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NickWallingford

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  1. Here's one I've just figured out... For most of my earlier years in the industry, the National Beekeepers' Assn had admin, accounting, and Executive Secretary services provided by the Pork Industry Board. For my first conference, 1975, Graham Beard was the Exec Secy, followed by David Dobson, and then Steuart Goodman. All up, the NBA worked with the Pork Board for about 20 years... Whenever anyone would ask "Why does the Pork Industry Board" do the admin stuff for the NBA, I had always assumed it was just some other primary producer body who saw the chance to take on an outside contract... But I think I've figured it now. There was already a long standing connection for the PIB to the honey industry! Graham Beard was the connector. In his younger days, Beard qualified in his early life as a cheesemaker ("Blessed are the cheesemakers!"). By the late 1940s, he was working for Marketing Dept (in earlier years, known as the Internal Marketing Division), and served as one of the government representatives on the Honey Marketing Committee. ANYWAY... When the Honey Marketing Authority came into being in 1953/1954, with the Govt clearly signalling that it no longer wanted hands-on involvement in honey marketing, civil servants such as Graham Beard went often to something similar to what they were already doing, with with an industry authority, or a board, or some such. A.C. Bridle, the chairman of the Honey Marketing Committee, for instance, went to work with poultry marketing. Beard went to work as the superintendent and chief technical officer for the Pig Producers' Council, which later became the Pork Industry Board. From 1953 to 1974, over the next 21 years, he worked for the Pork Industry Board. And then, in late 1974, the Pork Industry Board took on the NZ Beekeeper's Association, after the previous Executive Secretary gave notice. Graham Beard must still have had some friends and interests in the beekeeping industry! And a year or so later, Beard ended as the NBA's Executive Secretary (retired?) and David Dobson, of the PIB, took over. And then in 1983 or so Steuart Goodman became the Executive Secretary, to be followed by Ron Rowe, Harry Brown, Tim Leslie and ultimately oblivion for the NBA...
  2. Barely more than a cup or two! When the water level rises in the tubing, it is exerting a force into the wine bag equal to the column of water - not the column of water in the tube, but the imaginary column of water of the same size as the wine bag. So in the case I described, with 9.7 mm water rise in the tube equal to 1kg of weight, if you were weighing a 160kg hive, the water would be 1.6m up the small tube. Admittedly, the models I made back then were not working with that weight - I was designing mostly for something more like half of that - I think I had the scale marked up to 100kg. When you pour the cup of water into the tube, the hive lifts a bit and you can steady it with your hand as it sort of floats on the thin layer of water in the wine bag. If you keep pouring water into the tube, the hive will continue to rise, this will distort its overall 'footprint' (h x w), and make the measurement inaccurate. The most amazing feeling was to stand on the platform yourself while pouring a cup of water down the tube - and feeling it lift you up! Sometime after I did this, I saw a Kiwi designed scale for weighing cattle. It was basically a platform with 4 tyres tubes under it, with valves disabled and tubing between them. Put the cattle on top, pour water until the platform rises, and read the weight on the vertical scale. It was homegrown Kiwi No. 8 wire at its finest, and for a long time I would point at it and claim discovery of the principle!
  3. Weighing beehives ----------------- Some years ago I asked an engineering friend how *he* would weigh a beehive. I expected some sort of tripod lifting arrangement with scale and lever. Instead, he thought about 10 seconds and said "Using a plastic wine bag!". Took him the best part of an hour to explain it to me and convince me it would work. OK, here goes: cheapish wine in NZ comes in 3 or 4 liter cardboard 'casks', with plastic bag with valve out the side. The bags, once empty (ahem...) are in fact flat in construction - find one that is pretty big. Small bag means greater accuracy, but harder to measure (hence less accurate, if you see what I mean). Best I ever made was with a commercial sized bag that was almost the same size as the inside of a bee box. Build the floor arrangement. Basically, a flat base with a telescoping lid that fits over it. Hole cut in base to accommodate the valve arrangement of the bag. Take out the 'guts' of the valve, and glue 10mm diameter plastic tube about 800mm long into it. I added a 20mm x 50mm piece of timber, fixed to the telescoping lid thing with a hinge, to support the plastic tube up the side of where the hive will sit. Fit it all together, put it under a hive. Now, here's the part I couldn't really figure: how much water would you have to pour into the tube in order to lift the hive off the base? Hardly any! After only a bit, water starts to 'back up' the tube to a certain height, then doesn't come up any further! If you keep pouring water, the hive will lift higher, but the distance from bottom of hive to top of water in the plastic tube remains constant. The proper name for this thing