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I don't believe you can stop inspection but you have always had the ability to have it done at a different time for a good reason.

One good reason would be if you had just re-queened the hives. In my opinion doing hives in the middle of winter is another one.

When I was an AP two I occasionally stopped partway through an inspection because I considered the hives were unsuitable to do at the time usually because of either re-queening or because the hives were in a stupid place and working them (even very gently and quietly) was a danger to the general public.

In theory an AFB check is to find out the beekeepers competency as well as finding active disease but in practice you would not believe the crap hives I have seen and unless they had AFB nothing could be done about it although in the worst cases you might have a quiet word with the AP one about the beekeeper being a high risk in the future.

Most of the hives I used to inspect were very good and well looked after, but a lot of those well looked after hives still had AFB and some of the worst ones didn't.

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Just to let you all know I have been appointed onto the AFB Board as the APINZ Board member rep.  

Yes, indeed.  The powers of compulsory inspection of beehives on private land go back to the Apiaries Act 1906.  And yes, it is a serious power, and one that the Govt does not let loose of easily.  Th

I may be completely wrong on this Nick but my understanding is  that under the AFB PMP destruction can only be ordered on hives that have clinical symptoms of AFB. It appears that the management agenc

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On 7/25/2020 at 6:38 AM, Bellow said:

The cases where supers have been destroyed all relate to beekeepers that have a very high infection rate and no traceability of supers

 

A high infection rate is not a sudden thing.  It indicates a breakdown in the inspection systems (frequency and/or quality) that are expected of responsible beekeepers.  And if, in the interim while the infection rate grew, the beekeeper has not put some serious traceability into place, it seems to me that the supers will pose a real and significant and ongoing risk, both to this beekeeper and to all the other beekeepers who are nearby...

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Imagine the levels of AFB in a ropy larva. Now imagine those same levels (or higher) seen from a teaspoon of wax bits on the floor. Or a few pieces of debris from supers. No brood this no clinical signs. What do you do ?

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5 hours ago, JohnF said:

Imagine the levels of AFB in a ropy larva. Now imagine those same levels (or higher) seen from a teaspoon of wax bits on the floor. Or a few pieces of debris from supers. No brood this no clinical signs. What do you do ?

If I am the affected beekeeper I will burn them.

It is the most effective method to eliminate this ongoing source of reinfection to my hives, even if I have a DECA that allows paraffin dipping I would just burn the lot.

if I got so much AFB, I was probably cutting corners in many places including on my paraffin dipping.....

 

 

 

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As I see it there are three main difficulties to the eradication of American foulbrood.

Number one is beekeepers who lack the experience to identify an AFB infection. Many in fact most of these beekeepers these days will have had the necessary education to identify AFB but education and experience are not the same thing.

Number two is beekeepers who have both the experience and education but have some sort of mental block which prevents them from seeing AFB in their hives. I have seen this on a scary number of occasions. They will pull out a frame of brood, look at it and put it back in the hive without checking. If you are looking over their shoulder and point out the obvious infection they are quite capable of identifying that it is AFB. These are often very experienced beekeepers and I think they desperately don't want to have AFB so they just don't see it or at least not until the point when it is too obvious to ignore and it has already been spread.

Number three is bee havers who own thousands of hives and have full scales corporate plans on how hives should be run but never lift the lid themselves.

Number one can be dealt with by very targeted education and mentoring.

Number two is sometimes help by monitoring and mentoring but backsliding seems to be common. I'm sure there is an answer but it's not going to be a simple one.

Number three is a largely  new phenomenon and until we routinely use Honey testing to identify AFB problems we will have no idea of just how good or bad the situation is with these hives. If half the horror stories I hear about corporate beekeepers AFB problems are true then they are probably our biggest problem but how do you check 10,000 hives and which 10,000 need checking?

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25 minutes ago, john berry said:

As I see it there are three main difficulties to the eradication of American foulbrood.

Number one is beekeepers who lack the experience to identify an AFB infection. Many in fact most of these beekeepers these days will have had the necessary education to identify AFB but education and experience are not the same thing.

