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tommy dave

March 2019 Apiary Diary

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The central premise of the American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan (NPMP) is based on evidence that back in the 1990’s many beekeepers demonstrated that it was possible to eliminate AFB from their beehives with the available tools and technologies. If all beekeepers replicated the same AFB elimination practices used by these beekeepers, then the elimination of AFB from managed colonies in New Zealand was possible. These AFB elimination practices are enshrined in Disease Elimination Conformity Agreements, and the balance of the NPMP rules define the minimum standards for AFB control in New Zealand.

Under the NPMP beekeepers are responsible for eliminating AFB from their beehives, and the Management Agency is responsible for monitoring and auditing beekeeper compliance with their obligations in order to eliminate AFB from managed colonies in New Zealand.

Many beekeepers are to be congratulated for their AFB elimination practices. Due to your efforts the levels of AFB in New Zealand hives have been held at similar levels to what it was in 1998 when the NPMP was initiated. Unfortunately, your efforts have been undermined by beekeepers that have chosen not to comply with the AFB elimination practices specified in their Disease Elimination Conformity Agreement and/or NPMP rules and a Management Agency that has failed to hold these non-compliant beekeepers to account. This issue was recognised by the Management Agency Board in 2016.

In 2016 the Management Agency Board initiated the development and roll-out of a five-year strategy to eliminate AFB. The Management Agency employed Clifton King as National Compliance Manager in November 2017, Marco Gonzalez as National Operations Manager in October 2018, and transferred the management of inspection and compliance activities from AsureQuality Ltd to the Management Agency in November 2018. These changes provided the Management Agency with the capability to undertake compliance and enforcement actions to address serious noncompliance with NPMP rules, as was previously announced in December 2018.

The Management Agency has also changed the focus of its apiary inspections from ‘seeking to find hives with AFB’ to ‘seeking to identify beekeepers whom are not implementing the AFB elimination practices specified in their Disease Elimination Conformity Agreement’. The Management Agency is assessing whether AP2 inspection findings are consistent with good AFB elimination practice, and what, if any compliance and enforcement actions are appropriate. In most cases the AP2 inspection findings do not give the Management Agency cause to be concerned. However, the Management Agency is also identifying extreme cases of noncompliance (AP2 inspection finds AFB in more than 10% of hives) and in these instances the Management Agency is cancelling Disease Elimination Conformity Agreements, serving Biosecurity Act directions and acting on default - as in the Mid Canterbury case.

Unfortunately, the compliance and enforcement actions undertaken by the Management Agency since November 2018 represent the ‘tip of the noncompliance iceberg’ and there are a significant number of beekeepers with AFB in more than 10% of their hives that have yet to be identified. The Management Agency has recently appointed 17 new AP2s to bring the total to 36 and we are prioritising their work to identify as many seriously non-compliant beekeepers as we can within our existing resource constraints, and undertake compliance and enforcement actions to reduce the AFB risk for neighbouring beekeepers. 

 

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On 12/03/2019 at 9:33 AM, Alastair said:

Got an email from an American beekeeper i chat with sometimes. Saying he had been to England and while there had purchased a very small manuka plant which he has brought back to the US and hoping to propagate it.

 

We did send manuka to England a few years back.

 

Woah! Imagine manuka plants as far as the eye could see and all the bee trucks clamouring to get a spot nearby. 

 

Manuka monoculture. 

Go @AFB PMP Management Agency!!! Go hard and catch those non-compliant beekeepers. It just does my head in that there are so many beeks that don’t seem to care. 

 

I’ve got an apiary just outside the mid-Canty high risk area and this information fills me with dread. (I inspected them all yesterday and found nothing touch wood)

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20 hours ago, AFB PMP Management Agency said:

The central premise of the American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan (NPMP) is based on evidence that back in the 1990’s many beekeepers demonstrated that it was possible to eliminate AFB from their beehives with the available tools and technologies. If all beekeepers replicated the same AFB elimination practices used by these beekeepers, then the elimination of AFB from managed colonies in New Zealand was possible. These AFB elimination practices are enshrined in Disease Elimination Conformity Agreements, and the balance of the NPMP rules define the minimum standards for AFB control in New Zealand.

