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Don Mac

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Don Mac last won the day on October 20

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About Don Mac

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  1. The first New Zealand soil residue study on neonicotinoid insecticides has just been published. Note it is only the 4th study published on pesticide residues in the environment ever published in good old clean green NZ. The cynic in me says "we really do care about the environment!" Chris Pook and Iana Gritcan have published their work in the Journal of Environmental of Pollution in their December 2019 Publication. The abstract s here; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749119301381?via%3Dihub Validation and application of a modified QuEChERS method for extracting neonicotinoid residues from New Zealand maize field soil reveals their persistence at nominally hazardous concentrations The study has been published by Stuff https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/117759904/study-shows-chemicals-could-cause-beehive-losses This morning Dr Pook also featured on Breakfast. Available on TVNZ On demand The Study samples were gathered from sites in the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Gisborne, where beekeepers have reported hive losses over many years, especially immediately after maize harvest. Are you one of those beekeepers? We need these reports guys - no reports then there is no action! This study owes a lot to the challenge I got from Neil Mossop of Mossops Honey who told me of their many years of experience of loosing hives, so much they do not place hives there anymore in these areas after maize harvest . His challenge was to find out what is going wrong. Well we cannot confirm causation at this stage, but it is very apparent that our Ag practices are leaving significant neonicotinoid residues in the soil and environment. Here are the main key points I have got from this study. Why is NZ not monitoring pesticide use? How much is used, where it is used and what chemistry is used? Examples of where this is used include Netherlands, California. Lack of monitoring and research into all pesticide residues in NZ This is the 4th paper published to date. We do not have a clue of what is happening in our environment. There is no testing of new pesticides on effects on native vertebrates. There is no ongoing monitoring and measuring of soil residues and waterway contamination. How are we using our pesticides? Seed treatments are used as prophylactic treatments, not specific targeted treatments. Are we apply to much with respect to seed treatments? Poor enforcement. The EPA has set Environmental Exposure Limits as per the HSNO Act. but has never measured the environment to see if limits are being exceeded. There is one exception 1080. The Minister for the Environment obviously does not care. Honey bees gather what is in the environment when they collect nectar, propolis, pollen and water; the 4 main inputs to a hive. We know they are collecting; pthathlates (detected in propolis) fungicides in wax, glyphosate in honey etc. And we have no research money as an industry to continue this work. Note the study has not yet linked the soil residues to the death of the hive, so we cannot state it is the causative factor or claim causation. The study has correlation because we went to known bee dead areas to obtain the soil samples. The study was funded by AUT. No beekeepers money was used to fund it - so we are all freeloaders. So how do we fund continuing research that could determine causation?
  2. Really good news this morning via the BBC. Always great to follow the BIG Supermarket chains in Europe - Tesco, Aldi, Costco, Sainsburys etc. They seem to lead the supply chain efforts on quality and also pesticides especially when it comes to protecting our bees. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-50551385?fbclid=IwAR1gl6SYg3Vo5fWZVyML2xyObMYhLbeBg8LUIiX3Dd2Re7t5IW8PuNvfreQ Perhaps now they have a focus on adulterated honey......and that can only benefit NZ.
  3. @Jamo, your comment about the population drop of bees in your hives prompted my memory about a fact about Movento. Movento was approved by ERMA (now the EPA back in 2008) - see decision HSR07115 https://www.epa.govt.nz/database-search/hsno-application-register/view/HSR07115 It was widely used during flowering of Kiwifruit and beekeepers noted severe population drops of their hives. These were documented by Dr John McLean. In 2012, the NBA Tech Committee applied for a reassessment of Movento. based on Bayer's application data. https://www.epa.govt.nz/assets/FileAPI/hsno-ar/APP201469/8ec3b230b9/APP201469-APP201469-Application-Form-21.08.2012.pdf The guts of the grounds for this reassessment application was this; "The original ERMA approval (HSR007693) decision completely overlooked Bayer’s Terrestrial invertebrate ecotoxicity rating of 9.4B as detailed in application HSR07115. “The difference between the Agency’s and the applicant’s assessment of reproductive/developmental toxicity is