Number two is beekeepers who have both the experience and education but have some sort of mental block which prevents them from seeing AFB in their hives. I have seen this on a scary number of occasions. They will pull out a frame of brood, look at it and put it back in the hive without checking. If you are looking over their shoulder and point out the obvious infection they are quite capable of identifying that it is AFB. These are often very experienced beekeepers and I think they desperately don't want to have AFB so they just don't see it or at least not until the point when it is too obvious to ignore and it has already been spread.

Number three is bee havers who own thousands of hives and have full scales corporate plans on how hives should be run but never lift the lid themselves.

Number one can be dealt with by very targeted education and mentoring.

Number two is sometimes help by monitoring and mentoring but backsliding seems to be common. I'm sure there is an answer but it's not going to be a simple one.

Number three is a largely  new phenomenon and until we routinely use Honey testing to identify AFB problems we will have no idea of just how good or bad the situation is with these hives. If half the horror stories I hear about corporate beekeepers AFB problems are true then they are probably our biggest problem but how do you check 10,000 hives and which 10,000 need checking?

Number Four: Disgruntled staff

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1 hour ago, john berry said:

Number three is bee havers who own thousands of hives and have full scales corporate plans on how hives should be run but never lift the lid themselves......

 

Number three is a largely  new phenomenon and until we routinely use Honey testing to identify AFB problems we will have no idea of just how good or bad the situation is with these hives. If half the horror stories I hear about corporate beekeepers AFB problems are true then they are probably our biggest problem but how do you check 10,000 hives and which 10,000 need checking?

 

Your whole post was a pretty good analysis John.

 

Re the bit I've quoted, the agency is planning to do a lot more testing this coming season. It's expensive though, something around $140 a test. (it's not as simple as those bought tests, because the concentration in honey is much lower than in a ropy larva). 

 

So the issue is how to carefully choose who and what they will test. One of the criterion will be beekeepers who never report any disease, or almost no disease, especially if those around them are reporting a lot more.

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There is a perception among some beekeepers that small\medium beekeepers are targeted more and treated more harshly for the same offence than large corporate's. Hopefully things are changed but a few years ago a group of local concern beekeepers including myself approached the agency because of the concerns about the number of AFB  hives people getting with the only thing in common being a particular corporate beekeeper as a neighbour. I have to say I was very underwhelmed by the response to this major problem.

I could of course name names but  I have nothing but strong circumstantial evidence and hearsay and also to be quite frank the particular person involved had a reputation for using some of their non-existent AFB as payback.

If there is anyone out there so naive as to believe that AFB is not sometimes spread deliberately then I'm afraid you are mistaken.

I suspect it is becoming more common but it has always occurred occasionally and I can remember an incident from around 40 years ago. There are some deeply unpleasant individuals out there.

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A bit late to this thread but the Biosecurity Act 1993 powers available to the Management Agency are quite straight forward.

 

Clause 8 of the Biosecurity (National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan) Order 1998 confers the following Biosecurity Act 1993 powers on the Management Agency and its Authorised Persons to implement the plan order:

  • s106 Power to require assistance
  • s109 Power of inspection
  • s119 Power to seize abandoned goods
  • s121 Power to examine organisms
  • s122 Power to give directions
  • s128 Power to act on default
  • s130 Declaration of restricted place
  • s131 Declaration of controlled area
  • s135 Options for cost recovery
  • s136 Failure to pay

The Management Agency and its Authorised Persons have had access to these powers since 1998 (with the exception of s131 which was conferred in 2012). The Management Agency has made extensive use of s109 and s121 and limited use of s122 since 1998.

 

Since late 2018 the Management Agency has made greater use of the full set of Biosecurity Act 1993 powers available to implement the National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan. The Management Agency's use of Biosecurity Act 1993 powers is described in the Operational Plan:

 

https://afb.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/AFB-Operational-Plan-January-2020.pdf

 

The Operational Plan has been reviewed by the Minister for Biosecurity and his officials, and they are satisfied that the Management Agency's use of Biosecurity Act 1993 powers described in the Operational Plan are consistent with the Biosecurity (National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan) Order 1998.

