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Science'ing it up at conference this year

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its never been about the funding/money. In my view its about using each others knowledge and skills developing a tool(s) that could beneficial for the cause and the support of the beekeepers.

 

But I know what you saying @JohnFbut it would have been great having the leading agency (AFB PMP) involved in this. @Jesseddog

 

Have a read of what the Australians have done.

 https://www.agrifutures.com.au/wp-content/uploads/publications/13-080.pdf

 

 

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10 hours ago, JohnF said:

 

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?

 

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 !

For serious erdication of AFB ..... why not take a leaf out of MPI's Bovis strategy  ..... on the mere whiff of suspicion cull the whole operation. I would suggest that AFB is far more antisocial than Bovis.

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39 minutes ago, jamesc said:

For serious erdication of AFB ..... why not take a leaf out of MPI's Bovis strategy  ..... on the mere whiff of suspicion cull the whole operation. I would suggest that AFB is far more antisocial than Bovis.

Don't speak to loud @jamesc never know what's around the corner..😈

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43 minutes ago, Nuc_man said:

Don't speak to loud @jamesc never know what's around the corner..😈

Well of course , with Bovis the farmers get paid out some compensation for culled stock. 

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12 hours ago, JohnF said:

 

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?

 

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 !

Yes it does...the Agency have many times hold us that any test results/trials or scientific papers on AFB Detector Dogs done overseas  do not count !  There was a trial  done in Australia on AFB Detector Dogs.  They have also said it is to be done by an independent and a Government department.  As Rene has already mentioned,  MPI have offered several times.

 

And Yes an experience beekeeper will find raging AFB a mile off....but one infected AFB cell not so easy!  

At a meeting recently Marco very proudly told us that he and 3 AP2’s inspected 100 beehives in 3 days!...wow .... what’s WOW to me it that an experience  operational dog and handler team could search 100 hives (on one site) in 5-10 minutes.  The dog team could search 3000+ hives in 3 nights and could find, one infected cell, pre clinical and raging clinical AFB

Like the airport Detector Dogs ,  AFB Detector Dogs would be a very useful tool in conjunction with the Agency, the Ap2’s, PCR machine and what ever else is out there!  :))

 

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3 hours ago, Rene Gloor said:

its never been about the funding/money. In my view its about using each others knowledge and skills developing a tool(s) that could beneficial for the cause and the support of the beekeepers.

 

But I know what you saying @JohnFbut it would have been great having the leading agency (AFB PMP) involved in this. @Jesseddog

 

Have a read of what the Australians have done.

 https://www.agrifutures.com.au/wp-content/uploads/publications/13-080.pdf

 

 

 

Has something similar been written up for NZ dogs?  e.g. the sensitivity and specificity of detections of clinical AFB?  (and yes, bearing in mind that some of the 'false postives' will be sub-clinical detections, or just cases missed by human eyes).

Such a report could go in the NZ Beekeeper journal

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1 hour ago, JohnF said:

 

Has something similar been written up for NZ dogs?  e.g. the sensitivity and specificity of detections of clinical AFB?  (and yes, bearing in mind that some of the 'false postives' will be sub-clinical detections, or just cases missed by human eyes).

Such a report could go in the NZ Beekeeper journal

@JohnF, we have made several attempts of getting this process started but always have come  to the point where we would need to AFB PMP and / or MPI be part of it. As we need to have access legally of clinical AFB etc. We do need a " lead agency ". But as mentioned before ......

@Jesseddog

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10 hours ago, Rene Gloor said:

its never been about the funding/money. In my view its about using each others knowledge and skills developing a tool(s) that could beneficial for the cause and the support of the beekeepers.

 

But I know what you saying @JohnFbut it would have been great having the leading agency (AFB PMP) involved in this. @Jesseddog

 

Have a read of what the Australians have done.

 https://www.agrifutures.com.au/wp-content/uploads/publications/13-080.pdf

 

 

There are no issues with acceptance of research done overseas. The major issue with the above article its presentation of the results does not conform the established scientific norms for the description of their methods and materials and for presenting estimates of sensitivity and specificity. This makes it really hard to assess the validity of the estimates.

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10 hours ago, Rene Gloor said:

Have a read of what the Australians have done.

 https://www.agrifutures.com.au/wp-content/uploads/publications/13-080.pdf

 

 

2 minutes ago, AFB PMP Management Agency said:

There are no issues with acceptance of research done overseas. The major issue with the above article its presentation of the results does not conform the established scientific norms for the description of their methods and materials and for presenting estimates of sensitivity and specificity. This makes it really hard to assess the validity of the estimates.

Maybe @Dave Black feels like commenting...

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10 hours ago, jamesc said:

For serious erdication of AFB ..... why not take a leaf out of MPI's Bovis strategy  ..... on the mere whiff of suspicion cull the whole operation. I would suggest that AFB is far more antisocial than Bovis.

Wont work
There are no cows in the cities to reinfect the new clean Herds

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25 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Wont work
There are no cows in the cities to reinfect the new clean Herds

I rest my case your honour ..... those who purport to rule us know nothing about how we operate.

