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AFB checks


Diane
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Hi all

Hope all well with bees. Quick question. I do a few AFB checks for people in my local area. I thought the bee keeper needs to be present and pass me frames. Is this the case or am I wrong. I don't mind doing it all but it is alot quicker if the owner is there opening hives and moving boxes. 

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I have only had one AFB ckeck done by someone else in my first year of having bees. Was four hives and not knowing anyone with bees it was such a great lesson(and free) to see an experienced beekeeper go through the hives and inspect them. I learnt alot from that visit. Then sat courses and got my deca. Now have 12 hives and been disease free. So i think its important that the hive owner is there to see what goes on. Every bit ya can do to educate a hive owner is a bonus. I reckon.

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10 hours ago, Diane said:

I thought the bee keeper needs to be present and pass me frames. Is this the case or am I wrong. I don't mind doing it all but it is alot quicker if the owner is there opening hives and moving boxes. 

I like to have the beekeeper there to watch what I am doing and so that i can explain why I do things and what I am seeing.

I like to think that the beekeeper gets a lesson at the same time.

 

I reckon it is slower if the beekeeper helps as I am able to do it my way a lot quicker and easier.

 

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  • 1 month later...
7 hours ago, Oma said:

I recently did a AFB check for a new beekeeper who was really struggling to get someone to check 7 hives.   I’m sure glad this newbie was there to explain the history of each hive as I would have been very confused with what I found. There was no AFB evident and I was happy to put my name on the sheet of paper to say so.

But 5 of the hives had been attempts to split nukes off the one moderately strong hive due to worries it would swarm. The beekeeper had mistakenly identified drone cells for queen cells.  

But we had a grand time, they had never seen eggs or lava in the bottom of cells, can now identify stored pollen.  Learned to uncap suspect brood and identify when it looks healthy, used a match stick to identify and remove sac brood, learned to checked for Varroa in broken drone brood,  looked for DWV.  The list goes on.

Unfortunately they had been told by someone to keep the new nuks shut down for two weeks.  Now I’m a long way from being an expert but the results spoke for themselves, there were some dead and very unwell bees in a couple of the nuks.  At least I wasn’t left wondering what happened. 

This beekeeper has ambitions to get to 50 hives by the end of next season, I hope the pointers I gave them over the 2 hours I spent will show them this is not something you can jump into overnight without some serious input.  And I explained where to find a course to get a deca for themselves.  

nice work @Oma

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I agree it is a lot slower with the beekeeper there, but that is not always practical and I think depends on the circumstance. 

 

As an  AP2 for exotic surveillance for 15 years, and because of the geographic size of the inspection area and the amount of hives and apiaries to inspect, and working on week days, also round weather patterns etc, I would never have finished my Biosecurity NZ contract, nor would the routes I traveled have been as economic, and my line manager placed a certain emphasis on time management skills.  

 

However with a COI for which the beekeeper pays, I will only inspect if the beekeeper is there and I tell them how long the inspection will take and it is an excellent learning tool for them, and I also have a chat about what other "tools" they have in their educational and networking kit.  

Edited by Maggie James
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