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Is beekeeping in NZ turning into a Police state


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Is beekeeping in NZ becoming a police state ?

 

We are being asked to give comments if we are happy with a 30% increase in our hive levy.

What for ?

So we can have a electronic narking system.

Face more interference in our beekeeping by the Api Lead AFB committee

 

Beekeepers are facing a down turn,  1000s of tonnes of honey remain unsold, increase in varroa control cost, increase RMP fees, and so on

 

Will this proposed dramatic increase on the the AFB levy (dont forget about the increase last year )  just push beekeepers into hiding hives, not reporting AFB and live in fear of the police state.

 

Its well proven that having a friendly cooperative community is far more successful than a police state  

 

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the afb levy is worth every cent. i suspect we have probably lost more $$$ to afb than we have ever paid in levy.   the catch here is that in a down turn it becomes more important to fu

Just done some sums how this will affect me. I have 320 hives. Multiply that by $1.70 and add $40.00, we get a total of $584.00.   I guess there are worse things I could do with $584.00. My

Is beekeeping in NZ becoming a police state ?   We are being asked to give comments if we are happy with a 30% increase in our hive levy. What for ? So we can have a electronic nar

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I think if the AP 2's could comment, you would find that those beekeepers who don't register all their hives and who don't keep the locations of them up to date, also cut a lot of other corners, and prove to be a major problem for the PMP. 

The reason Mycoplasma Bovis got so out of hand was because the company who bought it in did not keep their nait register details up to date - there is a parallel in beekeeping with hive rego's.

 

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30 minutes ago, Sailabee said:

I think if the AP 2's could comment, you would find that those beekeepers who don't register all their hives and who don't keep the locations of them up to date, also cut a lot of other corners, and prove to be a major problem for the PMP. 

The reason Mycoplasma Bovis got so out of hand was because the company who bought it in did not keep their nait register details up to date - there is a parallel in beekeeping with hive rego's.

 

I agree with most of your points.  But AP2s are contractors, not the regulatory body. Whilst some AP2s don't state they are an AP2, I think some of the comments AP2s make these days are highly unprofessional, and I am most surprised that the PMP does not pull them into line over some of their strongly opinated public statements.   There are some AP2s, that quite frankly beekeepers must shake in their boots when they are advised that their hives will be inspected by a specific inspector.

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The standard reply you get from the AFB manager when a complaint is made about a AP2 is "we fully support our people"

I am aware of a few justified complaints re AP2s and they are still out doing the jobs.  Just what happens in a police state 

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3 hours ago, morporks said:

Will this proposed dramatic increase on the the AFB levy (dont forget about the increase last year )  just push beekeepers into hiding hives, not reporting AFB and live in fear of the police state.

 

Thing about that is the cost of NOT funding the AFBPMP is a lot higher, as anyone who has had a decent swag of AFB can attest.

 

Many of us have not had a big AFB problem that has cost a lot of money, so may not realise. However that happy situation is because of the work of the AFBPMP.

 

Prior to the creation of an organised AFB control program, AFB infections in NZ were running at an estimated 30%. Yes, 30%.

 

Like probably most, I am not looking forward to getting my bill. But I do believe it is cheaper than the alternative.

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6 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

Does the regulatory body of the AFB PMP cover costs or make a profit .

 

It has to follow a planned budget. If it accidentally overspends or underspends unexpectedly then this  $$ is the start point to be put right in the following budget. The same if forecast income ends up higher or lower. Overall a balancing act to cover costs. This is as distinct from an SoE such as Asure Quality which I believe is trying to make a profit.

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8 hours ago, morporks said:

Face more interference in our beekeeping by the Api Lead AFB committee

morepork you must be having a bad day.

The AFB Board set their own levy and resourcing requirements, APINZ does not instruct them in their dealings.