 

Under the NPMP beekeepers are responsible for eliminating AFB from their beehives, and the Management Agency is responsible for monitoring and auditing beekeeper compliance with their obligations in order to eliminate AFB from managed colonies in New Zealand.

 

Many beekeepers are to be congratulated for their AFB elimination practices. Due to your efforts the levels of AFB in New Zealand hives have been held at similar levels to what it was in 1998 when the NPMP was initiated. Unfortunately, your efforts have been undermined by beekeepers that have chosen not to comply with the AFB elimination practices specified in their Disease Elimination Conformity Agreement and/or NPMP rules and a Management Agency that has failed to hold these non-compliant beekeepers to account. This issue was recognised by the Management Agency Board in 2016.

 

In 2016 the Management Agency Board initiated the development and roll-out of a five-year strategy to eliminate AFB. The Management Agency employed Clifton King as National Compliance Manager in November 2017, Marco Gonzalez as National Operations Manager in October 2018, and transferred the management of inspection and compliance activities from AsureQuality Ltd to the Management Agency in November 2018. These changes provided the Management Agency with the capability to undertake compliance and enforcement actions to address serious noncompliance with NPMP rules, as was previously announced in December 2018.

 

The Management Agency has also changed the focus of its apiary inspections from ‘seeking to find hives with AFB’ to ‘seeking to identify beekeepers whom are not implementing the AFB elimination practices specified in their Disease Elimination Conformity Agreement’. The Management Agency is assessing whether AP2 inspection findings are consistent with good AFB elimination practice, and what, if any compliance and enforcement actions are appropriate. In most cases the AP2 inspection findings do not give the Management Agency cause to be concerned. However, the Management Agency is also identifying extreme cases of noncompliance (AP2 inspection finds AFB in more than 10% of hives) and in these instances the Management Agency is cancelling Disease Elimination Conformity Agreements, serving Biosecurity Act directions and acting on default - as in the Mid Canterbury case.

Unfortunately, the compliance and enforcement actions undertaken by the Management Agency since November 2018 represent the ‘tip of the noncompliance iceberg’ and there are a significant number of beekeepers with AFB in more than 10% of their hives that have yet to be identified. The Management Agency has recently appointed 17 new AP2s to bring the total to 36 and we are prioritising their work to identify as many seriously non-compliant beekeepers as we can within our existing resource constraints, and undertake compliance and enforcement actions to reduce the AFB risk for neighbouring beekeepers. 

 

 

Some days  I am quite slow to move with the times, and I'm thinking that somewhere in the AFB agency life I've missed something. I always thought one of the original mandates of the agency was to  'Eradicate AFB'.

I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that now we are paying a  levy to 'Monitor and collate information ' and that it is upto beekeepers to eradicate.

 

Have things changed in the last year or so, or have I just been in the hills too long ?

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9 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Some days  I am quite slow to move with the times, and I'm thinking that somewhere in the AFB agency life I've missed something. I always thought one of the original mandates of the agency was to  'Eradicate AFB'.

I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that now we are paying a  levy to 'Monitor and collate information ' and that it is upto beekeepers to eradicate.

 

Have things changed in the last year or so, or have I just been in the hills too long ?

 

Probably cause you on the phone to a lady in Singapore?😋

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12 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Some days  I am quite slow to move with the times, and I'm thinking that somewhere in the AFB agency life I've missed something. I always thought one of the original mandates of the agency was to  'Eradicate AFB'.

I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that now we are paying a  levy to 'Monitor and collate information ' and that it is upto beekeepers to eradicate.

