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12 hours ago, Alastair said:

The answer Phil is more money for the AFBPMP. But that's not going to happen because back when more money was asked for, the moaning, crying, and general uproar the request generated meant the extra money didn't happen. And this was when beekeepers were making good money.

 

 

Ahh . . the levy change is still afoot Alastair. I don't know where its at currently ( @AFB PMP Management Agency ?)   but here's a link to the review document:  https://afb.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Management-Agency-Response.pdf  and there are more review documents at the levy page:  https://afb.org.nz/new-levy-proposal-2019/   

 

5 hours ago, Christi An said:

so the AFB strategy seems to not be working. I had the same thought when I read all those AFB case studies in the Journal...

 

 

4 hours ago, Alastair said:

I'll agree that it "seems" to be not working. 

 

But in fact it is working. The fact that we now have 5 times the hive density we did a few years ago, with a huge increase in migratory beekeeping, but AFB rates have not massively increased, shows it is working.

 

Over the last year we have seen enough incidents (only some reported), of AFB issues about to explode, that have been extinguished only by the actions of the AFBPMP. And the people who did not get AFB because of these actions are generally unaware.

 

The AFBPMP is "keeping a lid on", but failing to achieve total eradication. Because total eradication cannot be achieved by 30 part time inspectors. It requires better work from all beekeepers.

 

There have been considerable changes as Alastair mentions - not just in the hive numbers growing in the 19 years the OP mentions but also the changes in the AFB PMP and the cases highlighted in the media over the last 12 months.

 

2 hours ago, Sailabee said:

 

 Your isolation gives a limited view unfortunately - up here, there was an utter scoundrel who spread AFB incredibly widely badly with managed rentals on ones and twos and numbering well in the hundreds, who refused to believe that just removing the frame with visual AFB. They spend years trying to eliminate that fellow, and the infected gear kept on turning up and being sold under a range of aliases.

 

And the changes mean that this person can now be dealt with under biosecurity orders to destroy the gear. Previously the AFB PMP didn't have that authority I believe.

 

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Hilarious is right!  Rene knows his stuff. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing his ute around risk sites sniffing out the dreaded foulbrood.  Rochelle also.. (James wife)..  one mission sp

i'll be my usual blunt self and say only some of it is laziness. there is those who are anti establishment and they tend to get known and can be dealt with.  the rest tend to be the fruit cakes.

Maggie this is a popular opinion but i don't think it is actually the case.   The levies the "good" beekeepers pay are not subsidising the "bad" beekeepers. The money the "good" beekeepers a

4 hours ago, Sailabee said:

 

 Your isolation gives a limited view unfortunately - up here, there was an utter scoundrel who spread AFB incredibly widely badly with managed rentals on ones and twos and numbering well in the hundreds, who refused to believe that just removing the frame with visual AFB. They spend years trying to eliminate that fellow, and the infected gear kept on turning up and being sold under a range of aliases. If there was a buy back, I think the same thing would happen - beek would be paid out, but would not burn all the gear. Think about the gear suppliers - they would suddenly have little or no market, as there would be used gear free for the taking, or else, someone would have to go out and euthanise thousands of hives, and burn the lot - I wouldn't want to do that, and I think it would cause an uproar in the media.

Appeasement of gear suppliers is not a consideration.
The relevant question is whether any of the natural forward courses that the industry as a whole is likely to take will lead to a result that is different to the current one,

The current situation has instigated this thread.

IMO its a sure bet that nothing will improve and another sure bet that the situation will get worse if left.
So if the current situation is to remain then maybe we should be talking about what the real effects of that will be.
Maybe its not that serious after all??

I know it doesn't affect me, the AFB map clearly demonstrates that.


 

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23 hours ago, Dr Mark Goodwin said:

All New Zealand beekeepers have been forced pay significant amounts of money to the AFB Management Agency over the last 19 years to help them to eradication of AFB from New Zealand.   As we now have a higher number of hives with AFB than when the strategy started, even though disease levels had fallen each year for the 10 years before the strategy started, something has gone very wrong.

We seem to have forgotten that we set up the AFB Pest Management Agency to assist beekeepers to eradicate AFB from New Zealand, not for it to try to eradicate AFB for them.

 

The last sentence of this paragraph says it all.  

 

15 hours ago, Alastair said:

The answer Phil is more money for the AFBPMP. But that's not going to happen because back when more money was asked for, the moaning, crying, and general uproar the request generated meant the extra money didn't happen. And this was when beekeepers were making good money.

 

So, what hope now? Probably none.

 

However the fact that the handful of AFBPMP inspectors found a full one third of all AFB that was found in the country, is not just a sterling effort on their behalf, it is an incredible, astounding, amazing effort by those few part timers.