APINZ is the "holder of the warrant" if you like, and as long as the AFB board are working to the rules set out in legislation they go about their business independent of APINZ

 As the "holder of the warrant" APINZ gets 1 seat at the board table, which at this time is myself. In that seat I have no more sway than the other board members, as "holder of the warrant" APINZ does get to hear about changes and budgets before the public and if needed a remark or two may be needed, but apart from that APINZ does not direct the AFB board, but you knew all that.

2 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

Does the regulatory body of the AFB PMP cover costs or make a profit .

Cover costs and has to cut its cloth like everyone else to suit its budget/income.

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Hello Dennis

As you well know ApiNZ is responsible for running the AFB PMP  Its written in the law books.   Doesn't matter how you want to explain it. it clearly  says ApiNZ is the  management agency.    This gives Api the right to structure  the committee as it see fit.  Api has the final say on who is on the committee.  If you are unsure on this point I can supply you the link to the government web site  where the order in council can be viewed. 

 

As ApiNZ rep on the board it would be your job to sack the rest of the committee, if ApiNZ deemed they need sacking (The committee has been sacked in the past by the management agency)

 

But this is not why I started this topic.  I want to have a discussion on how the 30% increase on the levy is viewed by Beekeepers

 

 

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57 minutes ago, tristan said:

the afb levy is worth every cent.

i suspect we have probably lost more $$$ to afb than we have ever paid in levy.

 

the catch here is that in a down turn it becomes more important to fund afb pmp.

as people walk away from hives, or trim staff and skimp on checking and dealing with afb, the more effect it will have on everyone else. as beeks walk away there is less beeks left behind to clean up the mess. even companies downsizing means less money goes to afb pmp.

but failure to fund it properly now will cost us a whole lot more later on down the track. 

So we straight shooters will pay a continuing increase in levy. To sort out the problem ones...

Like dog registration.

 

Why can't costs be recovered. 

 

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1 hour ago, morporks said:

As ApiNZ rep on the board it would be your job to sack the rest of the committee, if ApiNZ deemed they need sacking (The committee has been sacked in the past by the management agency)

Seriously?  The beekeeping industry is very small.  Who on earth, do you think would want to apply for a space on the board in the scenario you state?  Or do you have a list of suitable candidates?

 

I also believe the PMP must look at cost recovery and pursue vigorously in problem areas.  

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2 hours ago, morporks said:

Hello Dennis

As you well know ApiNZ is responsible for running the AFB PMP  Its written in the law books.   Doesn't matter how you want to explain it. it clearly  says ApiNZ is the  management agency.    This gives Api the right to structure  the committee as it see fit.  Api has the final say on who is on the committee.  If you are unsure on this point I can supply you the link to the government web site  where the order in council can be viewed. 

 

As ApiNZ rep on the board it would be your job to sack the rest of the committee, if ApiNZ deemed they need sacking (The committee has been sacked in the past by the management agency)

 

But this is not why I started this topic.  I want to have a discussion on how the 30% increase on the levy is viewed by Beekeepers

 

 

I'm well aware of the rules. And yes we can have input into who is on the board, and if they are in need of sacking I'm sure it will happen, when that need arises.

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36 minutes ago, Maggie James said:

Seriously?  The beekeeping industry is very small.  Who on earth, do you think would want to apply for a space on the board in the scenario you state?  Or do you have a list of suitable candidates?

 

I also believe the PMP must look at cost recovery and pursue vigorously in problem areas.  

Hmmm ....  I often thought of getting my bum on the the AFB board. But I don't think they would have me.

A few years ago they took us to court for not paying the levy for a few years.

The levy owed ticked up to 10k plus, I think.

My gripe was that I wasn't getting value for money.

 

We have moved on, mellowed, the Missus writes the cheque for the agency and I just crack a few more lids.

 

I still think the levy is a waste of my time  cracking lids.

 

A rough back of the envelope calc puts the levy take at around $1.5mil, correct me if I am wrong. Then you get the user pay fee for DECA's etc .....

 

 And I still wonder if I am getting value for money .  We still get dip sticks running bees with no care for AFB  and infecting their neighbours.