 

Have things changed in the last year or so, or have I just been in the hills too long ?

We brought a apairy out in 95 which we found 135 out of 400 hives had afb rang agency asked for help they wanted to know what we where doin about it ..we said burnt hives with signs and numbered boxs back to hives..there replie sounds good keep that up for a couple years or untill hives stop showing afb... i said thanks for nothing glad i pay my levies for this pricless information. 

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It's always been the individual beekeepers responsibility to eradicate AFB. The agency is there to deal with those who can't or won't sort their own problems out and stop the problem spreading to the rest of us. They haven't always got it right but just think what the AFB situation would be like without them.. No power to inspect, no power to enforce destruction and education by fire. If they get too punitive ,then  people go underground and when they are perceived as soft , they get a hard time from everybody. Compulsory Honey testing would catch a lot of these outbreaks before they happen.

There are a lot of new beekeepers out there that have not had any AFB simply because there was no AFB for them to get. If you're not ready when you get your first one then like hundreds  who have gone before you, you're going to learn the hard way.

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21 hours ago, AFB PMP Management Agency said:

The central premise of the American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan (NPMP) is based on evidence that back in the 1990’s many beekeepers demonstrated that it was possible to eliminate AFB from their beehives with the available tools and technologies. If all beekeepers replicated the same AFB elimination practices used by these beekeepers, then the elimination of AFB from managed colonies in New Zealand was possible. These AFB elimination practices are enshrined in Disease Elimination Conformity Agreements, and the balance of the NPMP rules define the minimum standards for AFB control in New Zealand.

 

Under the NPMP beekeepers are responsible for eliminating AFB from their beehives, and the Management Agency is responsible for monitoring and auditing beekeeper compliance with their obligations in order to eliminate AFB from managed colonies in New Zealand.

 

Many beekeepers are to be congratulated for their AFB elimination practices. Due to your efforts the levels of AFB in New Zealand hives have been held at similar levels to what it was in 1998 when the NPMP was initiated. Unfortunately, your efforts have been undermined by beekeepers that have chosen not to comply with the AFB elimination practices specified in their Disease Elimination Conformity Agreement and/or NPMP rules and a Management Agency that has failed to hold these non-compliant beekeepers to account. This issue was recognised by the Management Agency Board in 2016.

 

In 2016 the Management Agency Board initiated the development and roll-out of a five-year strategy to eliminate AFB. The Management Agency employed Clifton King as National Compliance Manager in November 2017, Marco Gonzalez as National Operations Manager in October 2018, and transferred the management of inspection and compliance activities from AsureQuality Ltd to the Management Agency in November 2018. These changes provided the Management Agency with the capability to undertake compliance and enforcement actions to address serious noncompliance with NPMP rules, as was previously announced in December 2018.

 

The Management Agency has also changed the focus of its apiary inspections from ‘seeking to find hives with AFB’ to ‘seeking to identify beekeepers whom are not implementing the AFB elimination practices specified in their Disease Elimination Conformity Agreement’. The Management Agency is assessing whether AP2 inspection findings are consistent with good AFB elimination practice, and what, if any compliance and enforcement actions are appropriate. In most cases the AP2 inspection findings do not give the Management Agency cause to be concerned. However, the Management Agency is also identifying extreme cases of noncompliance (AP2 inspection finds AFB in more than 10% of hives) and in these instances the Management Agency is cancelling Disease Elimination Conformity Agreements, serving Biosecurity Act directions and acting on default - as in the Mid Canterbury case.

Unfortunately, the compliance and enforcement actions undertaken by the Management Agency since November 2018 represent the ‘tip of the noncompliance iceberg’ and there are a significant number of beekeepers with AFB in more than 10% of their hives that have yet to be identified. The Management Agency has recently appointed 17 new AP2s to bring the total to 36 and we are prioritising their work to identify as many seriously non-compliant beekeepers as we can within our existing resource constraints, and undertake compliance and enforcement actions to reduce the AFB risk for neighbouring beekeepers. 