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Okay. I read the whole thing and found it a bit wordy and hard to follow. 

You have my  full support up to the point where one person (AP 1) has the power to order of the destruction of nonclinical possibly\probably contaminated equipment. I fully accept there are times when the destruction of this type of material is a really good idea and I'm sure a lot of thought and consideration  goes into the making of this sort of decision but there seems to be no provision for arbitration.

The penalties listed at the end are interesting. I had forgotten just how severe the penalties for breaking the rules can be.

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28 minutes ago, john berry said:

I fully accept there are times when the destruction of this type of material is a really good idea and I'm sure a lot of thought and consideration  goes into the making of this sort of decision but there seems to be no provision for arbitration.

Can you dream up a  hypothetical scenario when arbitration might be desirable ? Seems to me the "thought and consideration" presumably by experts would preclude any arbitration (argument?)

Edited by yesbut
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Is the management agency's 3.8 apiary register on page 10 openly shared with APINZ to use on non-AFBNPMP business such as when APINZ might decide to promote a commodity levy proposal? What level of privacy protection is afforded to the apiary register? Who actually controls this register and what purposes are allowed?  Is the register shared with anyone else? Is there any legal framework around the existence of the register that is or would be approved by the Privacy Commissioner?

 

I think many beekeepers have the understanding that the register is only used by the management agency for management agency work by Approved Persons in the line of their official business, but is that really true?

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2 hours ago, yesbut said:

Can you dream up a  hypothetical scenario when arbitration might be desirable ? Seems to me the "thought and consideration" presumably by experts would preclude any arbitration (argument?)

Yes.

I am playing devils advocate here a bit as I have been one of the people pushing for harsher enforcement for a long long time.

Like I've said before I don't know the intimate details of the beekeepers involved and suspect they were initially targeted because of complaints from neighbouring beekeepers suffering from AFB outbreaks and wondering where it came from.I can feel sympathy for people with a major AFB problem but it has to be dealt with. I have no reason to doubt the integrity of the people currently in power . As of this moment I am very happy with what they are doing .When I started we had apiary inspectors and then a apiary  advisory offices and they were almost universally of very high calibre and integrity.I have been honoured to call many of them my friend. I can only think of two that were not of such high calibre and it really concerns me what would happen if we get another one like those two .

It is unfortunately far too easy to think of a scenario where someone like me with under 400 hives could end up with an infection rate of over 10% through no fault of my own. I know it's hard to imagine but some imaginary unscrupulous beekeeper might just dump a site and between three or four of mine and then leave them to die of AFB in the autumn.Having to burn 50/60 hives would be a severe blow to me but having to burn all my honey supers would be the end. 

I do not believe that this would happen, but it does concern me that it could happen.

 

The answer might be as simple as taking swabs off a percentage of the gear and if it exceeds percentage X then use a match.

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John,

 

Note the 10% AFB only counts towards enforcement if an AP2 finds AFB in 10% of a beekeepers hives at the time of inspection. The cases of AFB found and reported to the Management Agency by the beekeeper are not counted.

 

BTW. Beekeepers whom have been subject to Management Agency actions on default typically have not reported any cases of AFB in the previous 3 years...…..and yet our AP2s find AFB infection rates between 17% and 87% of hives at the time of inspection...…

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2 hours ago, ChrisM said:

Is the management agency's 3.8 apiary register on page 10 openly shared with APINZ to use on non-AFBNPMP business such as when APINZ might decide to promote a commodity levy proposal? What level of privacy protection is afforded to the apiary register? Who actually controls this register and what purposes are allowed?  Is the register shared with anyone else? Is there any legal framework around the existence of the register that is or would be approved by the Privacy Commissioner?

 

I think many beekeepers have the understanding that the register is only used by the management agency for management agency work by Approved Persons in the line of their official business, but is that really true?

The apiary register is not openly shared with ApiNZ and the data is protected by the provisions of the Privacy Act 1993.