due to differing interpretations of the available data. The applicant’s derivation of the 9.4B classification is unclear as the Agency based on formulation data on bees provided by the applicant”. (Application HSR07115) The National Beekeepers Association Technical Committee (NBA TC) contends that for a systemic insecticide, the Agency’s interpretation was in serious error on the basis that while tests of the forager bees showed a high tolerance for Movento®, LD50 contact = >100ug ai/bee (p37 of 127 HSR07115) Bayer rightly reported (p. 38 of 127 HSR07115) “an almost total termination of brood development 4 days after the start of feeding”. This means that a whole cohort of bee production is lost, i.e. 7 weeks later this failed brood should have been at the forager stage but they are simply not there to gather honey. The Agency was in serious error to ignore this important information." Our concern was that ERMA had made an incorrect risk analysis of effects on bees in the original approval - and that opinion still stands as the EPA approved our grounds for reassessment. Dr McLean gathered data In 2008 bee safety was determined by effects of the pesticide on adult bees, not brood. This showed a decline in beehive strength to about 40% of what was in the hive at the start of pollination. We did not proceed with a push for the reassessment, because it was about 2013 when Zespri made a push for NO SPRAYING during FLOWERING on KIwifruit. Plus it could have cost the NBA a lot of money back then - taking on Bayer could have been a huge challenge. Problem solved we thought then @Jamo came along and clearly you have experienced an orchardist spraying during flowering. The hive losses you experienced are significant. @Jamo have you reported these hive losses to Zespri? They have active customers overseas who wish to see no harm to bees used for pollination of the fruit they buy. Have you reported this as a pollinator incident to the EPA? The Apiculture NZ Science & Research Focus Group relies on accurate reports from beekeepers so that we can assist beekeepers. How widespread have Movento applications been during flowering this season? Has scale been a problem in Kiwifruit this season? @Jamo you are at the coalface in your area, you need to know what is happening and noting it down. We do not have any research funding, so have total reliance on accurate beekeeper reports for us to work on beekeeper concerns. We can resurrect the EPA reassessment of Movento if use of this product has been widespread in orchards this season during flowering, but need accurate data and reporting from beekeepers. We may need to talk to Zespri about a change in spraying policy - to permit more spraying during flowering. To do so requires more data from you the beekeeper. Contact me by email if you have to Don MacLeod c/- info@apinz.org.nz and I will get back to you. Hive management is all about measuring hive performance, monitoring the environment where your bees are and communication with the growers and others in the industry, including beekeepers. Doing nothing is a recipe for self imposed torture and eventual failure. Pollinating kiwifruit is tough on hives, adding insecticides to the mixture makes a bees life a lot tougher. Some beekeepers swap out hives every 10 to 21 days to keep hive strength high. That is the first hives placed in the orchard are replaced with fresh hives - this reduces hive losses, spells hives from the effects of the orchard for honey gathering after pollination. Speak to @Dennis Crowley as he has a huge amount of experience in Kiwifruit pollination and is the go to man for Apiculture NZ re Zespri.
  4. @Jas The major problem is that the spray tank adjuvant manufacturers have not to date down any ecotoxicological testing of their products. We know that organo silicone surfactants usually used with metsulfuron methyl and glyphosate herbicides to control gorse kills bees. But both regulators in NZ, the EPA and MPI do not want to know - they consider these products as 'safe' or 'inert' and are not prepared to ask the manufacturers to do this work. If the product was labelled correctly that it will kill bees and to not spray during flowering we would see a drop in the number of incidents being reported. Informed spray operators will do a lot better job if our regulators focused on the real risks. Independent work by researchers has shown that these products are harmful, toxic to bees. See attached paper by C A Mullins et al. Example; MPI is presently investigating how many beekeepers do not use the correct number of Bayvarol strips in their hive (they are concerned about resistance occurring) than they are in regulating spray tank adjuvants. Mullin CA et al 2015 The formulation makes the honey bee poison.pdf
  5. @Stoney have you reported that incident to the EPA Pollinator incidents webpage? https://www.epa.govt.nz/everyday-environment/animals-and-insects/bees/?accordion-anchor=497 We need the EPA to be fully aware of all the incidents that happen to get any long term results that protect our bees. Please report it if you have not to date. We need the EPA to see that data.
