Jump to content
jamesc

The Epiphany.

Recommended Posts

As we all know, The epiphany is the celebration of the Baptism of the Baby  Jesus.

 

It is also a moment of sudden and great revelation and realisation. 

 

Over the last few days we have been bombarded with emails about why we should and should'nt vote for the levy. March 1st is the last day for voting, and true to fashion , I have left the  important decisions to the last minute ....  which is slightly uncharacter as generally I am the first to fly off the handle and voice my opinion.

 

It was always my intention to vote YES for the levy. it seemed the right thing to do, to endorse a national organisation with a vote of confidence to make the right decisions for us peasants and ensure we had an economic and viable future.

 

Last night Richelle and I attended an AFB meeting in our local town to get an update on the AFB issues currently facing the industry.

It was Great. The food was good, no matter that I grabbed a glass of pee coloured beer that I thought  had been bought for me by a long time business associate that has supported us through the lean years , only it was'nt Speights and I was chided for picking the wrong glass, but then  all white froth looks the same when you are thirsty .......

 

But seriously, last night i had an Epiphany. 

 

We have had an AFB dog program here for quite a few years .  It was brought into play after we paid a twenty grand AFB levy and sat down and scratched our heads the night after as to what we had recieved for that amount of money.

Suffice to say, with the dog program in place I now sleep easy at night on that front.  We have'nt eradicated the disease , but we have certainly dropped our burn rate from fifty or sixty hives a year to less than ten and cornered it to one recalcitrant yard.

Now I am not the most meeting minded person, but have been attending AFB meetings on and off for fifeteen years or so . Not a lot has changed.

 

Don't get me wrong, their heart is in the right place. Marco is an inspiration with his enthusiasm. He knows us beekeepers, and he knows our problems. But the impression I came away with last night is that he is hobbled by the higher powers that run the organisation.

When questioned about the Dog team we got a mono tone dialogue from the official line  about why it won't work .

 

And as I listened, I came to the realisation that the head honcho I was listening to was of the same mould as the people who aspire to rule us through APINZ.  They lack the guts and risk taking gene to try something out of the normal to progress the industry.

 

The Dog program is not about James and Richelle making a small fortune from running dogs around bee hives in the dead of night. It is about using a tool that we know has a place to play in identifying bee hives with a non visual bacteria loading that can be removed from an operation before they are split to make up duds and deads . We admit they are not perfect, but they are a tool that could have a place in reducing the incidence of AFB within NZ.

 

So last night was my Epiphany. It was the realisation that I have no confidence that  those who purport to lead us actually have a desire to grow out of their Comfort Zone and do a little bit left brain thinking and embrace technology that might actually help us to emerge from the mire that we reside in at the moment .

 

And it is for that the reason that today I voted a NO to the levy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 9
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the dark side brother

 

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So .... from where cometh the Messiah ?

 

Edited by jamesc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, jamesc said:

 

 

And as I listened, I came to the realisation that the head honcho I was listening to was of the same mould as the people who aspire to rule us through APINZ. .

 

 

So who was talking besides Marco, James?

 

coincidentally, was talking with another researcher yesterday on combined methods for AFB detection. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good move James .

And I don’t say that lightly . 

The world will continue to spin if the NO vote wins , and the beauty of that is that there will then be time for a better solution , and in my opinion , one where the current Govt is not blackmailing beeks into a corner they’d rather not be in .

There is always a better way , and I my opinion , industry unification is a feely good buzz phrase that is a pipe dream and has not been achieved with other levy’s, even with the best of intentions .

The best outcome so far of this whole process is the freely exercised opinions of most and now we are in a far better position to continue thinking of a better solution 

  • Agree 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I quite like this little diagram. It’s from a horse trainer in the US, but is food for thought as to how we marshall our thoughts, goals, and aspirations.

EBC568DB-E8F7-44A0-A160-2679587C2538.jpeg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like it get a bit hot when you get outside that growth zone , maybe about where our industry is now

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, JohnF said:

 

So who was talking besides Marco, James?

 

coincidentally, was talking with another researcher yesterday on combined methods for AFB detection. 

 

 

Marco was the main talker. He is very good at it and knows the issues we are facing.  Dare I say, his boss has the official line.

A unified approach to AFB eradication has to come from a science background.

So ... a nice little project from a research graduate is to come up with the science of the dogs......   a programmed  program that can state " the PCR test is 90% true, the dogs are on the money, or not. 

