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I have heard beekeepers say that the TXT notification of nearly AFB is useful, but does not provide enough information to respond appropriately.

 

I can understand that for privacy reasons the PMP would not allow for divulging the hive owner's name, or detailing the exact location of the AFB found.

 

But is there a reason that additional information such as the number of diseased colonies found, and/or information about whether any were deadouts/robbed.  Either/both of those bits of data could help a beekeeper know how dramatically to respond.  Multiple cases and robbed out hives nearby would initiate a much stronger response than the finding of a single case, though obviously any AFB nearby would call for heightened awareness, more/better inspections and possibly some form of tracking of hives and supers from an apiary.

 

 

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Agree that levels of severity would be interesting.   Something to bear in mind though is that a lot of reports are generated from hobbyists that have found a hive with a mild infection. The

I have heard beekeepers say that the TXT notification of nearly AFB is useful, but does not provide enough information to respond appropriately.   I can understand that for privacy reasons t

I was mostly thinking of having a scale of infection for people reporting their AFB finds. I think this would be really useful to the management agency. They could of course use different colours for

I have always thought that when AFB is reported there should be several categories i.e. light infection (five or less infected cells per brood frame) moderate infection (most of the brood is still healthy) heavy infection (most of the brood is infected and hive is losing strength) followed by dead and not robbed and dead and robbed out.

One light infection in your zone is certainly a lot less of a worry than 50% heavy infection in an apiary of 40 hives.

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Something we could trial here if people are willing as a form of supplementary info, not to replace any official system.

......I have insert category (one of the 5 options john mentioned) in this area, on this date.
We could add in the option to not allow replies, so it acts as a notification and prevents people getting on their high horse.

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as I understood it the red apiaries on apiweb are for all reported AFB within 2km and remain red for 2 years. But the email/text messages are only for more serious cases that exceed a threshold.. So, people can find and fix afb and your apiary can go red without any text alert being sent. But all of the more serious problems like robbed out colony or multiple outbreak over multiple sites and/or beekeepers then we are given a text alert and email, as an additional heads-up.

 

Can someone correct me if I am wrong about this or if it changed?

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2 hours ago, Grant said:

Something we could trial here if people are willing as a form of supplementary info, not to replace any official system.

......I have insert category (one of the 5 options john mentioned) in this area, on this date.
We could add in the option to not allow replies, so it acts as a notification and prevents people getting on their high horse.

People are interested in these serious cases, and the option of not allowing replies is interesting.

 

If people think it's a good idea, what about approaching the AFB PMP and they have that thread all to themselves for these serious cases with the no reply option.  That way we are viewing true fact from the horse's mouth.  

 

My concern is if everyone could post on the thread, we could get some real scaremongers causing a lot of stress for people, and in some instances affecting innocent beekeepers to their detriment financially.  

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1 hour ago, Maggie James said:

My concern is if everyone could post on the thread, we could get some real scaremongers causing a lot of stress for people, and in some instances affecting innocent beekeepers to their detriment financially.  

We could so something to prevent that. I think what separates this idea is, that rather than hiding behind the anonymity of the maps and colours, you are clearly stating to others that you have identified and issue and the severity level. You are also identifying yourself, which will go some way towards reducing the stigmas associated with AFB outbreaks. 
It's only when these things get normalised, that people will see its nothing to get ostracised about and that by telling others, you are being proactive and alerting the neighbourhood. If anyone has concerns about scaremongers, then surely those will quickly become apparent and as the info is public domain, they could be checked/verified amongst "friendly" beekeepers in the area (especially for those that might welcome the assistance).

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6 hours ago, NickWallingford said:

I have heard beekeepers say that the TXT notification of nearly AFB is useful, but does not provide enough information to respond appropriately.

 

I can understand that for privacy reasons the PMP would not allow for divulging the hive owner's name, or detailing the exact location of the AFB found.

 

But is there a reason that additional information such as the number of diseased colonies found, and/or information about whether any were deadouts/robbed.  Either/both of those bits of data could help a beekeeper know how dramatically to respond.  Multiple cases and robbed out hives nearby would initiate a much stronger response than the finding of a single case, though obviously any AFB nearby would call for heightened awareness, more/better inspections and possibly some form of tracking of hives and supers from an apiary.

 

 

Great idea, would be awesome to have that info supplied via the afbpmp text message direct to affected beekeepers inside the fly zone. As John said, severity grading of some sort would be very useful info. 

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5 hours ago, Alastair said:

Agree that levels of severity would be interesting.

 

Something to bear in mind though is that a lot of reports are generated from hobbyists that have found a hive with a mild infection. The bees are still actively guarding the hive and the hive poses little to no risk to other hives.

 

But here's the thing. For this hobby hive to have caught AFB, there has to be something else going on in the area, likely an AFB robout. So often the source is never found, but it must be in the area somewhere. So a mild infection in a hobby hive can indicate the likelihood of other bees in the area also being exposed.

