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Copied from Beekeeper media release

Quote/ Ninety seven percent of beekeepers surveyed in June said that AFB control is vital to the NZ’s biosecurity and the honeybee industry. Most felt that enforcement, training, communications, monitoring and administration all need to be modernised and improved so we can collectively deliver our ultimate goal of eradicating AFB.

 

Your Board accepted the challenge and immediately began the planning process. Last week invited beekeepers, MPI, Plant and Food Research and Assure Quality met in Wellington to better equip the Pest Management Plan. The goal, to set the platform for a 5-year governance and operational plan focussed on AFB management and the challenges faced now with a much bigger industry. / Unquote

 

I would like to see question by question , answer by answer, how exactly and if indeed the results of the survey actually created the mandate for what is almost certainly going to be an expensive, ongoing and impossible operation.

I suggest you all get out your checkbooks and brace yourselves for a feefest.

This whole operation is likely to be long on education and consultation, short on proactive enforcement.

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Simple:

Enforcement

Punishment.

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Soften us up with an apparently pointless MPI listing fee, then....

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Simple:

Enforcement

Punishment.

Im not sure whether the legal framework exists for effective action.

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It's not too difficult to come up with some good ideas. The problem comes with getting them put into legislation. What we have now is not what the beekeepers wanted in the first place its the compromise that was reached between us and the government. We could just drop the whole thing but then if someone had dead AFB being robbed out there would be nothing anyone could do about it. At least now the destruction of AFB hives can be enforced. The problem is a lack of follow-up and a lack of penalties for recidivist incompetents. I won't mention names but I saw a sign today advertising hives for sale. Let's just say the sign is a lot more professional than the person's ability to deal with AFB and I wouldn't take one of those hives as a gift. I know three people that have obtained hives from that source in the past each with 100% burn rate.

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Copied from Beekeeper media release

Quote/ Ninety seven percent of beekeepers surveyed in June said that AFB control is vital to the NZ’s biosecurity and the honeybee industry. Most felt that enforcement, training, communications, monitoring and administration all need to be modernised and improved so we can collectively deliver our ultimate goal of eradicating AFB.

 

Your Board accepted the challenge and immediately began the planning process. Last week invited beekeepers, MPI, Plant and Food Research and Assure Quality met in Wellington to better equip the Pest Management Plan. The goal, to set the platform for a 5-year governance and operational plan focussed on AFB management and the challenges faced now with a much bigger industry. / Unquote

 

I would like to see question by question , answer by answer, how exactly and if indeed the results of the survey actually created the mandate for what is almost certainly going to be an expensive, ongoing and impossible operation.

I suggest you all get out your checkbooks and brace yourselves for a feefest.

This whole operation is likely to be long on education and consultation, short on proactive enforcement.

 

 

The vital data missing was how many beekeepers actually responded to the survey. Assuming the 97% is correct then the total respondees could be as few as 100 beekeepers (that's about a quarter of the Auckland Beekeepers Club, by the way).

 

The fact there was no survey data detail makes one suspicious as to the level of analysis supporting their contention. Feels like fluff and spin.

 

Lies, damn lies and statistics as Benjamin Disraeli (writer of fiction and British PM) was quoted.

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I love the instant negativity. There's no merit at all in whats come out of the survey ?

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As a new beek just coming up to the 12 month mark since undertaking a two day beek course and buying two hives, I did the one day DECA course a couple of weeks ago. Being a newbee I followed all the pre-course instructions and bought the yellow AFB book and studied the contents ahead of time and all was good. Got the notification yesterday in the email to say I had passed. Just had my hives inspected for AFB by a certified inspector at my cost.

 

What I found most interesting while attending the course was talking to some of the other 50 odd participants in the course, and I have to say that my alarm bells were ringing. My observations were as follows:

 

  1. the hobbyists present [like myself] were pedantic about their hives and their desire to 'do it right', and based on my discussions with those there, I would suggest are low risk to the industry in terms of AFB.
  2. there was an asian family in attendance, with four senior's and one 20yr? old. When it came to sitting the test, they moved to the back of the room and one of the woman checked all of the papers and filled in the blanks or corrected answers. They present a considerable risk to the industry, particularly if they are already, or are intending to be, commercial. If they are prepared to cheat on a simple test, what other shortcuts are they prepared to take?
  3. I sat next to a commercial bee keeper for most of the day. He claimed that he was looking after +600 hives and had been commercial for 4 years. He had't read the yellow book, stated that this was his first AFB 'thing' he had ever been to, but had never seen any AFB in his hives [not sure how he would know]. OMG, is this not a big risk to the industry?

