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AFB Proposed Levy Increase


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6 hours ago, JohnF said:

There have been plenty of complaints over spending more money but - along the lines of "if you're not part of the solution .  . " - how would   you propose spending the current 1 million. ?

In the AFB levy link above posted by @Philbee it shows the current breakdown - is this realistic? Where could money be better utilised?

 

The major opinion is for more dogs I think, so how do we move those forward? What does a trial for these look like?

I'm not sure the major opinion being for more dogs has actually been established.

There is certainly some commercial interest in seeing this be the case. I contend that it is an expensive option that may be better managed by more feet on the ground who will be hands on in the hives more often. Dogs have their uses in determining whether something may be present but it still requires the willing hands (and in sub clinical cases the testing)to confirm the possibility the dog may have indicated.

The very real risk is that if dogs are accepted as a primary way of finding AFB the workers in the field will stop looking. I think this applies in the larger operations more so than smaller but in my experience of working with detection dogs in a completely different field this has been the case. 

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Hi All   I am not convinced by the argument that we need an increase in the AFB levy.  The funding levels must have doubled over the last ten years as  apiary sites have more than doubled. 

Unregistered sites  are a problem but there are plenty of  registered  beekeepers who are just as bad or worse. I think the proposed increase is unnecessary and unjustifiable mainly because the curren

Small things: Why would a disease control agency discourage multiple small sites that are more suitable for containing diseases? Isn't charging a disincentive to register all your sites? Why would you

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From discussions with @Rene Gloor and others such as @jamescthen there is no suggestion that dogs (or other methods) would replace human hands in a hive.

We have developed a new DNA detection method and are working on some new ideas we have . .  but they will not be perfect (if they work at all !)

Its a given of any diagnostics that no method is 100% sensitive (ie will not detect all positives) or 100% specific (ie there may be some false positives - in this case, positive results and a hive destroyed that was never going to develop clinical signs).

 

Any other ideas on how you'd allocate the current $1 million ?

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4 hours ago, Sailabee said:

Under the present system, I pay $92 for four apiaries, for six hives - spreading the risk as all are in red areas, under the new system, by 2023 I would be paying $276 and as a hobby beek, no refund on GST. I have put more than my fair share of time into helping new beeks, have organised  DECA and refresher courses, and urged people to register their hives. There is jack zip done to those who don't register and I very much doubt that this will change. I now see what I fool I have been. 

Where is the hobby rep from APINZ? How the hell does he justify his place at the table?  The growing use of rural North Auck as dump sites by the corporates has already cost me my best site - especially winter, and responsible beeks are paying the prices for ignorant, manic boardroom decisions. 

 

From someone who has spent 30 years working on AFB issues at all levels, please, please continue your good work. There is an awful lot that needs working on to get AFB management back on track, but if people like you who are doing the right thing suddenly give up, then we are all doomed. Dont stoop to the rubbish levels of some operators that can not be described in polite terms.

Hopefully some of the submissions going through today will help tweak direction and costs. I have come out of self imposed retirement to help a number of people working very hard behind the scenes trying to get more accountability from AFB management. Beekeepers at all levels from one hive to thousands are still the best advocates for successful AFB eradication.

Hang in there.

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15 minutes ago, JohnF said:

From discussions with @Rene Gloor and others such as @jamescthen there is no suggestion that dogs (or other methods) would replace human hands in a hive.

We have developed a new DNA detection method and are working on some new ideas we have . .  but they will not be perfect (if they work at all !)

Its a given of any diagnostics that no method is 100% sensitive (ie will not detect all positives) or 100% specific (ie there may be some false positives - in this case, positive results and a hive destroyed that was never going to develop clinical signs).

 

Any other ideas on how you'd allocate the current $1 million ?

 

All your methods mentioned need to be part of the mix and testing needs to be done to understand the percentage of variability. 80% accuracy is fine as long as you know it will be 80% and weren't expecting 100%.

However at the end of the day all you are needing to do is narrow down the large circles to much smaller circles so you can have a narrow focal focal point for human inspection.

The problem with existing strategy is human inspection has been removed and beekeepers are completely disconnected from AFB problems outside their immediate area.

 

So basically get out of the office and use all new options with human hands and eyes.

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3 hours ago, Philbee said:

A layman's guess would be that once the science people broke into the AFB scent profile they could isolate various compounds or other appropriate "bits"and work from there.

Just a guess 

yes philbee, dogs are not the longterm answer, what a dog can do is the answer, ie its smell. talking with a scientist about this very thing his opinion is that it could be done so that every beekeeper could with their smart phone or other small device smell their own hives at anytime of the day. 

it would take a bit of research but a real possibility. you could then extend that to other symptoms etc. it has been done with sound in the USA. 