 

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Posted (edited)

@yesbutI don’t really have the time or inclination to read through this, surprisingly acrimonious, thread. Another one to evolve way beyond its remit.

 

 I had a skim through the RIRDC document, a pretty conventional one from a reputable government body and all the sections you’d want if submitting to a peer-reviewed journal. I don’t really think it’s reasonable to suggest it’s not written well enough to allow a ‘scientific’ assessment. It hasn’t been peer reviewed perhaps, but while I support the peer review process it hasn’t proved to be the blue tick of all things wise and true. It adds to a body of knowledge.

 

I don’t think it’s credible to argue that dogs can’t be a part of the solution. They are good enough to be trusted with the nation’s biosecurity after all. However, in legal circles tracker dogs and sniffer dogs are known to have a significant error rate and are not infallible ‘evidence’ for a court. Doesn’t make them useless. I don’t see that ApiNZ argue that you can’t use dogs either, but you do also have to satisfy the terms of your DECA. In short then, there seems to be ample room for a quick, negotiated solution here.

 

As the body responsible for ‘enabling’ progress I’d expect ApiNZ and not the Management Agency to do much better here, I see it as their job to facilitate how, not throw up barriers. That said, solving the AFB problem is ultimately up to Beekeepers, not the organisations they create to carry the blame.

 

Pragmatism rules. That will be all.

Edited by Dave Black
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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Dave Black said:

That said, solving the AFB problem is ultimately up to Beekeepers, not the organisations they create to carry the blame.

Lol, the floggings will continue until moral improves.
The AFB problem IMO is a monster well beyond the means of the beekeeper to solve.
Unless that is, the scope of your suggestion is such that it could or should include the lobbying of Govt by Beekeepers for draconian laws to be introduced that provide a budget and systems for control and confiscation of Hives etc

Similar to the new Gun Laws

Cant see that happening though
 

Edited by Philbee
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Dave Black is quite right that AFB is the beekeepers own problem. The management agency is there to educate and to deal with those beekeepers that for whatever reason fail to deal with their own AFB problem. Thay actually do have some pretty Draconian powers such as the right to enter properties to inspect hives and the right to order the destruction of hives with no compensation.

Compensation has been discussed in the past but especially at times like this when there is a downturn in beekeeping it would be an absolute disaster as people deliberately infecting their hives to gain compensation.

High levels of AFB are always the results of PPB .

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12 minutes ago, john berry said:

Dave Black is quite right that AFB is the beekeepers own problem.

John, do you want to see AFB eradicated or not 

If you do then it will require a departure from this traditional line of thought.

Its like saying a drug addicts habit is his own problem so he is responsible for dealing with it.
It is his problem but usually has no hope of dealing with it.

 

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14 minutes ago, Philbee said:

John, do you want to see AFB eradicated or not 

If you do then it will require a departure from this traditional line of thought.

Its like saying a drug addicts habit is his own problem so he is responsible for dealing with it.
It is his problem but usually has no hope of dealing with it.

 

Hallejuhah brother ..... you hit  the simple nail on the head ..... do we want to eradicate or not. It's a bit like saying we think we have a cure for the breast or prostrate, we're not  100% it works but we know it shows promise  ... are you in or do you want to wait and see ...... I know which way I'd go. 

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Here's an example of how entrenched the suspect Beekeeping practices are that are contributing to the AFB problem.
A very good Beekeeper looked at me with utter dismay a while back when I asked him why he had two FD boxes screwed two the rear of his truck deck
He said "What, I dont see how you can operate a beekeeping outfit without these"

They were live brood boxes that he transports frames of brood and bees in around the country evening up Hives in spring.
Some time before this he had said to me "Mate you'll get AFB soon enough, you can be sure of that.
I said, "But how, where will it come from"?

He said "Mate sometimes I get a case at an isolated site and I wonder where the heck it came from, you'll get it".

When he was explaining what these boxes on his truck were for I was thinking,

"So thats where his unexplained cases come from".

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One issue with the dog research is that the AFB agency does not/can not spend money without levy payers approval to do so. The beekeepers with the dogs who want the research done and then want to charge us beekeepers $200/hr +travel per hour to use them should just pony up them selves engage perhaps, John and his team and get it done. Then as the self employed entities you claw back the cost.

 

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1 minute ago, Philbee said:

Here's an example of how entrenched the suspect Beekeeping practices are that are contributing to the AFB problem.
A very good Beekeeper looked at me with utter dismay a while back when I asked him why he had two FD boxes screwed two the rear of his truck deck
He said "What, I dont see how you can operate a beekeeping outfit without these"

They were live brood boxes that he transports frames of brood and bees in around the country evening up Hives in spring.
Some time before this he had said to me "Mate you'll get AFB soon enough, you can be sure of that.
I said, "But how, where will it come from"?

He said "Mate sometimes I get a case at an isolated site and I wonder where the heck it came from, you'll get it".

When he was explaining what these boxes on his truck were for I was thinking,

"So thats where his unexplained cases come from".