The agency comes in as the fire brigade to clean up after the damage has been done. That is not progress.

The agency has on offer tools to help it in the fight .....  swab testing, honey testing, dogs ..... but at then end of the day, it always seems to be  the same ..... more is said than done.

 

Gvt intervention hacks me off. Generally it is run by well meaning people whose hands are tied by protocol.  No amount of monitoring is gonna solve the problem. AFB is like COVID ..... it is here to stay until the industry unites and makes a stand to do things by the book.  

Where is the Messiah to unite the tribes ..... I don't think it is the agency.

 

I propose a new approach.

 

 

Let her run Baby. Those that don't care or are too ignorant to sort the problem will be wiped out .... and those of us that do will retreat to the back blocks to wait out the storm .....

 

 

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5 minutes ago, jamesc said:

 

Let her run Baby. Those that don't care or are too ignorant to sort the problem will be wiped out .... and those of us that do will retreat to the back blocks to wait out the storm ....

You're a dag. I got no back and beyond valley to snuggle into....

How's the writing going?

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I went to an agency  meeting about ten years ago in Christchurch to discuss AFB.

 

Present were the rulers and movers of the the bee industry, many of  who still have a loud voice ...... the head of the agency, retired now to give him his due, and   a well known Canterbury industry  identity, and the head honcho of  one of the larger Bay of Plenty honey operations.

 

It was one of  the more depressing meetings I have ever been to.  

The listing impression  was the total  lack of drive and vision by those in charge to put in place science and innovation  and practicality to sort the AFB problem.

 

I'll leave it at that.

My view hasn't changed in ten years, and the  AFB status of the industry is still the same now as it was back then .

 

Which is a shame because there is some radical technology out there that could be a game changer ..... and it probably doesn't take a levy to make it happen.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Gino de Graaf said:

So we straight shooters will pay a continuing increase in levy. To sort out the problem ones...

Like dog registration.

 

Why can't costs be recovered. 

 

that unfortunately is the price we pay for "boom and bust". those who are left behind get landed with the clean up bill. just like a wild party, someone gets stuck cleaning it up after.

 

some cost can be recovered, but like in a few cases already, you have to find the people first. some have gone overseas.

but your never going to get paid for all your hive and income looses due to the afb they caused.

you could try suing but the saying "blood from a stone' comes to mind.

 

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9 hours ago, tristan said:

that unfortunately is the price we pay for "boom and bust". those who are left behind get landed with the clean up bill. just like a wild party, someone gets stuck cleaning it up after.

 

some cost can be recovered, but like in a few cases already, you have to find the people first. some have gone overseas.

but your never going to get paid for all your hive and income looses due to the afb they caused.

you could try suing but the saying "blood from a stone' comes to mind.

 

Nah, AFB was there before this cycle of boom and bust. And no wild party. Sure, probably exaggerated due to the boom.

It's just like dog registration. Tax the lot to sort the few. 

 

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10 hours ago, Gino de Graaf said:

Nah, AFB was there before this cycle of boom and bust. And no wild party. Sure, probably exaggerated due to the boom.

It's just like dog registration. Tax the lot to sort the few. 

 

quite rights its exaggerated by the boom. but there was always issues with certain people with their idea or lack of afb control.

most certainly its like dog rego, but probably more like police. we pay a huge amount of tax to have the police, but every dollar spent we get 10 back.

just like most parts of life its the minority who spoil it for the rest of us and it costs us to deal with it and clean up the mess left behind.

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Good beekeepers have always subsidised bad beekeepers and they have always had to clean up after them as well.

At least the legislation does enable the bad beekeepers to eventually be tracked down and dealt with.

I don't mind paying a bit more money if it goes towards tracking them down faster.

I do however have a problem with paying what is really a tax with no representation. Under the National beekeepers Association the AGM might have been interminable but at least everyone had a chance to speak their mind. Under Apinz the AGM is over before it starts and dissenting voices are not encouraged or given any real platform.

