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Dr Mark Goodwin

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Dr Mark Goodwin last won the day on August 11 2018

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About Dr Mark Goodwin

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    Drone

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  • Beekeeping Experience
    Bee Research

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    Hamilton

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  1. AFB PEST MANAGEMENT Are we getting what we are paying for? All New Zealand beekeepers have been forced pay significant amounts of money to the AFB Management Agency over the last 19 years to help them to eradication of AFB from New Zealand. As we now have a higher number of hives with AFB than when the strategy started, even though disease levels had fallen each year for the 10 years before the strategy started, something has gone very wrong. We seem to have forgotten that we set up the AFB Pest Management Agency to assist beekeepers to eradicate AFB from New Zealand, not for it to try to eradicate AFB for them. We currently seem to be trying to find and destroy AFB hives faster the beekeepers can create them. This approach was tried unsuccessfully in New Zealand between 1960 and 1990 and range of other countries. It is important to recognise firstly that all hives are inspected for AFB by beekeepers each year. Some beekeepers are obviously better at doing this than others. Secondly, beekeepers are responsible for almost all AFB spread. To eradicate AFB from New Zealand, all the strategy needed to do was to change beekeeper behaviour so the find and destroy AFB hives faster than they created new ones. So how do we plan to change beekeeper behaviour. When the AFB Pest Management strategy was written and voted on, the AFB Management Agency was given 4 tools to change beekeeper behaviour. The Agency has, however, only used two of these. Unfortunately, the tools that have not been used are the most powerful ones available to us, and interesting, the least expensive. The first tool available was trying to make beekeepers comply with the strategy rules. The Agency has concentrated on this and has probably done all they could do with the funding they had. The second tool was AFB disease recognition and destruction courses. These have occurred and appear to have fulfilled the function they were designed for. The third and fourth tools were designed to facilitate behaviour change. To get beekeepers better at finding AFB and reducing is spread. The third was the AFB workshops described in the PMS which were for approved beekeepers to meet and discuss their AFB programmes and get advice. These were mainly, but not exclusively, for commercial beekeepers. There was supposed to have been one of these in ever branch area every year or a total of 250 since the start of the strategy. These have not occurred. If these had been continued with the large AFB outbreaks reported in the South Island and East cost of the north Island need not have occurred. The fourth behavioural change tool was having a gaol that beekeepers can identify with and get enthusiastic about. We have goal, which is to eradicate AFB from NZ. What we need a creative way of put this it in front of beekeepers again. The way ahead is to instate the workshops that the beekeeping industry were told were going to occur then the voted on the strategy. As for readdressing the goal, perhaps a way ahead would be for the Management Agency to actively encourage regional eradications as has been attempted in Hamilton and Otago/Southland.
  2. Hi Otto No, I have not been contacted directly. Probably my fault, however, as I have not pushed it as much as I should have. I feel a little guilty about that, as I lead a 10 year AFB research programme in the 1990's, developed the goal of eradication, helped write the Pest Management strategy and order in council, helped do the consultation before the strategy was voted on and must have given 100's of AFB seminars and workshops. I left it mostly alone when varroa was found in NZ, except for the AFB book and video series As I can no longer work because of heath issues, I am hoping that I might be help the Management Agency back onto the road that was set out for them in 2000 assuming that is the way they want to go Mark
  3. Hi All I am not convinced by the argument that we need an increase in the AFB levy. The funding levels must have doubled over the last ten years as apiary sites have more than doubled. The problem is, that the AFB eradication strategy designed in the 1990's, and voted on, has never been fully implemented. If it had been, we would have mostly eradicated AFB by now. The Management Agency got confused about its role soon after it was established in 2000 and this confusion has continued until now, and is reflected in the discussion on what the levy increase might be spent on. What we learnt between 1990 - 2000, when we caused AFB levels to drop from 1.2% of hives to 0.25 % of hives, was that beekeepers inspect all hives each year for AFB, and they are responsible for the spread of all AFB. To eradicate AFB, all the strategy has to do is to get beekeepers to do better inspections and / or spread AFB less. We also worked out that using the strategy to try to find and burn AFB for beekeepers faster than beekeepers can spread the disease is a no win game , although it appeals to beekeepers who think their neighbors are the source of their AFB problem. The role of the strategy here should only be to be carrying out default inspection where beekeepers are in breach of the rules of the strategy Following this model, and the other things we did in the 1990s that caused AFB levels to plummet, could easily reduce AFB levels with the current budget if we stopped t using the funding for trying to control AFB for beekeepers Just a reminder to those who are not happy with the proposed levy increase, the most effective thing you can do is write to the Minister of Agriculture and explain why you don't think it is a good idea Mark Goodwin
  4. Hi All I am not convinced by the argument that we need an increase in the AFB levy. The funding levels must have doubled over the last ten years as apiary sites have more than doubled. The problem is, that the AFB eradication strategy designed in the 1990's, and voted on, has never been fully implemented. If it had been, we would have mostly eradicated AFB by now. The Management Agency got confused about its role soon after it was established in 2000 and this confusion has continued until now, and is reflected in the discussion on what the levy increase might be spent on. What we learnt between 1990 - 2000, when we caused AFB levels to drop from 1.2% of hives to 0.25 % of hives, was that beekeepers inspect all hives each year for AFB, and they are responsible for the spread of all AFB. To eradicate AFB, all the strategy has to do is to get beekeepers to do better inspections and / or spread AFB less. We also worked out that using the strategy to try to find and burn AFB for beekeepers faster than beekeepers can spread the disease is a no win game , although it appeals to beekeepers who think their neighbors are the source of their AFB problem. The role of the strategy here should only be to be carrying out default inspection where beekeepers are in breach of the rules of the strategy Following this model, and the other things we did in the 1990s that caused AFB levels to plummet, could easily reduce AFB levels with the current budget if we stopped t using the funding for trying to control AFB for beekeepers Just a reminder to those who are not happy with the proposed levy increase, the most effective thing you can do is write to the Minister of Agriculture and explain why you don't think it is a good idea Mark Goodwin
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