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Science'ing it up at conference this year

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For those interested in the science sessions at this year's conference in Rotorua, there will be talks on viruses that target AFB,  varroa monitoring methods and assessment of different treatments, the latest on the biocontrol for Giant Willow Aphid, bumblebees for pollination and more. There will also be science talks on new methods for AFB detection later in the conference as well as talks on bee viruses and pathogens with @JohnF (also convening the science session) and Richard Hall from the MPI Bee Pathogen program.

 

More at:  http://apicultureconference2019.co.nz/science/ and the program is attached [JM]

Science-Programme-2019-2.pdf

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There will also be a number of posters presented after the science session as well - the chance to ask some tame scientists questions about their work !

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anyone else a bit weary of science and beekeeping these days. 😋

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5 hours ago, nab said:

anyone else a bit weary of science and beekeeping these days. 😋

If all sorts of honey were selling at minimum $15 kilo no one would weary any more .

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1 hour ago, kaihoka said:

If all sorts of honey were selling at minimum $15 kilo no one would weary any more

bring it on. id be cutting down manuka to plant clover!  the yields are a lot better

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9 minutes ago, nab said:

bring it on. id be cutting down manuka to plant clover!  the yields are a lot better

Too bad that even at 15 a kilo you still need 3 boxes to make as much as one mid range manuka box

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13 minutes ago, nab said:

bring it on. id be cutting down manuka to plant clover!  the yields are a lot better

Too bad NZ clover isnt the honey with all the fancy healing properties 

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Nice conference topics. I like the one about new methods for AFB control. I am boycotting the conference this year as the Dog Team has not been invited to share their story.

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2 hours ago, jamesc said:

Nice conference topics. I like the one about new methods for AFB control. I am boycotting the conference this year as the Dog Team has not been invited to share their story.

 

Really? I thought they specifically -*had* been asked to contribute? I’ll look into this @jamesc

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4 hours ago, jamesc said:

Nice conference topics. I like the one about new methods for AFB control. I am boycotting the conference this year as the Dog Team has not been invited to share their story.

The program says the afb dogs are putting on a display Thursday lunchtime... is someone else doing it ?? 

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On 30/05/2019 at 10:25 PM, JohnF said:

 

Really? I thought they specifically -*had* been asked to contribute? I’ll look into this @jamesc

Yes by our colleagues from Hamilton Jan and Rob Francis will give a demo. But the main issue in my opinion is that like the PCR test , the  AFB Detector Dogs and the use of them to find pre clinical and clinical AFB has been here for at least as long I have been involved with this project witch is now coming up 9 years when we trained the first AFB Detector Dog dog for Richelle and @jamesc

 

So we are not introducing a new tool. We have lots of success stories / data where the dogs have inspected the hives and several days / weeks even month later the clinical AFB was found by the beekeeper.

But also stories were the beekeeper just inspected the hives some days prior to the dogs checking them and  the dogs indicated on 19 hives and 15 had clinical AFB !

 

We are only asking the agency to give  us some guidelines to what would required to have the dogs recognized as part of a tool that is officially available for Beekeepers to use together with their regular and required inspections.

But again after several attempts to have this discussion with the Agency  we have  achieved  nothing!

Adding to it all this MPI have made 2 attempts in the past to organize a trial for the AFB Detector Dogs! 

 

So in my opinion its a bit of a waste of energy to try to have another discussion about it if the agency is not even prepared to sit down and have a discussion about the use of the dogs in the past and present and what could be done to make them an  acceptable tool for the Beekeepers to us to fight the AFB.

Because as far as I can see , and I'm not a beekeeper you are not winning at this stage !!

 

 

 

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This lack of vision by the agency seems so ridiculous when you consider the other areas where dogs sense of smell  are routinely used .

Bomb searches

Drugs 

Tracking , game and people 

And there are incidences of dogs sensing cancer in people .

It seems there is a lot of stuff you can train a dog to detect .

 

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Friday 28 June 2019

The AFB Controversy
- Beekeepers’ view point – what’s right, what’s wrong

- Dogs and AFB
- Where your money’s being spent
9.30am -
10.15am - Compliance and outcomes
- Emerging technology
- Is independent governance of the AFB PMP a better model?

 

Speakers on AFB, including a free and frank open discussion and debate from the floor

 

 The Title for Friday 28th June Conference 2019 is ‘The AFB Controversy’. .....I find this a very Interesting Title to say the least !

Dogs and AFB are advertised for discussion ... I was wondering how you can have a discussion about the AFB detector Dogs when the 2 experts on AFB Detector Dogs Rene and Richelle have not been invited to attend??  