 

 

What a ####in joke ive been ap2 since 2000 open book exam look at couple pictures whamo you're a ap2 ...i laided complaints about certain beekeeping operations and those same sites in same condition to this day except less live hives ...the real joke is that beekeeper is a ap2...

The agency is asking for more money to do what ?

The country is over run with beekeepers who haven't a clue and corparates that only care about kgs per hive .no offense to the 17 knew ap2s...

Of the 17 knew ap2s what actual beekeeping experience do they have?

There has to be a better way of running a pms ..trained dogs is possibly the only cost effective way of getting results 

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35 minutes ago, Nuc_man said:

What a ####in joke ive been ap2 since 2000 open book exam look at couple pictures whamo you're a ap2 ...i laided complaints about certain beekeeping operations and those same sites in same condition to this day except less live hives ...the real joke is that beekeeper is a ap2...

That has been the problem for years, AsureQuality were very slow and ineffectual at most times, only now the AFBManagement are slowly taken back some of those roles off them to get the job done. 17 new ap2s are better than none. We now have an AP1 that is hot on dealing with afb and can sign off on action to be taken. Stop looking backwards and look at what is being done. Dogs may be A tool but they are not THE tool, the beekeeper poking their heads into hives and then dealing with the afb is THE tool.

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What about the beekeepers who will not ley an AP2 near his hives or thje big beekeeper who rejects the ap2 when aq tell him they are doing an afb audit.What are we paying our money for?

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10 hours ago, Bighands said:

What about the beekeepers who will not ley an AP2 near his hives

With luck the "new" regime will visit a second time with a constable.

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12 hours ago, Dennis Crowley said:

That has been the problem for years, AsureQuality were very slow and ineffectual at most times, only now the AFBManagement are slowly taken back some of those roles off them to get the job done. 17 new ap2s are better than none. We now have an AP1 that is hot on dealing with afb and can sign off on action to be taken. Stop looking backwards and look at what is being done. Dogs may be A tool but they are not THE tool, the beekeeper poking their heads into hives and then dealing with the afb is THE tool.

 

THE tool for dealing with AFB, yes. But I don't think THE tool for finding it.

There should not be one tool for finding it. .  .we need a toolbox with a variety of methods in it. There are new tools being developed to find it (dogs & DNA) and new tools being hunted to prevent/delay infection should a hive have AFB (AFB-killing viruses). I hope there will be others. . . .

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14 hours ago, Nuc_man said:

What a ####in joke ive been ap2 since 2000 open book exam look at couple pictures whamo you're a ap2 ...i laided complaints about certain beekeeping operations and those same sites in same condition to this day except less live hives ...the real joke is that beekeeper is a ap2...

The agency is asking for more money to do what ?

The country is over run with beekeepers who haven't a clue and corparates that only care about kgs per hive .no offense to the 17 knew ap2s...

Of the 17 knew ap2s what actual beekeeping experience do they have?

There has to be a better way of running a pms ..trained dogs is possibly the only cost effective way of getting results 

Nuc_man please do not misrepresent yourself as an AP2. You do not have a valid Warrant as an Authorised Person under the Biosecurity Act 1993 nor an AP2 Contract with the Management Agency - and you have not held either of these for a considerable period of time.

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1 hour ago, AFB PMP Management Agency said:

Nuc_man please do not misrepresent yourself as an AP2. You do not have a valid Warrant as an Authorised Person under the Biosecurity Act 1993 nor an AP2 Contract with the Management Agency - and you have not held either of these for a considerable period of time.

Thanks you.

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Yikes. This has a new twist every day.

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Off the above topic but...

