch the monkey." As my old Nana would say.

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On 2/18/2018 at 9:25 AM, Bron said:

@jamesc data is everything to the "powers that be". No doubt you are clocking up some powerful paperwork. It then becomes almost negligent if the agency doesn't act on what could be one of the best tools to utilise.

 

"Softly, softly, catch the monkey." As my old Nana would say.

OK ... I gonna catch da monkey and become the organ grinder. 

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I can hire out Nan if you need a heavy on the team

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1 hour ago, glynn said:

I can hire out Nan if you need a heavy on the team

Yes. I am sure, All 55 kgs of her.

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I'll tell on you trev

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5 hours ago, glynn said:

I can hire out Nan if you need a heavy on the team

Not sure I can afford Nan .... or is that i can't afford not to ...?

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As I have said before, I would love to run some double-blind tests using AFB dogs but that aside they seem to have really proven themselves. Accreditation of dogs and handlers by the AFB board seems to be a no-brainer. Being certified AFB dogs would also help with gaining access onto farms. One thing I do know is that we don't have anywhere near enough AP2s  to check all the corporate hives that are appearing in enormous sites. At the very least a good dog would show very quickly which companies needed extra attention. Compulsory AFB testing of extracted honey samples would also help point the dogs in the right direction.
I would support trained dogs for one other reason and that is that I don't like other people inspecting my hives. Full brood inspections do find AFB but although they are generally done with care they don't do hives any favours.
Times and technologies have changed and it is time to change with them.

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I'm all for more tools and new ideas and other methods, but you still need human eyes over the top to double check what has been found.

So yes to certified dogs that also have to be audited as well, as they too can become a little lax if their training is not kept up.

My worry is the beeks who are slack about afb wont care about using these tools.

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Unless someone has a problem 99% of inspection finds nothing. If we had Honey testing with positives followed up by trained dogs and then inspection of any indicated hives we would be using resources far more efficiently and only targeting those beekeepers and hives that needed to be targeted.
Oh and a $100,000 fine for anyone deliberately falsifying a honey sample.
One of the biggest problems with the current system is that disease is found and the beekeeper cleaned up but often there is little or no follow-up, sometimes it doesn't matter because the person has learnt from their experience but from experience I know that a lot of the worst offenders are recidivist and this would go a long way to stopping the harm they do to other beekeepers.
I won't name names on a public forum especially as several of them are dead but I have known several beekeepers who had hives for in excess of 30 years and caused their neighbours AFB problems on and off for the entire period.

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Is AFB a disease that is caused by humans. or is it something that is all ways been with honey bees.  i feel that it would be good to know what caused AFB in the first place. personally varroa is a far bigger threat than AFB because everyone has varroa but not everyone has AFB.  

 

I can see all the disagrees already. :ph34r: 

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Well all you did was ask a question.

 

AFB has been around for thousands of years at the least so in that sense it is not caused, or at least created, by humans. 

 

Now, with moveable frame hives and other modern innovations and management practises, such as, say, keeping a whole lot of hives all within a few meters of each other, the disease can be spread by humans. So in that sense, it could be said to be "caused" by humans.

 

Because the potential of AFB spreading by humans is now much greater with modern agricultural methods of farming bees, AFB also has to be controlled by humans or it would probably wipe out the species.

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Ok ... movin on with afb.... today was a cruisy day as main man had his baby amd is on manly duties fot a a couple of weeks.. so i played around with our magic wand. 

Now, this wand is very magical... it records nait pins that have been inserted into bee boxes. So, from an afb management perspective it becomes very magical, for it gives us the ability to record box movement combined with a date stamp and gps location.

Imagine .... splitting bees to sell units and recording where they came from, and who they came from.... and then if there was an issue down the line it could be traced back.

is this not a far worthier cause for the agancy to be persuing rather than  generic bee keepoer id’s on boxes?

just a random thought in the midnight hour 

as we go into the time of year when the dogs start to earn their keep again ..... in the coordinated battle agsindt afb.

The NAIT program was introduced to control the spread and eventually ersdicate TB.

AFB is no different.