Rene ( who has had a life time of experience training Detector Dogs all around the world)  trained the first AFB Detector in NZ for me and I have done all the hard work, out there at night searching beehives, and collecting confirmation from husband James and beekeepers on whether the beehives that the dogs had indicated on were positive (or not) with clinical AFB?!  It took 3 years for us to realise that Jesse NZ’s first AFB Detector Dog was actually indicating on pre-clinical AFB !  And this is not what we expected to discover .  We all know how amazing dogs are .... and what an amazing tool to help us beekeepers to fight AFB.  

I was trained by Rene to be a Detector Dog handler nearly ten years ago.  My 2 dogs, Jesse and Georgie are now retired but Tara is now my next AFB Detector Dog Star.

So,  it will be interesting to know who you will be discussing - Dogs and AFB with.??  

I do know the debate from the Agency will be that the dogs are not scientifically certified!  But as for our dogs or NZ’s Biosecurity dogs the proof is in the pudding.....when my dogs indicate on a hive and then the beekeeper confirms AFB then thats proof for me. :)). 

I have not been included in this discussion at the conference so will not be there .... I am passionate about my dogs and what I know they can do, so  if anyone would like to know more about  AFB Detector Dogs I am easy to find.

 

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Posted (edited)

It’s a real disgrace to see the workings ( or non workings ) of the Agency.

We as beekeepers and levy payers  should all be contacting them and asking for an explanation.

You have to wonder at their agenda,  

The agency is funded by hard working beekeepers, they don’t earn their money the way we as beekeepers earn our money it’s handed to them on a platter and we all know how accountable they have been with our hard earned money over the many years they have been grabbing it.

 

i would much rather my levy went towards paying for the dogs to inspect hives to give the beekeeper a choice .

For those of us that can identify AFB and deal with it properly when found having an agency employee inspect is generally a waste of time but having a dog run through and pick up sub clinical AFB would be invaluable.

 

It wouldn’t hurt for all of us to make a big noise and demand some accountability and explanation over the dog situation among other things.

 

Apinz as the entity running the conference must know who is going to be presenting the AFB and dogs talk.  @Dennis Crowley do you know anything about it ?

Edited by frazzledfozzle
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Having the dogs go round the hives is the next level of inspection, it’s fantastic to see them indicate at the pile of stones left to mark a previous afb find, where the spores in the ground set off the alarm bells. 

Fighting afb must be fought on as many fronts as possible to get anywhere...

do as you’ve always done and you get what you’ve always got. 

Perhaps we won’t see real change until the changing of the guards when retirement makes way for fresh thinking.. 

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4 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

It’s a real disgrace to see the workings ( or non workings ) of the Agency.

We as beekeepers and levy payers  should all be contacting them and asking for an explanation.

You have to wonder at their agenda,  

The agency is funded by hard working beekeepers, they don’t earn their money the way we as beekeepers earn our money it’s handed to them on a platter and we all know how accountable they have been with our hard earned money over the many years they have been grabbing it.

 

i would much rather my levy went towards paying for the dogs to inspect hives to give the beekeeper a choice .

For those of us that can identify AFB and deal with it properly when found having an agency employee inspect is generally a waste of time but having a dog run through and pick up sub clinical AFB would be invaluable.

 

It wouldn’t hurt for all of us to make a big noise and demand some accountability and explanation over the dog situation among other things.

 

Apinz as the entity running the conference must know who is going to be presenting the AFB and dogs talk.  @Dennis Crowley do you know anything about it ?

 

I am convening the science session - and talking in the AFB session on emerging technologies. I also hope that there will be someone there talking on the dogs and I am discussing this further with organisers to see what can be done to get either @Rene Gloor or Rob/Jan to speak there - but conference organisers are also working on this.

 

However, I disagree with your statement Frazz - if you look in the papers you'll see the effects that the agency is having with Marco and Clifton chasing beekeepers not reporting AFB: namely hundreds of hives being burnt in what is reported in the press as outbreaks in both South and North Island.

The agency is on the forum and as they have posted previously, they are not there to do the beekeepers' job re: AFB, they are there for the non-compliant ones:

 

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Under the National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan 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.

i.e. individual beekeepers are free to make their own decisions as to whether they wish to hire/purchase an AFB detector dog to augment their AFB inspection and elimination practices.