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9 hours ago, Otto said:

If this is starting a fire then it needs to be lit. I believe one of the main reasons there is so much division and ill will in our industry is with the issue of representation. If all beekeepers get a vote on who represents us on the AFB NPMP Board then we all have a say in the direction the NPMP takes and the Board has a mandate (as they are elected representatives) to do what needs to be done. 

 

So who does decide who gets on the Board once a recruitment consultant comes back with a shortlist? I've been a beekeepers for quite a while now and have certainly never had a say.

 

Representation is a key issue here. The backlash against Apiculture NZ is based on this too. 40% of the ApiNZ governing board are beekeepers. Does this accurately reflect the membership of the organisation (i.e. are approximately 40% of all ApiNZ members beekeepers)? If so, then the make-up of the Board is probably fine and ApiNZ can continue to do what they do, but ApiNZ would not be the right vehicle for administering a commodity levy to which only beekeepers contribute. 

otto go to AFB web site down bottom left hand side click on education, and policy statements and then read 

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10 hours ago, Philbee said:

For Clarity Dennis, is the plan for Apinz to take over the roll of the AFB management board? or at least bring it in under the Apinz umbrella?

It is my understanding that the NBA was the Management Agency for the AFB.org, some of the work on the ground being carried out by a commercial concern.

Now the NBA has seemingly become APINZ are they the Management Agency? If not where does this sit?

I seem to recall a survey sometime ago regarding APINZ taking on this responsibility. I don't recall any result sadly.

I think I am correct in saying AFB.org's office address is one and the same as APINZ's.

 

Ok, Mr Crowley has eclipsed this post in his reply. Thank you good Sir.

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9 hours ago, Philbee said:

For Clarity Dennis, is the plan for Apinz to take over the roll of the AFB management board? or at least bring it in under the Apinz umbrella?

not at this stage, AFB pest management plan, Kiwifruit PSA management plan and the Tuberculosis pest management plan are the only 3 pest management plans in NZ they all have their own set of stand alone statute in law. But never say never, the AFB plan has a shelf life before it needs to reapply so who knows what the industry may want at that time.  

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8 minutes ago, Ali said:

It is my understanding that the NBA was the Management Agency for the AFB.org, some of the work on the ground being carried out by a commercial concern.

Now the NBA has seemingly become APINZ are they the Management Agency? If not where does this sit?

I seem to recall a survey sometime ago regarding APINZ taking on this responsibility. I don't recall any result sadly.

I think I am correct in saying AFB.org's office address is one and the same as APINZ's.

 

Ok, Mr Crowley has eclipsed this post in his reply. Thank you good Sir.

When NBA and the FED Bees came together, all the things just moved over into APINZ, yes APINZ management agency, yes to share costs of office space we have moved into the same office space, each entity having their own area, you cant swing a cat in it but maybe a small kitten with a small tail.

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1 minute ago, Otto said:

To some this document might sound fine but to me it means the Board does not have a mandate to try to push through the changes they are wanting to push through. If they were elected representatives, put there by all stakeholders (beekeepers) then they would.

I am not against a levy increase if it is needed to see our AFB plan get back on track. I do have an issue with levies based on apiary numbers though because I believe beekeepers who spread their hives out in small apiaries (because it is better for bee health or because they are running a hive rental company) end up subsidising beekeepers who keep large apiaries. The unit that a beekeeper makes money from is a beehive. The unit that gets AFB is a beehive. I think the only sensible unit to levy (both for our AFB-NPMP and the proposed commodity levy) is a beehive.

this is just a document to show you the relation ship between the management agency APINZ and the AFB board and how they appoint board members which was your original question , if you want more questions you need to go read the bio- security, afb pest management, afb pest management levy and commodities levy acts and cross reference them to see what can and cant be done. All on line on government website.

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A matter that does concern me is that there is an incredible wealth of commercially sensitive information in the shared space of APINZ and the AFB.org.

That information includes the exact location of every registered hive in NZ, the ownership and property owner contact information.

Keeping the information secure must a task of serious proportions.

I find it quite scary myself.

 

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44 minutes ago, Ali said:
  10 hours ago, Philbee said:

For Clarity Dennis, is the plan for Apinz to take over the roll of the AFB management board? or at least bring it in under the Apinz umbrella?

Just saying......APINZ is the Management Agency for AFB.org and I think I am correct in saying that Mr Hartnell who sits on the Board of APINZ is also the Chairman of the Board of AFB.org.

 

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14 minutes ago, Ali said:

A matter that does concern me is that there is an incredible wealth of commercially sensitive information in the shared space of APINZ and the AFB.org.

That information includes the exact location of every registered hive in NZ, the ownership and property owner contact information.

Keeping the information secure must a task of serious proportions.

I find it quite scary myself.