 

So, today I delivered a virgin into the world (birthed? Midwifed...?). Anyhoo, I’d like to know your thoughts:

 

I was taking cells out of my Queen castles. Day 10 was Sunday the 10th just gone, so I chose today to remove ‘empty’ cells. The first three were as expected, but with plenty of royal jelly still in the cups. The next was still capped, so I checked to see if the lid had just swung shut only to find it well sealed. Thinking this was fairly late I decided to gently tear it open for a looksee and out walked a queen. She looked slightly under cooked, pale yellow, but walked quietly down between the frames. 

 

I checked the next one and it was still sealed, so I left the rest for another day. Do you think she will be alright or should I squish her and start again. I’ve got more cells coming. 

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@AFB PMP Management Agency any chance you or someone could post info on afb outbreaks etc.

 

one reason is to help clear up the usual rumors going around.

 

but mainly for a learning tool. the examples we get to see in the beekeeper mag are great but would like to see that online, especially in search engine findable format.

examples of whats found, how it was cleaned up, procedures put in place etc. a lot of beeks never get to experience afb and have no idea of what happens.

would help quash some of the myths that do the rounds.

Edited by tristan
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1 minute ago, tristan said:

@AFB PMP Management Agency any chance you or someone could post info on afb outbreaks etc.

 

one reason is to help clear up the usual rumors going around.

 

but mainly for a learning tool. the examples we get to see in the beekeeper mag are great but would like to see that online, especially in search engine findable format.

examples of whats found, how it was cleaned up, procedures put in place etc. a lot of beeks never get to experience afb and have no idea of what happens.

would help quash some of the myths that do the rounds.

I agree.  It would help kill some of the wild speculation that happens with only partial information being disseminated. 

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Well bit of a disappointing result from asure quality. First email was of picture and number and location. Reply was it's probably a super dump and can you supply number so he can contact and see if a registered site. I resent number on boxes and shared my concerns about robbing and what was the policy. Reply was looks like empty supers. Resent blow Cleary showing exposed frames and restated strong smell of honey and cloud of bees. 

So will wait and see. But if this is what is expected when someone raises concerns then it's no wonder we have an issue

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12 hours ago, tristan said:

@AFB PMP Management Agency any chance you or someone could post info on afb outbreaks etc.

 

one reason is to help clear up the usual rumors going around.

 

but mainly for a learning tool. the examples we get to see in the beekeeper mag are great but would like to see that online, especially in search engine findable format.

examples of whats found, how it was cleaned up, procedures put in place etc. a lot of beeks never get to experience afb and have no idea of what happens.

would help quash some of the myths that do the rounds.

The Management Agency posting information on AFB outbreaks is a balancing act between informing the wider beekeeping community so that they can take action to manage the risk of AFB in their hives, versus protecting the privacy of the individuals concerned - not only because they have a right to privacy under the Privacy Act, but the Management Agency also has a moral responsibility to protect the beekeepers concerned and their families from bullying and harassment that can and does occur as a result of being identified as a result of experiencing a significant AFB outbreak.

 

 

Individual beekeepers, and particularly those with leadership positions within the beekeeping community should consider what they can do to create/facilitate a culture amongst the beekeeping community where individuals feel safe to admit that they have recently had a case (or outbreak) of AFB, inform their neighbours, seek advice and assistance, and share experiences on how they moved forwards address AFB in their hives. Next time anyone reading this post is considering engaging in a conversation about AFB please consider whether what you are about to say is likely to contribute to a positive culture where beekeepers feel safe to honestly share their AFB experiences, or whether it will perpetuate the current culture where AFB is frequently regarded as a socially unacceptable disease that beekeepers are reluctant admit to.

 

 

The Management Agency is acutely aware of the learning (and beekeeping culture improvement) benefits of making real case studies about AFB outbreaks and how beekeepers addressed the problem available. These cases studies are most useful if they are presented with the informed consent of the beekeepers concerned as this enables the experience to be shared from the beekeepers perspective. We are working with a couple of beekeepers to progress this and do intend to build a small library of case studies over time.