The National Pest Management Plan also requires that inspection methods approved by the Management Agency must be generally recognised by the scientific community as effective in the detection of AFB. Currently their is a lack of research on the use of dogs for the detection of AFB published in peer reviewed scientific journals. The Management Agency is legally unable to approve the use of AFB detector dogs until this changes and a quorum scientists are publicly stating that the use of dogs is effective for the detection of AFB.

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Good beekeepers have always subsidised bad beekeepers when it comes to AFB. The management agency has actually made some quite significant changes and while these won't stop the subsidisation completely they will put more of the costs onto the people that are creating them and that has got to be a good move.

As for dogs surely they are proven for identifying any number of things and a simple double-blind test should be all that is necessary to prove their efficacy. 

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Posted (edited)
Quote

The National Pest Management Plan also requires that inspection methods approved by the Management Agency must be generally recognised by the scientific community as effective in the detection of AFB. Currently their is a lack of research on the use of dogs for the detection of AFB published in peer reviewed scientific journals. The Management Agency is legally unable to approve the use of AFB detector dogs until this changes and a quorum scientists are publicly stating that the use of dogs is effective for the detection of AFB.

 

So until you get a bunch of scientists to write some papers and get the tick of approval from other scientists then it’s not going to happen ?

 

no wonder NZ is backward  in some instances. 

Edited by frazzledfozzle
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If @Philbee had an interest in the dogs the testing/trials/approval  might have been done & dusted by now.

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1 hour ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

So until you get a bunch of scientists to write some papers and get the tick of approval from other scientists then it’s not going to happen ?

 

 

Frazz, I'm not going to bang on more about the value of science, I'm done with that. Everyone thought science was valuable and needed to be realised - and yet, research donations to the @ApiNZ Science & Research don't seem to have materialised.

To my mind, the trial of the dogs would have seemed a no-brainer and a relatively easy one to do.

 

1 hour ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

no wonder NZ is backward  in some instances. 
 

 

No. A lot of what we know about AFB and how it travels among hives is from exactly that route - and done in NZ by Mark Goodwin and team. Everyone takes the knowledge for granted  - but have  think about where that knowledge originally appeared.

You can whinge about it or get on and apply for a SFF grant.

We have a little local funding to part-fund a trial we're running currently on our DNA methods. Come to conference and hear about it ! :14_relaxed:

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Have you seen scientific papers on the NZ MPI bio security detector dogs ??  

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1 hour ago, Jesseddog said:

Have you seen scientific papers on the NZ MPI bio security detector dogs ??  

Good point. 

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6 hours ago, AFB PMP Management Agency said:

Under the National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan 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.

i.e. individual beekeepers are free to make their own decisions as to whether they wish to hire/purchase an AFB detector dog to augment their AFB inspection and elimination practices.

The National Pest Management Plan also requires that inspection methods approved by the Management Agency must be generally recognised by the scientific community as effective in the detection of AFB. Currently their is a lack of research on the use of dogs for the detection of AFB published in peer reviewed scientific journals. The Management Agency is legally unable to approve the use of AFB detector dogs until this changes and a quorum scientists are publicly stating that the use of dogs is effective for the detection of AFB.

this is just my point in what the Agency just stated. They are not even prepared to sit around a table and have a discussion about what has been done and what could be done together. At least at the beginning John Hartnell and his team  at the time made an effort of trying to talk to people about the possible use of the dogs. Nothing is happening now. Good luck. 

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4 hours ago, Jesseddog said:

Have you seen scientific papers on the NZ MPI bio security detector dogs ??  

 

Doesn't have to be just on NZ dogs. The main issue as you know is that what the dog can detect, can be ascertained as being correct immediately. Harder to do that for AFB especially when the dogs or a test are detecting pre-clinical levels.

But here's a paper on dogs - and yes, there are a lot:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24631776

Rene could probably confirm but I bet every dog has test results on their detection rates, false positives etc before they go into service?

1 hour ago, Rene Gloor said:

this is just my point in what the Agency just stated. They are not even prepared to sit around a table and have a discussion about what has been done and what could be done together. At least at the beginning John Hartnell and his team  at the time made an effort of trying to talk to people about the possible use of the dogs. Nothing is happening now. Good luck. 

 

Rene, sorry but in this case you're not special. There are a number of AFB-related projects going on in NZ. One is funded by Australia, a couple are funded by MPI via Sustainable Farming Fund and one is a mixture of private and small level commercial funding.

None of them are funded by the AFB PMP - as we've seen from their financial statements, it has no additional funds currently and its a compliance agency, not a research one. From the press, the non-compliant people they go after don't need the dogs, DNA or sub-clinical tools. . .the raging clinical AFB can be spotted a mile off !

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