 

I just find it hard to tolerate the endless critisism thrown at the program. It is unfounded and ignorant. That is not refering to the OP, he raises some very good points. I am referring to the other dribble that gets posted.

 

 

 

There is a problem for some beekeepers who are paying enormous levies and have their AFB under control, that they are subsidising others who can't or won't detect AFB or run their operation in a manner to minimise the issue.  Essentially the latter group are blugging off the good beekeepers.

 

 

2 hours ago, JohnF said:

And the changes mean that this person can now be dealt with under biosecurity orders to destroy the gear. Previously the AFB PMP didn't have that authority I believe.

 

Some of the people dealt with lately should have been dealt with decades ago, and would have saved much grief for others.  

 

I believe, that beekeepers have to help eradicate AFB from NZ, but those long term recidivists and the inexperienced causing difficulties must be dealt with firmly.  

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1 hour ago, Philbee said:

 

IMO its a sure bet that nothing will improve and another sure bet that the situation will get worse if left.

 

 

As Alastair has said, I think things have already improved ! Look back over the 4 (3 ?) 'outbreak' cases that hit the media. Where were such reports 5 years ago ?

There is a new broom in the system and as I said to someone at the conference, think of the current plan as dating as far back as 2017. To keep bashing on about things in the 1990s is pointless - most of the beekeepers here weren't around then and tools/times have also changed (OK, not Apiweb :1_grinning: ).

As UK comedian said "I'd have 10 dollars on the Dalai Lama if I was a Tibetan man"

 

 

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If there's meant to be workshops as described in the PMS for approved beekeepers to meet, how can beekeepers be encouraged to these meetings?  Many have never attended a meeting.  Taking into account activity with surveillance in the past year, one would like to think this meeting activity is also in the pipeline.  

 

One of the reasons "we currently seem to be trying to find and destroy AFB hives faster than beekeepers can create them" is probably due to the fact that over the past 12 months problem areas and beekeepers have been targeted, therefore this could account for some of the rise in AFB cases.  It would be nice to think that this is a temporary phase, and then the PMP could get on with what it was set up to do, but if some of the predictions are correct with those forecasting a surge in abandoned hives, this intense surveillance activity may well be with us for sometime.  

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2 hours ago, JohnF said:

 

As Alastair has said, I think things have already improved ! Look back over the 4 (3 ?) 'outbreak' cases that hit the media. Where were such reports 5 years ago ?

There is a new broom in the system and as I said to someone at the conference, think of the current plan as dating as far back as 2017. To keep bashing on about things in the 1990s is pointless - most of the beekeepers here weren't around then and tools/times have also changed (OK, not Apiweb :1_grinning: ).

As UK comedian said "I'd have 10 dollars on the Dalai Lama if I was a Tibetan man"

 

 

Yes fair comment.

However in life, love and war it most often isnt the problem at hand that floors you.
One example is the current geopolitical environment.

There are lots of really serious issues happening but none are existential and thats because they for the most part are apparent and confronting, there are huge forces focusing on containment and deescalation.

Its the attack from the  blind side that will take you out, the unexpected.
My overall point is that given the current economic climate and the way it's trending, things can and probably will change at an unprecedented rate.

Its those changes that have the potential to completely overwhelm the already critically stretched systems currently in place.

This principle can be applied to the AFB and also the Varroa issues we currently have 

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1 hour ago, Philbee said:

Its the attack from the  blind side that will take you out, the unexpected.

Couldn't agree more. I find myself constantly checking  that the sky is still blue.

 

1 hour ago, Philbee said:

My overall point is that given the current economic climate and the way it's trending, things can and probably will change at an unprecedented rate.

Are you referring to the government's unexpectedly high surplus and the consequent likelihood of NZTA digging up your road ?

 

1 hour ago, Philbee said:

Its those changes that have the potential to completely overwhelm the already critically stretched systems currently in place

Sounds a bit like you are talking about my current account.

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3 hours ago, john berry said:

I would like to see the compulsory testing of bulk honey to find out which beekeepers have high spore levels so that they can be targeted for both inspection and education. I would like to also see a mandatory  one million-dollar fine for sending in a deliberately falsified sample.


Honey sampling is a cheap diagnostic tool, and the fines could help fund the AFBPMP

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3 hours ago, Philbee said:

Yes fair comment.

However in life, love and war it most often isnt the problem at hand that floors you.
One example is the current geopolitical environment.

There are lots of really serious issues happening but none are existential and thats because they for the most part are apparent and confronting, there are huge forces focusing on containment and deescalation.

Its the attack from the  blind side that will take you out, the unexpected.
My overall point is that given the current economic climate and the way it's trending, things can and probably will change at an unprecedented rate.

Its those changes that have the potential to completely overwhelm the already critically stretched systems currently in place.