So ... research grads ..... we'd love to hear from you !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, olbe said:

Looks like it get a bit hot when you get outside that growth zone , maybe about where our industry is now

 

 

Uh huh .... but you get pure gold out of the fire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and some get there hands burnt reaching for that gold

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, olbe said:

and some get there hands burnt reaching for that gold

 

That too ...... but we got to the moon and beyond ...eh !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and now James we are on the return journey 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

coming back down to earth , perhaps a bit faster than we would like

 

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yep .... it's always good to get home for a few days ! Any way ... I gotta go for a snooze.  Booked in tomorrow to take a mate to see a mate who is a legend in that he fathered a child with a lesbian.  We live in a funny world !

Edited by jamesc
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, jamesc said:

So ... a nice little project from a research graduate is to come up with the science of the dogs......   a programmed  program that can state " the PCR test is 90% true, the dogs are on the money, or not. 

So ... research grads ..... we'd love to hear from you !

 

That takes money James . . . money that might be provided from levy research funds ( and then doubled by government). 

There’s no money for it in current AFB levy funds. 

Your project is bang on. In the event of a ‘ no’, how much money can you tip into it ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the event of a No   I would be prepared to pay a levy for research.  Just run by the Beekeepers for the Beekeepers . I did vote No.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bees said:

In the event of a No   I would be prepared to pay a levy for research.  Just run by the Beekeepers for the Beekeepers . I did vote No.

 

Good news for research.

How much (40% of current levy, say?)

Who would be 'the Beekeepers' directing the levy funds?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopefully a no vote will promulgate a grand coming together of the various factions and a more sensible management of the industry. Even the corporates are not thriving in the marketplace as the Comvita results attest to, they have anticipated the new manuka tests and the levy, and have a huge stockpile to explain to their shareholders.

Beehives, their number, placement and health have to be more highly factored into the decisions because without that focus many will suffer because of the incompetence of the not so few. Might is right has not been a winning formula.

  • Agree 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, JohnF said:

 

That takes money James . . . money that might be provided from levy research funds ( and then doubled by government). 

There’s no money for it in current AFB levy funds. 

Your project is bang on. In the event of a ‘ no’, how much money can you tip into it ?

Agreed, most projects need money to achieve the goal.

what sort of money are we looking at to fund some science on an integrated dog/ swab afb control program?

the main thing is to look beyond the numbers.... in the user pay environment that we live in, the ststt up cost will be recouped.

Edited by jamesc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jamesc said:

Agreed, most projects need money to achieve the goal.

what sort of money are we looking at to fund some science on an integrated dog/ swab afb control program?

the main thing is to look beyond the numbers.... in the user pay environment that we live in, the ststt up cost will be recouped.

 

And this becomes the issue James. There have been plenty of projects that get scoped, priced, consulted, meetings . . .and then beekeepers/funders have gone 'nah', or 'here's $1000'.

Obviously the latter is better but only a couple of people are in the latter camp.

But there is always a large contingent of people who will look to get the free research results, rather than contribute money for the good of an industry.

 

Hats off to @Philbee and his combination of self-funding, crowd-sourcing and freemium model of a product  (ie free use of your own strips or you can buy the genuine product from me).

But difficult to use the model to fund a lot of commercial research efforts. But we'll be happy to talk !

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JohnF said:

 

And this becomes the issue James. There have been plenty of projects that get scoped, priced, consulted, meetings . . .and then beekeepers/funders have gone 'nah', or 'here's $1000'.

Obviously the latter is better but only a couple of people are in the latter camp.

But there is always a large contingent of people who will look to get the free research results, rather than contribute money for the good of an industry.

 

Hats off to @Philbee and his combination of self-funding, crowd-sourcing and freemium model of a product  (ie free use of your own strips or you can buy the genuine product from me).

But difficult to use the model to fund a lot of commercial research efforts. But we'll be happy to talk !

 

The research industry could always re-evaluate your own approach, take a risk (for once.....) with your own time and money, research something and then commercialise it.  That way there is skin in the game, rather than the begging bowl.  

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-

16 hours ago, jamesc said:

As we all know, The epiphany is the celebration of the Baptism of the Baby  Jesus.

 

It is also a moment of sudden and great revelation and realisation. 

 

Over the last few days we have been bombarded with emails about why we should and should'nt vote for the levy. March 1st is the last day for voting, and true to fashion , I have left the  important decisions to the last minute ....  which is slightly uncharacter as generally I am the first to fly off the handle and voice my opinion.

 

It was always my intention to vote YES for the levy. it seemed the right thing to do, to endorse a national organisation with a vote of confidence to make the right decisions for us peasants and ensure we had an economic and viable future.

 

Last night Richelle and I attended an AFB meeting in our local town to get an update on the AFB issues currently facing the industry.