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35 minutes ago, jamesc said:

The NAIT program was introduced to control the spread and eventually ersdicate TB.

 

It hasn’t done much to help in the Mbovis situation

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Curved ball ?

 

the tech works .... it the human element that always screws it

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On 01/03/2018 at 12:24 AM, frazzledfozzle said:

 

It hasn’t done much to help in the Mbovis situation

Oh it’s not a simple as that unfortunately. 

 

Imagine this scenario .

 

An infected , yet undetected farm , sells a vat load of milk to a calf rearer. This calf rearer rears 4000 Calves . 

 

M. Bovis can potentially spread to Calves via milk , which is not traced from origin .........

 

I somewhat suspect the horse has bolted 

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Ask affected farmers round this way about the ministry. They are at their wits end trying to keep their businesses afloat while waiting for decisions from people who seem to know as much about dairying as they do about beekeeping. 

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On 2/22/2018 at 7:18 PM, john berry said:

As I have said before, I would love to run some double-blind tests using AFB dogs but that aside they seem to have really proven themselves. Accreditation of dogs and handlers by the AFB board seems to be a no-brainer. Being certified AFB dogs would also help with gaining access onto farms. One thing I do know is that we don't have anywhere near enough AP2s  to check all the corporate hives that are appearing in enormous sites. At the very least a good dog would show very quickly which companies needed extra attention. Compulsory AFB testing of extracted honey samples would also help point the dogs in the right direction.
I would support trained dogs for one other reason and that is that I don't like other people inspecting my hives. Full brood inspections do find AFB but although they are generally done with care they don't do hives any favours.
Times and technologies have changed and it is time to change with them.

We tried to organise together with MPI and the AFB agency trials/ tests to proof the effectiveness of the dogs. However the way I see it these two organisations don’t like to talk to each other very much. Enough said. 

Yes the dogs have proven themselfs lots of times. Either by the detection of clinical AFB after the dog indications several weeks month earlier on preclinical or the use of PCR tests.but having said that , they are not 100 % correct all the time. 

 

Because we have now 6 AFB Dogs working nationwide ( some fully operational and some still learning the job) we are in the process of organising annual validations for the dog and the handler. 

Ideally under the umbrella/ approval of the Agency and or MPI. But we will see how this goes. But we will accreditations done for our dogs that are working out there.

 

This may sounds a bit arrogant but we do know that the dogs can be a very useful tool for the detection of AFB , what we are focusing now is trying to assist the wider beekeeper community in utilising this tool as part of the fight again AFB.

its not much point for a single beekeeper being very proactive and having the dog searching the hives, quarantine any dog indications etc but the next door neighbour doesn’t care , is in denial etc.

 

There is a cost involved of course but weighing this up with the spread of the AFB and the associated cost with that, then the cost of the dogs is very small. 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Rene Gloor said:

its not much point for a single beekeeper being very proactive and having the dog searching the hives, quarantine any dog indications etc but the next door neighbour doesn’t care , is in denial etc.

And I for one am confident that without big sticks wielded with great authority this situation will not change.

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10 hours ago, yesbut said:

And I for one am confident that without big sticks wielded with great authority this situation will not change.

And all we seem to have are wet bus tickets delivered with a very soft hand.

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I read an interesting article in one of the Farming papers on the weekend ..... reporting that MPI and the Agency had managed to put together 270k of funding for research into an AFB supressing/killing bacteria. 

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@Rene Gloor I am very interested in discussing a visit from a dog. However, we have very few hives, and don't produce honey for commercial purposes. We are a small urban beekeeping operation, but recently had a AFB text and email alert about an outbreak in one of our main areas. At the same time, we got a phone call from a neighbour who has this beehive in his backyard, put there by a commercial beek  as a favour. Said beehive hasn't been checked since last Autumn, when appear strips went in. Our neighbours have been ringing and texting the beek but no response. The hive doesn't have any registration displayed either. If it was registered to that site, the beek would have gotten the text alert and been to check it.

Sooo, my question is: is there a doggie that could come and have a sniff around? Without too much expense...

 

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