This principle can be applied to the AFB and also the Varroa issues we currently have 

 

You’ve lost me Phil - are you talking about the missile attack on the Iranisn general, launched by the USA? Or fighting AFB ?  !

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5 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Maggie this is a popular opinion but i don't think it is actually the case.

 

 

The reality is that is how some beekeepers see it, and those beekeepers are entitled to an opinion, and they recognise as I stated before it is generally the beekeepers who can't or won't detect AFB or minimise the risk in their operation that cause the problem i.e. laziness.  Ill health and staff issues can also increase AFB incidences.  

 

It is good that we are having major inspections/detections, but if these were to become the norm forever and a day, there could be some beekeepers thinking - oh well an AP2 will be round soon, I'll leave the inspection to them.  

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32 minutes ago, JohnF said:

 

You’ve lost me Phil - are you talking about the missile attack on the Iranisn general, launched by the USA? Or fighting AFB ?  !

Im basically describing how the next 18 months could pan out in Beekeeping with regard AFB and Varroa

Thing is that the policy makers are mostly removed or insulated  from the realities of Beekeeping.
These policy makers have recent historical data that in most circumstances would be relevant, only in our case right now it probably isnt.
On the face of it its simple.

Market down turn = Less honey produced overall  from fewer Hives belonging to fewer Beekeepers.
Simple Business reality.

Get over it, move on.

 

However the  king hit will come from the blind side and thats the effects of thousands of redundant Hives sitting in paddocks untreated and un checked.

 

My parallel example with regard geopolitics fill the history books

Its not the serious problem you face square on that will hurt you, its the strike from the Blind side that can do the most damage with the least effort

 

 

 

The context of this relates to  budgets

Im saying spend the money even if they dont have it because the problem will only get worse as the industry shrinks

"They" is not the Beekeepers because they have no money

Or means to raise money

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10 hours ago, Philbee said:

Im basically describing how the next 18 months could pan out in Beekeeping with regard AFB and Varroa

 

Maybe . . perhaps . . . could. Wouldn't bet a staple on it though

 

10 hours ago, Philbee said:

Thing is that the policy makers are mostly removed or insulated  from the realities of Beekeeping.
These policy makers have recent historical data that in most circumstances would be relevant, only in our case right now it probably isnt.

 

If I remember correctly then the beekeepers who own the PMP are the policymakers. And given the board of the agency is full of . . .beekeepers . . . then I don't quite see how this relates

 

10 hours ago, Philbee said:

Its not the serious problem you face square on that will hurt you, its the strike from the Blind side that can do the most damage with the least effort

 

I think they call that . . .life ! Don't take it too seriously, no-one gets out alive anyway

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5 hours ago, JohnF said:

 

 

 

If I remember correctly then the beekeepers who own the PMP are the policymakers. And given the board of the agency is full of . . .beekeepers . . . then I don't quite see how this relates

 

 

 

I have no real problem with the board except that it is appointed rather than elected.

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3 hours ago, john berry said:

I have no real problem with the board except that it is appointed rather than elected.

 

This would make it rather expensive to hold these elections each time John . . . there are calls that go out for nominees to the board (in fact, one recently)

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22 minutes ago, JohnF said:

 

This would make it rather expensive to hold these elections each time John . . . there are calls that go out for nominees to the board (in fact, one recently)

Why would this need to be expensive?

Could surely be done electronically now...

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On 20/01/2020 at 12:42 PM, JohnF said:

Previously the AFB PMP didn't have that authority I believe.

what was it that changed? no law, act, statue has changed, has it?

 

4 hours ago, john berry said:

I have no real problem with the board except that it is appointed rather than elected.

elected by who? The NBA was charged with AFB elimination, so I guess only apiNZ members would vote, if they decided to open it up to their members instead of their own board appointing them (?). I am not an apiNZ member, so probably still no vote for the majority of registered beekeepers.

 

I think nearly all of the recently announced changes have been improvements, I presume these have come from management and that board has approved what was recommended to them. In any case I think there are a bunch of improvements and while I have been a very harsh critic writing letters to Rex in the past, I have been super pleased with changes. Feeling confident they are doing much better.

 

The Agency's board can't really change any of the statue around AFB. For example as I understand it they can't just suddenly invent fines and penalties that are not in the law without putting a new Act through Government again. However, I think we all support some level of cost recovery from miscreants. That said, with absolute power comes absolute corruption and they need to be careful: there are plenty of cases of frustrated/angry/clueless MPI officials wearing jackboots. I also think that the Agency should take the trouble to have an appeal route for anyone who thinks they got dealt with badly. A Beekeeping Ombudsman if you will.