It was Great. The food was good, no matter that I grabbed a glass of pee coloured beer that I thought  had been bought for me by a long time business associate that has supported us through the lean years , only it was'nt Speights and I was chided for picking the wrong glass, but then  all white froth looks the same when you are thirsty .......

 

But seriously, last night i had an Epiphany. 

 

We have had an AFB dog program here for quite a few years .  It was brought into play after we paid a twenty grand AFB levy and sat down and scratched our heads the night after as to what we had recieved for that amount of money.

Suffice to say, with the dog program in place I now sleep easy at night on that front.  We have'nt eradicated the disease , but we have certainly dropped our burn rate from fifty or sixty hives a year to less than ten and cornered it to one recalcitrant yard.

Now I am not the most meeting minded person, but have been attending AFB meetings on and off for fifeteen years or so . Not a lot has changed.

 

Don't get me wrong, their heart is in the right place. Marco is an inspiration with his enthusiasm. He knows us beekeepers, and he knows our problems. But the impression I came away with last night is that he is hobbled by the higher powers that run the organisation.

When questioned about the Dog team we got a mono tone dialogue from the official line  about why it won't work .

 

And as I listened, I came to the realisation that the head honcho I was listening to was of the same mould as the people who aspire to rule us through APINZ.  They lack the guts and risk taking gene to try something out of the normal to progress the industry.

 

The Dog program is not about James and Richelle making a small fortune from running dogs around bee hives in the dead of night. It is about using a tool that we know has a place to play in identifying bee hives with a non visual bacteria loading that can be removed from an operation before they are split to make up duds and deads . We admit they are not perfect, but they are a tool that could have a place in reducing the incidence of AFB within NZ.

 

So last night was my Epiphany. It was the realisation that I have no confidence that  those who purport to lead us actually have a desire to grow out of their Comfort Zone and do a little bit left brain thinking and embrace technology that might actually help us to emerge from the mire that we reside in at the moment .

 

And it is for that the reason that today I voted a NO to the levy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like you I wanted to vote Yes bit I couldn't.

The way the levy is constructed is just wrong ie non manuka honey paying the same rate as vastly more valuable manuka.

And, the way eg a a larger operators with 40,000 hives has the same say as 40 operators with 1,000 hives each.

I couldn't get past those two factors....Also I'm not convinced under this structure that money for this and that research is going to provide value for

money v jobs for the boys.

 

  • Agree 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, CraBee said:

-

 

 

Like you I wanted to vote Yes bit I couldn't.

The way the levy is constructed is just wrong ie non manuka honey paying the same rate as vastly more valuable manuka.

And, the way eg a a larger operators with 40,000 hives has the same say as 40 operators with 1,000 hives each.

I couldn't get past those two factors....Also I'm not convinced under this structure that money for this and that research is going to provide value for

money v jobs for the boys.

 

Two things for me - levies should be on point of sale (pretty much the standard isn't it) not declared volumes (struggling also with actual legality of the proposed 'auditing' aspect) and the run on issue from declared volumes  - the inequity of high volume low value (large levy payer) vs low volume high value (small levy payer).   I'm all for some unity and having a peak body (professional effective and proactive intermediary) - and was essentially "for it" also.   BUT .... I can't get past these things either.   

  • Agree 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, CraBee said:

 

The research industry could always re-evaluate your own approach, take a risk (for once.....) with your own time and money, research something and then commercialise it.  That way there is skin in the game, rather than the begging bowl.  

 

As in 'I should evaluate our own approach' ?

Not really. As you write:

 

47 minutes ago, CraBee said:

 

take a risk (for once.....) with your own time and money, research something and then commercialise it.   

 

Thanks - that's the model we follow (varroa resistance, AFB, bee viruses, other pathogens . . and that's just in apiculture)

And I think you'll find others do the same thing. But if a particular industry wants something done and its not of interest to a research provider to spend their own money . . . then an industry chips in.

The danger is - without co-ordinated research on issues, you might find yourself holding that begging bowl

  • Like 1
  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, JohnF said:

 

As in 'I should evaluate our own approach' ?

Not really. As you write:

 

 

Thanks - that's the model we follow (varroa resistance, AFB, bee viruses, other pathogens . . and that's just in apiculture)

And I think you'll find others do the same thing. But if a particular industry wants something done and its not of interest to a research provider to spend their own money . . . then an industry chips in.

The danger is - without co-ordinated research on issues, you might find yourself holding that begging bowl

That is one major thing being held over our heads is it not?   And its a big one too - that "access' to greater funding is part of the appeal of having a levy to springboard such things.  Historically, passing around the hat hasn't been that successful.

  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...