That's their choice if that's how they want to run their own organisation, it makes for nice quick meetings but they don't represent all the levy payers and I have never really had an answer as to why the AFB board members are appointed rather than elected.

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13 hours ago, Gino de Graaf said:

Nah, AFB was there before this cycle of boom and bust.


AFB outbreaks, often in conjunction with the downturns of 'boom and bust' are far from a new thing within the beekeeping industry.  The late 1940s/early 1950s are a good example.  During that time the (then) Dept of Agriculture inspectors probably exceeded their mandate, acting to destroy abandoned and neglected apiaries, even without first determining that they did in fact have AFB, or who their owner had been.  But by the early 1950s, the industry got AFB 'under control' again...  And with (about 1950) the outlawing of some of the 'treatments' in use to 'cure' AFB, things settled down somewhat.  That, combined with some confidence in a new marketing endeavour (the Honey Marketing Authority), brought back some sense of stability leading into the 1960s.

 

But the point: boom and bust, with AFB oubreaks following a bust, are a repeated feature of NZ beekeeping...

 

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This is the other side of the argument applyig Donald Trump’s philosophy

A)    In the UK Beekeepers don't have to be registered so you have a free for all because bee keepers have no single voice, (how the pestcide idustry wants it)

1)      The Centre of Ecology and Hydrology used to test for pesticides in honey, they got bought by the pesticide industry last year, now they don’t

2)      Reading University have the equipment to test but don’t have the staff to do it, but is being funded millions for a “posh bee” research program by the pesticide industry promoted by the British Bee Keeper Association

a.       Unbeknown to anyone they imported colonies from abroad (20,000+ imports into the UK last year with less than 0.1% tested) and one of the researchers took one home, so we had an outbreak of EFB close to us.

3)      Last “winter” we lost 31 of our 49 hives.  Perfect nest, brood, stores, pollen, and all that was left was the queen and a few nurse bees.

We had the stores tested (7 samples randomly taken from 13 we took) and they contained between 170 and 560 x the legal food limit of glyphosate. 5 nucs we had were fed sugar all winter, all survived no problem.  We also had honey tested we had taken mid-summer, No glyphosate.

Everyone pointed the finger at us as no one had heard of glyphosate (Roundup) being a bee killer.  Every one has of course heard of CCD but don’t know what the cause is.  Glyphosate affects the bees ability to home so on a sunny winters day they go foraging and don’t come back.

Due to food safety issues we reported the test results to the Health and Safety Executive.  They took more samples and we were told the test results may take a little while to come through because the private company that does all the testing for government “does not have a standard test for glyphosate”

Last month Bayer who sell glyphosate paid out over £8 BILLION to cancer victimsin the USA   and in the UK we paid Bayer £600 MILLION to help them through Covid, and  we don’t even test for glyphosate, the most widely used pesticide in the world.

As Donald would promote “don’t test for it and you won’t find it”

Your challenge is to find out if your governing body is being funded by the pesticide industry.

 

B)    We currently don’t have any varroa.

We presume varroa jumps off onto forage plants and on to the next bee hence it spreads.

The losses we had were (now we find) replicated by other local bee keepers (but no one is under any obligation to report anything) such that by March 2020 there was only 1 other colony in our area other than our 18 remaining ones.

 

We use atomised oxalic acid (GasVap) whenever we observe varroa on the bees (done away with mesh floors and the Langstroth bottom entrance). Between 1 and 3 gms per treatment depending on the size of the hive. It does not taint the honey and we can do a hive a minute.

 

Why do you have varroa? Because there is a plethora of treatments out there and most are a waste of time because they don’t get to every corner of the hive BUT of course the suppliers have a market to keep resellimg it.  The oxalic brands cost about a £1 a treatment but of e-bay its about 3p.

WORD OF EXTREME CAUTION>  wear full face mask and filters.  We eat it rhubarb .. but we don't breathe it in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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