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1 hour ago, AFB PMP Management Agency said:

The Management Agency posting information on AFB outbreaks is a balancing act between informing the wider beekeeping community so that they can take action to manage the risk of AFB in their hives, versus protecting the privacy of the individuals concerned - not only because they have a right to privacy under the Privacy Act, but the Management Agency also has a moral responsibility to protect the beekeepers concerned and their families from bullying and harassment that can and does occur as a result of being identified as a result of experiencing a significant AFB outbreak.

 

 

Individual beekeepers, and particularly those with leadership positions within the beekeeping community should consider what they can do to create/facilitate a culture amongst the beekeeping community where individuals feel safe to admit that they have recently had a case (or outbreak) of AFB, inform their neighbours, seek advice and assistance, and share experiences on how they moved forwards address AFB in their hives. Next time anyone reading this post is considering engaging in a conversation about AFB please consider whether what you are about to say is likely to contribute to a positive culture where beekeepers feel safe to honestly share their AFB experiences, or whether it will perpetuate the current culture where AFB is frequently regarded as a socially unacceptable disease that beekeepers are reluctant admit to.

 

 

The Management Agency is acutely aware of the learning (and beekeeping culture improvement) benefits of making real case studies about AFB outbreaks and how beekeepers addressed the problem available. These cases studies are most useful if they are presented with the informed consent of the beekeepers concerned as this enables the experience to be shared from the beekeepers perspective. We are working with a couple of beekeepers to progress this and do intend to build a small library of case studies over time.

 

Locally we have always tried to practice "No blame No shame" to AFB and this has worked well among the many like minded beekeepers where strange events/outbreaks randomly have happened over last 30 years.

Sadly this has broken down in recent times mainly from so many new entrants in area that do not want to participate in our local social systems, and a lack of a National AFB push to have local operators directly involved in AFB inspections/diseasathons/information type days.

 

Yes there are the operators that deliberately do not manage their AFB (why is always a mystery to me) and the new enforcement policy is to be praised, but most AFB is accidental and needs the helping touch and big sticks and financial penalties will potentially do more harm. 

I know it is a really hard balancing act, but the shift towards viewing AFBPMP as an auditing document is wrong IMO. 

 

 

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15 hours ago, AFB PMP Management Agency said:

create/facilitate a culture amongst the beekeeping community where individuals feel safe to admit that they have recently had a case (or outbreak) of AFB, inform their neighbours, seek advice and assistance, and share experiences on how they moved forwards address AFB in their hives.

my take: most beekeepers are supportive of those who find and address afb problems. Most beekeepers feel nothing other than disgust (and maybe sympathy?) and disdain for those who do nothing to address afb problems unless/until caught and forced to do so. So the culture is about right. Hang the scum out to dry, support those doing the right thing.

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With respect @tommy dave, we have had to burn 3 hives in the 3rd year of beekeeping when we started in early spring with  66 Hives. 2 of of these hives were pumping double broods in September. There were three cells in one hive obvious on an almost completely laid out frame. They roped. The third was a lone hive in a known afb area, again unlucky, strong, until it wasn’t. Does that make us “scum”?

 

They were all burnt as soon as we found them. Sometimes you’re just damn unlucky! We quarantined the apiary for two, nearly three very long years checking every frame every time we went to the yard. I hated pulling up there, the thought every time, that we could be unlucky again. We’ve not had any cases since, but we could have very easily, if we operated under the hive density that occurs now. There are now double the number of hives in NZ as there were then. 

 

 

 

 

 

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@Bron no it it doesn’t .

@tommy dave specifically said if you are doing the right thing when you find AFB then that’s good.

For a beekeeper to have 60% of hives with visible signs of AFB over multiple sites  is a massive problem, he was obviously doing something very wrong.

What makes it even worse is having multiple rob outs which can affect any beekeepers around him . 

You don’t get that level of AFB infection overnight overstocking or not.

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