Jump to content

AFB Detector dogs: with MPI funding


ChrisM
 Share

Recommended Posts

On 29/12/2020 at 6:47 PM, jamesc said:

Kick in the teeth ..... no not really. We initiated our dog program to solve a problem that was knawing away at us .... employing overseas staff who didn't appreciate the seriousness of AFB and so making us think outside the square to solve the problem , which we have.

What we discovered was that the dogs were quite good at what they did. They aren't a one shot wonder, but a very effective tool to do large scale rapid screening ..... 800 hives in an evening session was the record I think.

The kick in the the teeth was when we suggested to the industry that the dogs might be quite a good tool to help control a growing problem , and there we met with a beauracratic stonewall.

Funny how good ideas are so often thwarted by beaurocratic Nay Sayers ... ever see that movie where the dude gets sick of saying No in life, so decides to Yes to everything ..... and how his life suddenly got a positive spin.

 

So kick in the the teeth ?  

The kick in the the teeth was from those who purport to  govern how we operate ,and  who stifled free thought and progress.

But good things take time eh .... so lets bring it on ..... new energy to  look at dogs as a cheap and effective way to mass screen hives for problems before they surface at a too  late stage and the Beeman  in the paddock has to foot the bill and pick up the pieces from his neighbours incompetence.

 

One last point .... and it sort of demonstrates the lack of cohesion within the industry.

Our dog program has been in operation for about ten seasons.

 Rene is a man with a lifetime of dog experience and steered our operation from inception to fruition and absorbed a lot of information about how dogs work around the bees and what does and doesn't work ...

If the industry was a cohesive forward thinking industry it would build on that experience

 

Reinventing the wheel is often a waste of precious resources ! 

 

The issue has long been stated that the dogs needed scientific validation - as in, running independent trials which should have been relatively easy to do (dog handler being blind as to which hives are clinically infected and which do not).

Until now, the trials have never been done.

What Rene has done and demonstrated repeatedly has been phenomenal . . Peter believes there is a different way to do it (hmm, yep, must be beekeeping-related all right). This will involve the trials mentioned, I believe

 

Someone else pointed out on FB out that the agency was was against dogs, thanks to comments by Frans Laas i the video featuring James - Frans, who hasn't been part of the agency for some years now.

 

Part of the issue for sensitivity (percentage of true positives found) and specificity (how many false positives found in addition to true positives) is the issue of sub-clinical infections. But other tools exist for this as well.

 

In short, if you have ideas on combatting AFB or other beekeeping issues, get a industry group together and apply for funding from MPI to work up the ideas, perform trials etc. The fund is called the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures.

 

This fund has contributed to several AFB projects recently - the Southern Beekeeper 'AFB-free' project, the phage work at Massey Albany and now this latest dog detection work. Will they contribute to more? For sure . . 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, JohnF said:

 

The issue has long been stated that the dogs needed scientific validation - as in, running independent trials which should have been relatively easy to do (dog handler being blind as to which hives are clinically infected and which do not).

Until now, the trials have never been done.

What Rene has done and demonstrated repeatedly has been phenomenal . . Peter believes there is a different way to do it (hmm, yep, must be beekeeping-related all right). This will involve the trials mentioned, I believe

 

Someone else pointed out on FB out that the agency was was against dogs, thanks to comments by Frans Laas i the video featuring James - Frans, who hasn't been part of the agency for some years now.

 

Part of the issue for sensitivity (percentage of true positives found) and specificity (how many false positives found in addition to true positives) is the issue of sub-clinical infections. But other tools exist for this as well.

 

In short, if you have ideas on combatting AFB or other beekeeping issues, get a industry group together and apply for funding from MPI to work up the ideas, perform trials etc. The fund is called the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures.

 

This fund has contributed to several AFB projects recently - the Southern Beekeeper 'AFB-free' project, the phage work at Massey Albany and now this latest dog detection work. Will they contribute to more? For sure . . 

 

True John

we were reluctant to spend 100k

on a trial for a project that had met a stonewall of negativity from ‘The Industry Body’.

Hopefully these are different times and something usefull will be achieved.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It was suggested by someone in the scientific community that to get a peer reviewed trial conducted from go to wo would be in the region of 100k.   

The article in stuff about the new trial mirrors that.

It was also suggested by Agency Honcho's at the time that having to come up with that sort of cash might be too much for a backyard operation, and there was no need to get too enthusiastic about the Dog Program taking off.

 

The head Honcho's were right. We weren't really interested in going through the rigmarole of getting the begging bowl out and stuck to sorting our own operation out.

What it did show was the lack of forward thinking and wish for the industry  leaders to move forward  with innovative thinking and fight a disease that is highly social and has no friends.

 

Anyway. Today is a new dawn . What is done is done so lets move forward. The new dog program has funding to kickstart the initial ground work. Lets hope the industry will get behind it and supply expertise and knowhow as and when needed.

 

I know we greatly appreciated @JohnF's generosity with his lab testing.

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, jamesc said:

It was suggested by someone in the scientific community that to get a peer reviewed trial conducted from go to wo would be in the region of 100k.   

The article in stuff about the new trial mirrors that.

 

Although this work includes training the dogs in the first place James. And then the trials presumably. I would also suggest that a lot of the other money is 'in kind' (eg AFB hives etc which will be worth $1000 each no doubt)

 

14 hours ago, jamesc said:

The head Honcho's were right. We weren't really interested in going through the rigmarole of getting the begging bowl out and stuck to sorting our own operation out.

 

 

Welcome to the world of funding apiculture research in NZ . . .the begging bowl or cap in hand are particularly apt expressions. Completely unworkable methods to fund useful findings.

 

14 hours ago, jamesc said:

I know we greatly appreciated @JohnF's generosity with his lab testing.

 

This method is being written up for publication - the entrance test that @john berryrefers to earlier in this thread.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@JohnF would it be fair to say that a large amount of bee research being done overseas is relatable to NZ? Not negating the research done here because there are NZ specific problems. I just wonder if researchers in nz is trying to source money from a very small group, whereas overseas there is a huge pool of people to fund from.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...