 

If you have concerns you should raise these with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

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25 minutes ago, AFB PMP Management Agency said:

The apiary register is not openly shared with ApiNZ and the data is protected by the provisions of the Privacy Act 1993.

If you have concerns you should raise these with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

 

actually NO, here is what the office of the privacy commissioner says if I were to have some concerns:

 

Before you make a complaint

Before you make a complaint to us, contact the agency and let it know what the problem is. Agencies can often sort out problems more quickly without the need for us to get involved. An early and informal resolution can save time, stress, and money. If you don’t know who to talk to, ask for the agency’s privacy officer. All agencies should have at least one person who’s familiar with the agency’s privacy obligations.

end of quote.

 

So who is your privacy officer? 

 

In an earlier thread Dennis Crowley in an ApiNZ capacity informed us that they had sought legal advice it was all OK to use the apiary register. and that is old news.

I attach a screen shot of two important responses. Apparently a LOT of important people approved this use of the apiary register.

However the more they profess their innocence the more inclined I am to hide my spoons.....

 

So, let's assume that the apiary register CAN be used for non AFB work and you were just afraid to say that plainly.

What is the legal framework on which decisions are based that allowed the apiNZ commodity levy proposal to use the apiary register?

Did ApiNZ pay for the hours of Management Agency staff to sort and sift out all the beekeepers who qualified to be sent their commodity proposal? 

It only went to beekeepers with more than 25 hives if I remember correctly. 

Is this in fact all controlled by AsureQuality? If so, who paid them to do that work? 

 

I've no intention of making a complaint if there is already a legal framework in place. 

Is it a big deal to ask what are the rules around the apiary database?

Maybe you could point to those rules pretty easily?

 

image.thumb.png.5ba4bd33b6ddf3c9948f9bef9dee1d6b.png

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5 minutes ago, ChrisM said:

 

actually NO, here is what the office of the privacy commissioner says if I were to have some concerns:

 

Before you make a complaint

Before you make a complaint to us, contact the agency and let it know what the problem is. Agencies can often sort out problems more quickly without the need for us to get involved. An early and informal resolution can save time, stress, and money. If you don’t know who to talk to, ask for the agency’s privacy officer. All agencies should have at least one person who’s familiar with the agency’s privacy obligations.

end of quote.

 

So who is your privacy officer? 

 

In an earlier thread Dennis Crowley in an ApiNZ capacity informed us that they had sought legal advice it was all OK to use the apiary register. and that is old news.

I attach a screen shot of two important responses. Apparently a LOT of important people approved this use of the apiary register.

However the more they profess their innocence the more inclined I am to hide my spoons.....

 

So, let's assume that the apiary register CAN be used for non AFB work and you were just afraid to say that plainly.

What is the legal framework on which decisions are based that allowed the apiNZ commodity levy proposal to use the apiary register?

Did ApiNZ pay for the hours of Management Agency staff to sort and sift out all the beekeepers who qualified to be sent their commodity proposal? 

It only went to beekeepers with more than 25 hives if I remember correctly. 

Is this in fact all controlled by AsureQuality? If so, who paid them to do that work? 

 

I've no intention of making a complaint if there is already a legal framework in place. 

Is it a big deal to ask what are the rules around the apiary database?

Maybe you could point to those rules pretty easily?

 

image.thumb.png.5ba4bd33b6ddf3c9948f9bef9dee1d6b.png

Chris, APINZ did not use the database for the commodity levy proposal, I was saying that under some certain circumstance that the data base may be able to  be used, and if so APINZ would still not be able to see the data base. As has been the case since the NBA times,  

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2 hours ago, john berry said:

I know it's hard to imagine but some imaginary unscrupulous beekeeper might just dump a site and between three or four of mine and then leave them to die of AFB in the autumn.Having to burn 50/60 hives would be a severe blow to me but having to burn all my honey supers would be the end. 

So is this burning of the supers where the arbitration comes in...they shouldn't be burnt because you might need them, or they mightn't need burning as the experts say ?