is a manometer. If you can't get it from this description, go to a good engineering book to get the concept. By pouring only a little bit of water into the tube, the telescoping lid thing 'lifts' off the base, and the hive is floating on a waterbed type thing. The height of the column of water can be converted into the weight of the hive! The height of water is the 'head'. Imagine a column of water the same size as the plastic bag, and as tall as the head. The weight of that water would be equal to the weight of the hive. So you can calibrate a scale up beside the plastic tube to give hive weight. Weight of hive (gm) = Area of bag (cm2) x Height of water in column (cm) x 1 gm/cm3 (weight of cubic cm of water). For the bag size I used (the only variable), it worked out that each kg of hive weight equated to 9.7mm of water height in the column. It meant you could go some pretty accurate weighing, but the cost of the thing was just about nothing. You *might* want help drinking all the wine... scale.bmp
  4. At one time I took quite an interest in weighing hives, back before the 'world of digital'. Here's a bibliography I created. IT hive stand. Gleanings in Bee Culture. SepBusker, L.H. The WATDt 1970 pp 521-525. Hive stand with built in bathroom scales under back of hive (WATDIT stands for What Are They Doing In There). Bryan, Ernie. If there is a will there is a weigh. Gleanings in Bee Culture (?). April 1977 page 161. Bathroom scales inserted into frame below hive. Scales not permanently fixed. Shaw, F.R. An improved device for weighing colonies. American Bee Journal 96(8):322. 1956. Uses spring scale with two people lifting hive off the ground using pipe across hive. Hive supported on sides and back. Owens, C.D. New hive scale for use by one man. American Bee Journal 98(4):140. 1958. Two wheeled cart with forks. Foot operated pedal with 4:1 advantage used to lift hive. Commercial hydraulic-compression unit between lifting lever and moving frame to read weight. Harding, J.P. A simple method of weighing a hive. Bee World 43(2):40-41. 1962. Pipe inserted into permanent stand below hive. Hive lifted from sides using spring balance. Total is sum of two sides weight times two. Al-Tikrity, W.S., Hillmann, R.C., Benton, Dr A.W., Clarke, W.W. Jr. Three methods for weighting honey-bee colonies in the laboratory and field. American Bee Journal 111(4):143-145. 1971. Modified pickup truck hive loader method: boom off truck using block and tackle and hanging spring scale. Lifting method: one person on each end of rod, lifting hive with hanging spring scale. Leverage-lift method: Wooden bar is pushed down, pulling wire cable to lift hive in building. Bell, Roland. My homemade hive scale. American Bee Journal February 1979: 97. Uses screen door spring, piece of baling wire, short chain and three iron straps. Long bar (beam) suspended at the one foot mark, weight can be lifted from the short end when long end is pressed down at 2 to 1, 3 to 1, etc. Hofmann, Chas. S. Wintering its in's and out's. American Bee Journal 105(1):6-8. 1965. Telescoping device used to lift back of hive. Pointer moves up given distance before hive lifts off ground, indicating weight. Anonymous. Introducing hive monitor(tm) weighing base, a revolutionary advance in hive management. Gleanings in Bee Culture 105(4):138. 1977. Base to sit hive on, mirrored scale with pointer. Claims accurate readings to within 1/2 pound. Anonymous. Fuers bienenhaus. Chr. Graze catalog 1973-74 (German bee supply company). "Plastikwaage" DM 21.80 (1982 price). Appears to be a manometer/hydrolic scale, with water being poured in tube. Wedmore, E.B. A manual of bee-keeping. (publication details not available). p 228-229, items 880-883. Describes value of scale hive, use of spring balance to lift hive. Reid, G.M. Personal communication. 1974. Describes use of spring balance with lever arrangement (fits into handhold on bottom box, to measure 1/2 weight of hive). Commonly used in South Island, NZ. Gilberd, Darcy J. Make your own bale weigher. NZ Farmer, September 25, 1986, page 57. Uses four car tires with tubes filled with water, joined by stems with copper tubes, then up to plastic tube against scale on wall. Will take up to 2 tonnes.
  5. In the early 1950s, a sort of black-mildew-blight was found on the manuka plants in South Canterbury. Farmers (remember Rabbit Calicivirus?) quickly began to spread it. Reading between the lines, I think the beekeeping community was somewhat split between "Don't kill our significant honey producer!" and "Maybe those hillsides could be clover, too!" over the issue. I haven't come across many unambiguous statements of industry position...
  6. There is one part of me that doesn't much care who the bkpr is. If the colonies are within the realm of 'abandoned or neglected' (however that would need to be objectively defined...) I would be pleased if they were (1) immediately destroyed if any AFB at all is found (2) go through the process - probably must notify the land occupier, notice under lid, perhaps even newspaper notice? - to end up maybe 30 days later and then destroy the hives. I guess if I think about it long enough, the only reason I have for wanting to identify the bkpr is to charge back for the privilege of removing these hives from the NZ situation, since the bkpr so obviously didn't/can't/won't. But generally, given the situation that preceded the 'abandonment/neglect' of the hives, no money might be forthcoming anyway!