 

their is no shared information of commercially sensitive info between the two entities. APINZ does not hold the beekeeping database it is held by Assure -quality, we need very good reason to send out material to the list, when we do we have to give the information to the database holder and they then send it out, we do not get to see any information from the list. I can say that all the people that are in APINZ take their role very seriously and certainly not breaking any rules/laws around what we do. The accountability on directors  and board members is very high and the penalties are bloody huge which may or may not include jail time, for any miss handling of funds or information even for NFP organizations, I enjoy my role but I enjoy my bed better.

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4 minutes ago, Ali said:

Just saying......APINZ is the Management Agency for AFB.org and I think I am correct in saying that Mr Hartnell who sits on the Board of APINZ is also the Chairman of the Board of AFB.org.

 

Yes you are correct, the AFB board has a mix of members, two of them are to be APINZ members, two are from GOVT the rest from industry. APINZ has no say in the makeup of the how the AFB board picks its chairman. We are given a heads up of new appointees, if there is a clear problem then we may have a say but as long as they are meeting their obligations under the act they run themselves. go and search out the AFB website down left hand side read policies docs.  

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20 hours ago, Dennis Crowley said:

yes philbee, dogs are not the longterm answer, what a dog can do is the answer, ie its smell. talking with a scientist about this very thing his opinion is that it could be done so that every beekeeper could with their smart phone or other small device smell their own hives at anytime of the day. 

it would take a bit of research but a real possibility. you could then extend that to other symptoms etc. it has been done with sound in the USA. 

Thats very exciting and a realistic goal, however right now there is a place for the Dog
The idea about the synthetic scent research is that if such a product could be produced then the job of training dogs could be undertaken by anyone in the community who had the inclination to take on the task.
Beeks Wives and family would be obvious starters.

The private sector is likely to run with the dog idea regardless of what the management agency do and they may have to struggle along with frames of AFB comb if need be.
The Smart phone idea is possibly 5 years out and to sit around waiting for it is a enormously unrealistic  waste of time.

Whats more it makes good sense to develop both tools as it may come to pass that they compliment each other.
Which of the two tools could you take to the bank next week?, Id pick the Dog.

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@Dr Mark Goodwin

Just out of interest. Have the AFB NPMP Board consulted with you over the proposed increases, what they would be for and whether this is the right way forward? With your expertise in this field and your input into trying to get the strategy right from the outset this surely should have happened. From your post above it seems likely that you weren't, which is hard to believe.

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2 hours ago, Otto said:

 

 

Hi All

2 hours ago, Otto said:

@Dr Mark Goodwin

Just out of interest. Have the AFB NPMP Board consulted with you over the proposed increases, what they would be for and whether this is the right way forward? With your expertise in this field and your input into trying to get the strategy right from the outset this surely should have happened. From your post above it seems likely that you weren't, which is hard to believe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am not convinced by the argument that we need an increase in the AFB levy.  The funding levels must have doubled over the last ten years as  apiary sites have more than doubled.   The problem is, that the AFB eradication strategy designed in the 1990's, and voted on,  has never been fully implemented.    If it had been, we would have mostly eradicated AFB by now.  The Management Agency got confused about its role soon after it was  established in 2000 and this confusion has continued until now, and  is reflected in the discussion on what the levy increase might be spent on.

 

What we learnt between 1990 - 2000, when we caused AFB levels to drop from 1.2% of hives to 0.25 % of hives,   was that  beekeepers inspect all hives each year for AFB, and they are responsible for the spread of all AFB.  To eradicate AFB,  all the strategy has  to do is to  get beekeepers to  do better inspections and / or  spread AFB less.

 

We also worked out  that using the strategy to  try to find and burn AFB for beekeepers faster than beekeepers can spread the disease is a no win game , although it appeals to beekeepers who think their neighbors are the source of their AFB problem.   The role of the strategy here should only be to be carrying out default inspection where beekeepers are in breach of the rules of the strategy

 

Following this model, and the other things we did in the 1990s that caused AFB levels to plummet,  could easily  reduce AFB levels with the  current budget if we stopped t using the funding for trying to control AFB for beekeepers 

 

Just a reminder to those who are not happy with the proposed levy increase, the most  effective thing you can do is  write to the Minister of Agriculture and explain why you don't think it is a good idea

 

 

Mark Goodwin

 

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5 minutes ago, Dr Mark Goodwin said:

Hi Otto

 

No,  I have not been contacted directly.  Probably my fault, however, as I have not pushed it as much as I should have.     I feel a little guilty about that, as I lead a 10 year AFB research programme in the 1990's, developed the goal of eradication, helped write the Pest Management strategy and order in council, helped do the consultation before the strategy was voted on and must have given 100's of AFB  seminars and workshops.   I left it mostly alone when varroa was found in NZ, except for the AFB book and video series

 

As I can no longer work because of heath issues, I  am hoping that I might be help the Management Agency back onto the road that was set out  for them in 2000 assuming that is the way they want to go

 

Mark    

They would be stupid not to listen to your advise. 

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