Edited by yesbut
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1 hour ago, yesbut said:

So is this burning of the supers where the arbitration comes in...they shouldn't be burnt because you might need them, or they mightn't need burning as the experts say ?

The Management Agency directs the affected beekeepers to burn used supers when there is high levels of AFB as described above AND the beekeeper has not complied with the traceability requirements that he/she agreed to in their DECA.

 

If the affected beekeepers had maintained the traceability of their gear as they agreed in their DECA it would be relatively straight forward to differentiate which gear came from infected hives and which gear came from uninfected hives....and in this situation the Management Agency would only direct the beekeeper to burn gear from infected beehives.

 

Allowing infected gear to be put back on beehives is not doing anyone (the affected beekeeper or neigbouring beekeepers) any favours.

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2 hours ago, Dennis Crowley said:

Chris, APINZ did not use the database for the commodity levy proposal, I was saying that under some certain circumstance that the data base may be able to  be used, and if so APINZ would still not be able to see the data base. As has been the case since the NBA times,  

 

Thanks Dennis that is great news actually. 

Well, sorry to bang on about it, but then what was used to create the mailing list for the commodity levy voting papers? 

As someone who has never sold a drip of honey, not registered for RMP nor NP1 not registered with MPI for export nor any other of the various registration taxes that have been invented so far it is pretty bizarre that I would be asked to vote on a commodity levy, much less want to exercise a vote in something that makes others pay a fee, but not me.

The only people who know how many hives I have are the Apiary Register guardians... 

What other trigger would put me over the line to be sent voting papers?

 

No offence intended, I'm just saying that it would be nice to understand what the process was because it looks quite suspicuous for people like me on the outside struggling to make any sense of what goes on.

 

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1 hour ago, Dennis Crowley said:

In Exec AGM meeting tomorrow in WLG will ask the question for you.

How many hives do you run? Do you have the name at the top of the email where your notice came from.

would have been about 34 hives,  name at top of email Chris Mitchell.

Below is a screen shot of the email and name at top of email and at bottom is personalised PIN and Password for the vote.

Maybe it is possible that electionNZ.com has obtained this information from the apiary register?

cheers.

 

image.thumb.png.1b0187162daf1590485089a7cfdb5fec.png

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My personal feelings are that the apiary register should remain with asurequality , that way it would be seen to be independent of any beekeeping organisation and only made available to pmp for afb use .

thats what it is for .

 

 

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9 hours ago, ChrisM said:

would have been about 34 hives,  name at top of email Chris Mitchell.

Below is a screen shot of the email and name at top of email and at bottom is personalised PIN and Password for the vote.

Maybe it is possible that electionNZ.com has obtained this information from the apiary register?

cheers.

 

image.thumb.png.1b0187162daf1590485089a7cfdb5fec.png

Chris that is from Election NZ, they are the organization that ran the voting for the commodity levy. They run a lot of election's in NZ.

That email was not from APINZ, but was on behalf of the commodity levy voting.

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59 minutes ago, Dennis Crowley said:

Chris that is from Election NZ, they are the organization that ran the voting for the commodity levy. They run a lot of election's in NZ.

That email was not from APINZ, but was on behalf of the commodity levy voting.

Well, over the various threads a number of people have voiced disquiet over this and that includes me too. The register is required by law for AFB elimination. It should not be for the whim of ApiNZ to use it for every proposal they might come up with, even if they direct a third party (election nz) to use it on their (ApiNZ) behalf from another party (Asure Quality) that doesn't let either of the other parties see the data in some mind boggling maize. Meanwhile the Management Agency seems to have no control over this data and no will either.

 

It is a fact that MPI requires registration fees for NP1 and RMP and for exporting beekeepers to be registered too. Possibly they have other registers too (?). WHY wasn't that data used?

If the MPI data on commercial beekeepers is in fact not usable then MPI should refund all those fees because they are incompetent and it would effectively have been shown to be a revenue gathering exercise as many suspect(?).

 

My feedback is simply that collecting data for AFB elimination and use by the management agency then using it for ApiNZ projects isn't ever going to be willingly accepted by a lot of beekeepers. 

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