 

So, while I'm not sure what the board could change because they have to follow statue. There is one thing the board could change. The annual accounts and budget are impenetrable so if you ever want to find out where the moneys goes and for what,  I would challenge anyone outside of those organisations to explain the published accounts in plain english. Don't we deserve plain english? It is all smoke and window dressing in my opinion. If we were to try and judge fair beekeeper fees, apiary fees and hive fees, (if all or any) it is totally impossible to understand from reading the accounts where money actually goes. We only know they want more..

 

I can only gather from reading what is in the accounts that very little of the budget is left for any kind of hive inspection (the sort of thing we might imagine them doing) and that most inspections are done under resourced or effectively free because the agency spent its money on other stuff. I say this based on very rushed and stressed AP2 doing exotic disease inspection and then a different AP2 who was sent to check AFB hives due to infected secondhand gear being sold into the local area. So in other words the agency doesn't look after its people in the field that well, but the money does go somewhere and presumably the SoE Asure Quality makes a profit that it gives to the government (?), I don't know.

 

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11 minutes ago, ChrisM said:

what was it that changed? no law, act, statue has changed, has it?

 

elected by who? The NBA was charged with AFB elimination, so I guess only apiNZ members would vote, if they decided to open it up to their members instead of their own board appointing them (?). I am not an apiNZ member, so probably still no vote for the majority of registered beekeepers.

 

I think nearly all of the recently announced changes have been improvements, I presume these have come from management and that board has approved what was recommended to them. In any case I think there are a bunch of improvements and while I have been a very harsh critic writing letters to Rex in the past, I have been super pleased with changes. Feeling confident they are doing much better.

 

The Agency's board can't really change any of the statue around AFB. For example as I understand it they can't just suddenly invent fines and penalties that are not in the law without putting a new Act through Government again. However, I think we all support some level of cost recovery from miscreants. That said, with absolute power comes absolute corruption and they need to be careful: there are plenty of cases of frustrated/angry/clueless MPI officials wearing jackboots. I also think that the Agency should take the trouble to have an appeal route for anyone who thinks they got dealt with badly. A Beekeeping Ombudsman if you will.

 

So, while I'm not sure what the board could change because they have to follow statue. There is one thing the board could change. The annual accounts and budget are impenetrable so if you ever want to find out where the moneys goes and for what,  I would challenge anyone outside of those organisations to explain the published accounts in plain english. Don't we deserve plain english? It is all smoke and window dressing in my opinion. If we were to try and judge fair beekeeper fees, apiary fees and hive fees, (if all or any) it is totally impossible to understand from reading the accounts where money actually goes. We only know they want more..

 

I can only gather from reading what is in the accounts that very little of the budget is left for any kind of hive inspection (the sort of thing we might imagine them doing) and that most inspections are done under resourced or effectively free because the agency spent its money on other stuff. I say this based on very rushed and stressed AP2 doing exotic disease inspection and then a different AP2 who was sent to check AFB hives due to infected secondhand gear being sold into the local area. So in other words the agency doesn't look after its people in the field that well, but the money does go somewhere and presumably the SoE Asure Quality makes a profit that it gives to the government (?), I don't know.

 

Chris ,Asure Quality are completely out of the system now so I am led to believe.

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12 minutes ago, Bighands said:

Chris ,Asure Quality are completely out of the system now so I am led to believe.

yes this is one of the changes that I think are good thing and is why I feel confident they are going to do better, it also feels like it removes a whole layer of admin.

That is not to say AQ have done anything bad, I think all SoE are problematic.

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Well said Tristan, you are exactly right on all counts. 👍

 

In fact you must have some experience dealing with some of those people, because those excuses you quoted, I too have heard all of those, almost word for word for what you said. 😎

 

Re AsureQuality, they were intially involved to bring in management expertise and quality control to ensure everything was done right and above board. However I did talk with Rex one time and he expressed deep dissatisfaction about what they were charging for their services, he didn't name the figure but clearly felt it was way over the top. Not sure but i think it may have been him that initiated getting rid of AQ and thereby freeing up a bunch of money.

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13 hours ago, JohnF said:

If I remember correctly then the beekeepers who own the PMP are the policymakers. And given the board of the agency is full of . . .beekeepers . . . then I don't quite see how this relates

Im thinking one level above PMP 

Its the Minister who needs to be involved here because he has the Money.

This sort of thinking is way outside what is natural to me.

I spend a fortune of my own money on stuff and will likely fund the OA honey residue test development in NZ however sometimes the buck needs to end with the Tax payer because that might be the only way it can work

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if the taxpayer is supposed to pay for something, he/she should be asked first.

 

As for  paying for the (costly) development of a varroa treatment. If I helped finance the whole endeavour I would then in return expect to recieve treatments at a reduced / no price.

 

philbee... ever thought abouy crowdfunding? just an idea...

 

As for AFB those "hard case" beekeepers that have been repeatedly non compliant should bear the full cost of the system.

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