So if the beekeepers are the problem then how on earth can the beekeepers solve the problem....they need help!  

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My view in this case is that the Pen is mightier than the Sword.

So IMO one day when the issue becomes a state of emergency, it will be effectively dealt with but we aren't there yet
 

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4 minutes ago, Dennis Crowley said:

One issue with the dog research is that the AFB agency does not/can not spend money without levy payers approval to do so. The beekeepers with the dogs who want the research done and then want to charge us beekeepers $200/hr +travel per hour to use them should just pony up them selves engage perhaps, John and his team and get it done. Then as the self employed entities you claw back the cost.

 

We have never asked the agency for money....We just want our dogs and handlers to be recognised and certified with annual auditing of the teams....before cowboys start training dogs.  We have  successfully trained several dogs now over the past 10 years.  We know how hard it is but feel we now have the experience behind us.  

We had the first dog trained for our own bee business after getting no help from the Agency, and had no intention to search other beekeepers hives.  Beekeepers wanted help and started asking for my dog to search their hives...I did this for serveral years at no charge, until one day a beekeeper said to me ‘you can not do this for free!!’  I said to him ‘what do you think its worth’ and he came up with my hourly rate.....  If we search 400 hives in one hour (which is easy done) then it costs 50 cents a hive....could you inspect 400 hives in one hour or even a day?!

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33 minutes ago, Dennis Crowley said:

The beekeepers with the dogs who want the research done and then want to charge us beekeepers $200/hr +travel per hour to use them should just pony up them selves 

 

Nobody is going to become a millionaire by charging out their AFB dog at $200 an hour. The investment in the dog is massive, for every hour that could be charged, there are many unpaid hours. As a purely money making venture, I would not even bother attempting this.

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My personal view (ie not speaking for @ApiNZ Science & Research or anyone else) - dogs are and should be part of a solution.

I think @Philbee has an interesting thought on a different way to approach AFB. But bear in mind that the agency is tasked under the Biosecurity act to act as a compliance agency.

Futility is asking or expecting Clifton, Marco and team to do things or deliver things that that just cannot legally do.

 

I also agree with Dave that there is appropriate information in the Australian report - especially around the sensitivity (how many confirmed AFB hives did they find) and specificity (how many hives without confirmed AFB did they indicate on). I don't know whether Rene, Richelle, Jan and others have run their dogs through apiaries that have also been 100% visually inspected?? Or is the trial that needs to be done.

 

Such a trial is not the sort of thing we do (we operate at a . .literally. . .smaller level :14_relaxed: ). But if there are members of the forum who want to form a research group, then come to conference and I'll introduce you to James and Ashley at Plant and Food - right up their alley

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11 hours ago, Jesseddog said:

We have never asked the agency for money....We just want our dogs and handlers to be recognised and certified with annual auditing of the teams....before cowboys start training dogs.  We have  successfully trained several dogs now over the past 10 years.  We know how hard it is but feel we now have the experience behind us.  

We had the first dog trained for our own bee business after getting no help from the Agency, and had no intention to search other beekeepers hives.  Beekeepers wanted help and started asking for my dog to search their hives...I did this for serveral years at no charge, until one day a beekeeper said to me ‘you can not do this for free!!’  I said to him ‘what do you think its worth’ and he came up with my hourly rate.....  If we search 400 hives in one hour (which is easy done) then it costs 50 cents a hive....could you inspect 400 hives in one hour or even a day?!

Jessedog, no I could not check 400 hives in an hour or day, but I do check everyday that i'm in the hives, and have done for years, so I wont be needing the dogs.

 I'm not against the dogs, we should use what ever we can. My posting was about the issue you are having with getting the dogs recognised as an expectable tool with the AFB agency, there seems to be a process/link missing from your work to get them recognised at the level you would like. Just saying heres a paper about dogs and we think they are really good is not enough sometimes and you have to provide as John says appropriate trials  that do come at a cost. I'm not a scientist so not my field of expertise and I'm not on the agency board so not privy to the discussions you have had with them to date, but remember that you all voted for no more money for the AFB Agency so they have to cut their cloth to suit that budget. 

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15 hours ago, john berry said:

Dave Black is quite right that AFB is the beekeepers own problem. The management agency is there to educate and to deal with those beekeepers that for whatever reason fail to deal with their own AFB problem. Thay actually do have some pretty Draconian powers such as the right to enter properties to inspect hives and the right to order the destruction of hives with no compensation.

Compensation has been discussed in the past but especially at times like this when there is a downturn in beekeeping it would be an absolute disaster as people deliberately infecting their hives to gain compensation.

High levels of AFB are always the results of PPB .

Even if there was provision for compensation under the American Foulbrood National Pest Management, section 162A(3)(c) of the Biosecurity Act 1993 would apply:-

"Compensation must not be paid if the person failed to comply with biosecurity law:

(i) in a serious or significant way

(ii) in a way that contributed to the presence of the organism

(iii) in a way that contributed to the spread of the organism"

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