  6. Morning Folks I always have breakfast before putting the computer on - it is much more relaxing way to eat and watch the sun come up. @Jamo - one question why do you need this information? Have you had bee kill? Reason, I do not like trying to point at products with a shotgun.......if you have had a bee kill get the dead bees tested in a pesticide screen to identify the chemical first. Then we can target the chemical with a rifle shot. Please detail why you need this info. 2nd Question - Have you Read the Labels? There are two formulations of Movento insecticide and 3 formulations of Luna fungicide. Which one mate? I do have some clues but some growers have been known to do a deal and get some cheap product from another source. Those 4 pesticides are all authorised for use on Kiwifruit. So refer to the Zespri spray programme and their guide for protecting pollinators at all times. Movento 100SC by Bayer Crop Science is a systemic insecticide for the control of armoured scale in Kiwifruit. Movento 150OD is sold as an insecticide for potatoes. A really interesting product, as it is sold as an insecticide but is not classified as toxic to invertebrates (Class 9.4) No label warnings for honey bees. But application is preflowering so risk is minimal - Label states clearly " the first at green-tip and the second pre-flowering." Label is located here; https://www.cropscience.bayer.co.nz/products/insecticides/movento 100sc Luna Privilege by Bayer Crop Science is a Fungicide for the control of Sclerotinia in Kiwifruit. There are 2 other Luna products, making three in total. It has no warning statements concerning effects on pollinators and is not classified as toxic to honey bees (Class 9.4). The Label states that application is recommended from 7 days before flowering until 80% of flowering is complete. But Zespri's spray programme states that the grower should not apply after bud phase of the flowering cycle - pre flowering use only. So it is applied during flowering which means it has some risk for honey bees during pollination, especially if used as a spray tank mixture. See Link below. Label is located here; https://www.cropscience.bayer.co.nz/products/fungicides/luna privilege Actigard is manufactured by Syngenta. ACTIGARD is a plant activator that stimulates systemic acquired resistance, reducing the symptoms of Psa (Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae) in Kiwifruit. There is no data on toxicity to honey bees. It is not classified as Class 9.4. There is a special application note for use when controlling PSA in Kiwifruit - see link below. It should be applied post harvest and not at this time of the year! Label is located here; https://www.syngenta.co.nz/product/crop-protection/plant-activator/actigard Prodigy is a systemic insecticide developed by DOW AgroSciences and now a product of Corteva. It is used for the control of leaf roller in Kiwifruit. And it is classified as 9.4A. Initial data showed it was safe to honey bees, but sub lethal effects have since been researched in flowering almonds - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29361013 Be careful with honey bees if this product is applied is my personal advice. But note the label recommendation " Apply at pre-bloom or at late flowering followed by 2 further applications at 14 day intervals." Do not apply during flowering is what it says to me. Refer to the Zespri Spray programme _ I do not have a copy of this seasons programme. Label is located here; https://www.corteva.co.nz/products-and-solutions/crop-protection/prodigy.html I am really surprised that there are still growers who wish to apply these products during flowering and pollination. The other factor you should always ask information about is - what other products are in the spray tank. Surfactants, penetrants, foliar nutrient products etc. etc. @Jamo more information please
  7. @kaihoka yes it has been detected infecting manuka in NZ and in testing of NZ seedlings in Australia. Grant Smith from Plant & Food is looking for resistance in manuka and he has identified some resistance traits. For instance some plants are infected on stems and not leaves. Other plants have demonstrated resistance. This is very valuable work, but to date it has only been tested on seedling plants and in the Lab. Grant Smith expects to find resistant manuka plants that can be cloned for planting out which will be great, but he has a lot more research to undertake before he claims he has the answer to our future. Here is his presentation at the Myrtle Rust symposium. https://www.bionet.nz/assets/14.-Grant-Smith.pdf All beekeepers working our native flora should be observant to the symptoms of myrtle rust and know how to identify it. https://www.myrtlerust.org.nz/myrtle-rust-online-learning-modules/ Once identified they should report it to iNaturalist website - https://www.myrtlerust.org.nz/what-to-do-if-you-find-myrtle-rust/ We are only in year 3 of a biosecurity incursion that has no known successful control. The prognosis is that things may get a lot worse than they are now.
  8. There is absolutely no mention of the significant threat posed by myrtle rust to these investments in plantation manuka.
  9. Murthy, I support John Berry with his comments, when talking to bee keepers, they are very reluctant to talk openly. But you can start with the bumble bee providers as there are only two major companies and they advertise widely and are on the web. https://www.biobees.co.nz/ https://zonda.net.nz/pollination/ The best programme run by a horticulture industry in NZ is the work done by Zespri for their growers. You want to make contact with their staff for more details.
  10. @frazzledfozzle I learnt about the prevalence of nosema ceranae in lab tests from a North Island based pcr laboratory that receives many samples from beekeepers. I cannot state if it has been an identified this season in the south island or if they have tested any south island samples. Labs keep the data- results and beekeeper names - confidential. But in discussion they do tell us what they are seeing in the big picture. I keep dreaming of the day when we could gather that data from all sharing & cooperating beekeepers and publish it in real time so beekeepers can see regional trends. It is but a dream and unlikely to happen in what is left of my lifetime. There is heaps of data out there, we just need a way to access it and use it to help all beekeepers. But some will free load such as system and it will probably crash through lack of support. Beekeepers must be aware that there are a lot diagnostic tools readily available to identify what is happening to their bees. I ask this question as a challenge. Without using these tools are they weak in their hive management techniques? Peter Drucker said, “You can't manage what you don't measure.” Peter Drucker was a Management guru who wrote the book In Search of Excellence published in 1982. Disclosure; I do not work for any laboratory business.