 

Different if the reported infection is in a commercial hive/s, the infection may well have come from other hives in the same outfit. But for a hobbyist with one or two hives to get AFB, unless he or she has exchanged gear with another beekeeper, the infection represents a bigger problem in the area.

I can't fault your logic since you can't really share any brood between hives if you only have one hive. Yet at the same time hobbyists get more AFB than commercials in the statistics?

 

Looking to the AFB maps that are published AFB seems to be worst in major metropolitan areas and this is where most hobbyists are, whereas big commercial apiaries in the boon docks are away from those cess pits relatively speaking.

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15 minutes ago, ChrisM said:

I can't fault your logic since you can't really share any brood between hives if you only have one hive. Yet at the same time hobbyists get more AFB than commercials in the statistics?

 

Looking to the AFB maps that are published AFB seems to be worst in major metropolitan areas and this is where most hobbyists are, whereas big commercial apiaries in the boon docks are away from those cess pits relatively speaking.

Maybee the ones near metros are easier to audit?? You seek and you will find...

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3 minutes ago, Gino de Graaf said:

Maybee the ones near metros are easier to audit?? You seek and you will find...

 

I don't know if they focus on these hot spots on the map, but I hope they already do that, surely they would (?). I know they also audit people who never report afb. But I think the map focus would be a better one.

 

A Level 4 lockdown of bees so they can't go in nor out of Auckland and Wellington might be the next best thing maybe better to call it a "regional quaratine". This could effectively keep migratory commercials out of the metro area but given the AFB maps that might be in their best interest anyway and an even playing field if it applies to all of them. It remains to be seen if they could all agree to that willingly but the amount of Manuka in the CDB wouldn't seem like a big money earner? This might allow the afb sources to be worked on a bit more easily if no migratory hives are inside the net and all that remains are hobby hives on permanent sites. If there are some abandoned deadouts causing mayhem that need to be tracked down this might be a lot easier if no hives are being moved around. West Auckland is by all accounts a problem area I don't know anything about the commercials there.

 

It would impact on breeders selling bees if their customers were outside of the border. So maybe a more palatable solution is to have an afb sniffer dog on the borders and to check bees passing over borders with a 24hour dump site. Arrive at night and leave the next night.

Just thinking up new ideas.. dont' get all upset.

 

There was a campaign to rid Hamilton of AFB a little while ago but I don't know the details or the progress of that. It would be great to have a focus on that for one city or other and to perfect it before trying to repeat that on the other concentrations of it. Probably Auckland is just too big. The situation in Wellington looked dire on the map too?

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1 hour ago, ChrisM said:

I can't fault your logic since you can't really share any brood between hives if you only have one hive. Yet at the same time hobbyists get more AFB than commercials in the statistics?

 

Looking to the AFB maps that are published AFB seems to be worst in major metropolitan areas and this is where most hobbyists are, whereas big commercial apiaries in the boon docks are away from those cess pits relatively speaking.

Please clarify.

 

What areas in the country are you specifically referring to?  I don't think this relates to Central Canterbury

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I certainly find the text alerts frustrating. All they say is:

 

LOCAL AFB ADVICE

Notified within 2km of your MAF site IDs ...

Increase frequency of inspection for 18 months.

 

Pretty sure a rob out notice is different to this but it really in not very informative. For me, if a hive is found with some cells of AFB 1.5km away I am not that concerned. If it was a heavy infection 50m down the road I need to be far more concerned. 

 

I agree with @john berry. A scale of severity would be good. As would a more accurate indicator of how far away it was (why not put the actual straight line distance?).

I imagine that in fairly remote areas putting a distance on it might give away who had the AFB but in more urban areas this would be easy to do without any privacy issues. 

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9 minutes ago, Otto said:

I hate hobbyist-bashing when it comes to AFB. Yes, some get caught out using second-hand gear etc but AFB is primarily a disease spread by commercial beekeepers.

i, a hobbyist, haven't felt like the posts so far have been bashing hobbyists.

here are a few ideas/hypotheses that i've got, true or false who knows

  1. hobbyists are more likely to mis-diagnose hive death due to varroa/pms as afb than others
  2. hobbyists are more likely to source hives from dodgy sources (i.e. buy in an afb hive)
  3. hobbyists are at least equally, and maybe more?, likely to report afb if they find it
  4. hobbyists are more likely to be do stupid stuff with second-hand gear
  5. the impacts of *most*  hobbyists are likely relatively small if they get afb - one or a few hives only, often not robbed out, non-migratory, not selling gear/hives, will burn. Unfortunately some will allow these hives to be robbed out though, which is terrible for everyone nearby.
  6. hobbyists are less likely to be moving hives around the place

I used to think that hobbyists were more likely to stick our heads in the sand and ignore afb, but looking at reports of various medium sized commercial outfits in mid-canterbury, the wairarapa, and other regions recently, i no longer think this is true on a number of hives involved basis....