 

None of the above is a slight on anyone, just my observations.

I can definitely say that 99% of those leaving the room on the day would have left with a better understanding of AFB which is a plus, but is that enough?

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As a new beek just coming up to the 12 month mark since undertaking a two day beek course and buying two hives, I did the one day DECA course a couple of weeks ago. Being a newbee I followed all the pre-course instructions and bought the yellow AFB book and studied the contents ahead of time and all was good. Got the notification yesterday in the email to say I had passed. Just had my hives inspected for AFB by a certified inspector at my cost.

 

What I found most interesting while attending the course was talking to some of the other 50 odd participants in the course, and I have to say that my alarm bells were ringing. My observations were as follows:

 

  1. the hobbyists present [like myself] were pedantic about their hives and their desire to 'do it right', and based on my discussions with those there, I would suggest are low risk to the industry in terms of AFB.

  2. there was an asian family in attendance, with four senior's and one 20yr? old. When it came to sitting the test, they moved to the back of the room and one of the woman checked all of the papers and filled in the blanks or corrected answers. They present a considerable risk to the industry, particularly if they are already, or are intending to be, commercial. If they are prepared to cheat on a simple test, what other shortcuts are they prepared to take?

  3. I sat next to a commercial bee keeper for most of the day. He claimed that he was looking after +600 hives and had been commercial for 4 years. He had't read the yellow book, stated that this was his first AFB 'thing' he had ever been to, but had never seen any AFB in his hives [not sure how he would know]. OMG, is this not a big risk to the industry?

 

None of the above is a slight on anyone, just my observations.

I can definitely say that 99% of those leaving the room on the day would have left with a better understanding of AFB which is a plus, but is that enough?

Yes there are some typical concerns in your observations but they are minor.

The real concern is with those who fail to even attempt the test and are intent on flying under the radar indefinitely with regard AFB recognition and registration.

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in my opinion, if the existing law would have been enforced with some practical logic then we wouldn't have a problem.

i have to say i share the view of the critics here. this is likely to be a costly exercise.

the outcome will be a lot more fees and paperwork for those who don't spread AFB and maybe little changes in enforcing biosecurity on those who spread it.

 

 

I know three people that have obtained hives from that source in the past each with 100% burn rate.

how can that for example happen without consequence?

 

now i don't have the answer but i believe we can't roll on like this cos we are heading into a disaster.

maybe some of the insiders can clarify if we can trust "them" to do the best thing possible or if we need to look for alternatives.

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I love the instant negativity. There's no merit at all in whats come out of the survey ?

Not negative - just bemoaning the paucity of data.

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More fees, less enforcement, More paperwork, Yet more reasons not to register. MPI are a joke, In the 4 years I've been registered they haven't done anything for me except make life more difficult than it needs to be.

 

With all the fees that get paid for nothing it would be nice to get the AFB course paid for at least. I mean the fees we pay for registration are for the control of AFB, Wouldn't it make sense to make the course as affordable and appealing as possible?

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I mean the fees we pay for registration

I dunno about you but my annual fee is about 20% of one tank of gas for my van. It's not going to help get MPI very far.

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I mean the fees we pay for registration are for the control of AFB, Wouldn't it make sense to make the course as affordable and appealing as possible?

I don't buy this "registration is too expensive" argument. As @yesbut suggests, compared to every day things the cost to register is negligible.

 

If the cost of the disease recognition course was added to my first years registration then I would have paid nearly three times as much. It would make more sense to increase the cost of the course and "throw in" a year's free registration.

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Course cost is static, Registration changes depending on your level of beekeeping.

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Course cost is static, Registration changes depending on your level of beekeeping.

Didn't realise you had that many apiaries @Aquila. I was speaking from my perspective as a small scale hobbyist. No offence intended.

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Didn't realise you had that many apiaries @Aquila. I was speaking from my perspective as a small scale hobbyist. No offence intended.

I'm only small scale too but if you go work for a big commercial, they pay the money for the course and put their hives in your name for a year and get a newbie every year..........Good way to get cheap rego for a year isn't it?

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