  11. @Alastair have you analysed those bees left in the hive for nosema ceranae. If the hive has shrunk rapidly to a Queen and a handful of bees you are looking at the same symptoms of Coromandel Colony Collapse. There has been reports of a number of hives experiencing nosema ceranae this season in the North Island and the only way to find out is to have the bees analysed by a Lab. If you are not measuring and monitoring with all the tool boxes available to a beekeeper, you are only guessing.
  12. Do not Panic Mr @M4tt I cannot see how a web discussion thread on a novel idea can be constructed as advertising......but some people may try. Here are 3 facts to help you & MPI sleep tonight. Predating this thread is the Varroa Contol Booklet by Goodwin & Taylor, published by MPI (MAF for early editions) - the green one we all own. And it specifically gives a beekeeper own use method for using oxalic acid and formic acid. So is the book advertising - no way, it was a guidance document. The use of oxalic acid + glycerine was in a published scientific paper by Argentine scientists looking at a new Varroa treatment. Are published scientific papers advertising? I doubt if MPI can suggest that is credible with any validity. Note even Randy Oliver writes up and self publishes his results in a scientific format - full transparency of his results is his methodology - not advertising or a testimonial in my book. There is no law against being transparent with the reporting of results and experience - that is called free speech. Please read Section 4(4) on page 5 of the MPI guidance document. It requires a beekeeper user to ensure they have the knowledge and capability to safely ensure the fitness for use of their own use product. That means they have to get that knowledge for a 'good understanding' of the product from somewhere. Looks like a specific MPI instruction to me. That is self education and it is done by researching the scientific literature, published books (including MPIs Varroa Book and Practical Beekeeping) and asking questions or reporting on results on a forum such as this. True when the Regulations were first written, no one in MPI was visioning the place of websites and on line forums to provide the education source and give beekeepers the required understanding for safe and proper use.. The big question is the reporting of results and experience on a forum such as this a testimonial? My personal opinion (Has not been run past a lawyer) is that a discussion on results and experiences, whether verbal or on an internet forum is not a testimonial when a person is endeavouring to share an understanding and knowledge about the methodology. that is an education process in compliance with 4(4) page 5. Example: "I treated my 4 hives with oxalic staples I made myself. 3 hives had excellent varroa control +90% kill based on mite counts and the 4th hive collapsed and I am investigating why the colony died out." This is a report in my opinion and not a testimonial. But I am not sure if there is a legal beagle in MPI who wants to bet his future legal promotion on making a case to the NZ Courts on what is exactly a testimonial or advertising. My thinking he has a lot more easier meat to snaffle such as a bee nutrition and health tonic supplements promoting disease control in bees than the use of oxalic and glycerine. I think MPI have done a good job making sure they have informed beekeepers to comply with the law they administer which has provisions for own use.
  13. Hi Beekeepers MPI has just published this Guidance Document which all who participate in this forum should read. Advertising and own-use guidance for compounds for management of disease in beehives. Copy attached. You will note that MPI considers Varroa destructor as a disease - see cover, then as a parasite in paragraph 5 page 3 and as a pest in 3.1.1.(1) a page 4. Note Section 4 is similar to what has been previously published in The Beekeeper earlier this year. Advertising-and-own-use-guidance-beekeepers(1).pdf
  14. @Kaihoka the blue dots are observation of myrtacae plant observations. The red dots are the ones where myrtle rust has been observed. Southern rata (Metrosideros umbellātā) is the recognized parent species of pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa). Both are myrtle plants https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-plants/rata/ Yes Lophomyrtus species, Ramarama and Rahotu have shown the greatest susceptibility to Myrtle rust to date. But all beekeepers should be keeping an observant eye for fungal infection by myrtle rust in economically important species such as manuka, kanuka, rata and pohutukawa when out tending their hives. You can learn all about myrtle rust here on this website - https://www.myrtlerust.org.nz/
  15. @Kaihoka I would be very interested in your observations of the effects of Myrtle Rust on Rata. We are in year 3 of this fungus invasion (it is just getting established) and if we get a warm wet summer the spread of Myrtle Rust maybe major. You may ask where it has been observed - this map will help all beekeepers. Open the map, tick the box and use the + key and mouse to highlight your area. https://www.myrtlerust.org.nz/about-myrtle-rust/where-is-myrtle-rust/
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