 

i do think there is risk with us hobbyists in that many of us have a deca but only limited experience, and some of us do coi sign-offs for equally inexperienced beekeepers. It would inconvenience me, but there might be some value in requiring hobbyists with few hives to have at least another (even if inexperienced?) beekeeper look through their hives once in a while?

 

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I was mostly thinking of having a scale of infection for people reporting their AFB finds. I think this would be really useful to the management agency. They could of course use different colours for different threat levels.

2 km is a pretty short distance and I have seen many AFB outbreaks where many of the infected hives would be more than 2 km away from the original source.

Forget about hobbyist\commercial who was worst at spreading AFB.

AFB outbreaks are caused by individuals from all sectors of the beekeeping community and I'm not talking about those that get AFB I am talking about those that spread it .

Fortunately most beekeepers at all levels are either competent or willing and capable of becoming competent.

 

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2 hours ago, ChrisM said:

I can't fault your logic since you can't really share any brood between hives if you only have one hive. Yet at the same time hobbyists get more AFB than commercials in the statistics?

 

Looking to the AFB maps that are published AFB seems to be worst in major metropolitan areas and this is where most hobbyists are, whereas big commercial apiaries in the boon docks are away from those cess pits relatively speaking.

In all the years I was an AP2 inspecting hobbyist hives, there was the odd hobbyist that was incredibly unlucky to get it.

 

Then there was one hobbyist who had received dreadful advice to amalgamate a weak hive with a strong hive.  The strong hive was taller than me, and sadly when I inspected one cell of AFB in one of the brood boxes and the gear all beautiful and new.  If I had inspected it 10 minutes later, it is highly likely that the colony would have removed that one cell of AFB

 

All the other AFB urban hives year in year out, were interestingly from some rent a crowd outfit running as a commercial operation.  I doubt very much that in these instances AFB was never spread via a swarm, cos quite frankly these hives were not strong enough to swarm. 

 

The latter two examples of beekeeping here (the talk, but can't walk), I believe are the people who should be targeted in the urban environment.  

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3 minutes ago, Maggie James said:

All the other AFB urban hives year in year out, were interestingly from some rent a crowd outfit running as a commercial operation.  I doubt very much that in these instances AFB was never spread via a swarm, cos quite frankly these hives were not strong enough to swarm.

i think rent-a-hive operations are really polarised - amazing or terrible.

i'd be keen on inspecting them all once, identifying which group they fall into and going from there

 

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3 minutes ago, tommy dave said:

i think rent-a-hive operations are really polarised - amazing or terrible.

i'd be keen on inspecting them all once, identifying which group they fall into and going from there

 

Tell ya what, from the ones I have inspected, yer can inspect them in less than five minutes once on site.  V economic surveillance indeed!

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1 hour ago, john berry said:

I was mostly thinking of having a scale of infection for people reporting their AFB finds. I think this would be really useful to the management agency. They could of course use different colours for different threat levels.

2 km is a pretty short distance and I have seen many AFB outbreaks where many of the infected hives would be more than 2 km away from the original source.

Forget about hobbyist\commercial who was worst at spreading AFB.

AFB outbreaks are caused by individuals from all sectors of the beekeeping community and I'm not talking about those that get AFB I am talking about those that spread it .

Fortunately most beekeepers at all levels are either competent or willing and capable of becoming 

So far all we know is that it was found, I would like to know how aswell, for example early stage, smelly stage, dwindling or dead and/or robbed out? 

And if found robbed out and the neighbours get it afterwards there should be liability for negligent beekeepers.

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Liability for negligence beekeepers would be a wonderful thing except that it would make it even more likely that AFB would not be reported by some individuals. I can see no valid reason however why when an AP2 inspector finds robbed out AFB hives why there should not be a large fine which could go towards the management programs running costs.

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It's a good idea, but seriously who's going to report a robbed out AFB

No one. The agency could.

Self reporting will usually minimise severity. 

A hive alive with with 1 or 50 AFB cells makes no difference, as long as it' reported and burned ASAP.

The dead AFB is bad news and most likely will never be self reported. 

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1 hour ago, Maggie James said:

Tell ya what, from the ones I have inspected, yer can inspect them in less than five minutes once on site.  V economic surveillance indeed!

done right, financially sound :)

possibly less so now that people can't easily sell multi-floral for $10++ a kg for blending though

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10 minutes ago, john berry said:

Liability for negligence beekeepers would be a wonderful thing except that it would make it even more likely that AFB would not be reported by some individuals. I can see no valid reason however why when an AP2 inspector finds robbed out AFB hives why there should not be a large fine which could go towards the management programs running costs.

Imagine some misfortune, 

Beekeeper feeds hives sugar and bees rob out an AFB. This could happen at any stage, and that robbed out hive had a light infection.

 

I reckon it could be quite difficult to diagnose an AFB rob/starve out. 

Especially a few cells, a rotten one easier. 

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