  7. I was meaning to say that by about 1950, the Dept of Agriculture had stopped allowing the 'shook swarming' method. The reduction in AFB overall, and an industry-wide interest in dealing appropriately with AFB led to calls such as this to reduce the risks that are out there...
  8. Up until about 1950, NZ beekeepers continued to try out 'remedies' for AFB... The methods almost always involved shaking hives off the frames, sometimes multiple times, to try to use up the last of their stores. Equipment was variously scorched, boiled and disinfected, using the methods and beliefs that were common. It wasn't until about 1950 that (1) 'shook swarming', shaking bees off the combs to treat for AFB and (2) a serious attempt to reduce the risk created by abandoned or neglected apiaries. Even with the calls by the industry at the time, the Dept of Agriculture was loathe to move too much in that direction, probably expecting a serious backlash should they make a mistake. Now? I'm guessing there would be a massively more complex process needed to get rid of 'abandoned or neglected' apiaries... But it still should be happening... Here is an unambiguous request by the industry in 1953, by way of a remit to the NBA conference of that year.
  9. This comes from 1954. I think there are photos of both beekeepers in subsequent beekeeping magazines...
  10. James, I think that rata, a good smoothly granulated rata, is one of the finest honeys in the world. While I might personally think of it as priceless, I do hope you get the price you want...
  11. Here are notes I made re: observations hives some time back: Observation hives... I've used a variety of observation hives, including a 1 frame 'portable', a 2 frame not quite so portable and a 4 frame vertical. And I agree with Kerry Clark - the 4 frame was without doubt the best for a permanent location. The 2 framer I only ever used as temporary - run out and grab a few frames, one with honey, one with brood. Find the marked queen to put on it. And brace it well in the car (it was perspex...). One design (Russian?) that always intrigued me had one or two vertical frames (one frame wide, that is), then a strip of queen excluder, then, effectively, a 4 frame nuc fitted on top. The 4 frame area was closed in (not glass) and acted as a reservoir for bees/honey that allowed the unit to be more permanent. Two choices for how you fit the glass/perspex - 'onto' the surface (using clips, called 'mirror clips', I think, to fix the glass/perspex against the surface). Or sliding the glass/perspex into a groove from the top of the observation hive (only really possible with perspex). Latter gives less air leakage around the edges - I found the bees didn't care for that (lots standing facing the draught at the edges). Make SURE you have adequate means of dealing with condensation - build in HEAPS of mesh, etc, even if you have to keep it covered. But I found no trouble with 25mm (1in) square of mesh at top and bottom of hive. Especially just after installing, you'll be amazed at the moisture given off. Perspex tended to craze after several years, not being as sparkly clean as when first made. Glass is easier to write on - its neat to circle eggs, and date them, watching the development. If for a permanent location, you can have heaps of fun designing entrance ways that allow you to 'draft' individual bees into side chamber, where you could, say, mark them or remove pollen, etc. And you can by having a wide entrance, arrange to have incoming bees going down one side and outgoing down another. For a unit that you'll be moving a lot, or if it will be worked regularly, work out a way of easily closing off the entrance and being able to take the whole unit outside - much better than trying to do bee work inside a classroom, for instance. Design some sort of feeder system, too, for a permanent unit - they'll need a lot of babying along in most locations. You may need to top them up with bees/brood. And in a good season, they'll be able to generate more swarms than you'd think possible! REFERENCES Stevenson, Lt H R. 1985. Establish an observation hive and promote beekeeping! Amer Bee Journal. February 1985, pp 89-90. Gale, Dr F C. 1972. Observation beehives. Amer Bee Journal. 112(1): 8-9. Taber, Steve. 1980. Bee behavior. Amer Bee Journal. January 1980, pp 14-15. Gary, N E. 1968. A glass-walled observation hive. Amer Bee Journal 108(3):92-94, 108(4):143-144, 146. Connor, L J. 1974. Observation bee hives. Beekeeping Information Number 10. Entomology Extension, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210. 4 pp. Bosch, K. 1980. The observation hive and scale colony - two important tools. Amer Bee Journal 120(10):712-715, 721. Pedigo, Bobby. 1985. This is what we call a real observation hive. Amer Bee Journal. Nov 1985, pp 737-738 (letter to editor with photograph). Lindauer, M. 1961. Communication among social bees. Harvard Univ Press, Cambridge, MA., p 17. Gojermac, Walter L. Building and operating an observation hive. Univ of Wisc-Extension bulletin A2491. 6pp. Witherell, Peter C. 1970. Behavior of honeybees in glass-covered runways. Gleanings in Bee Culture. November 1970, pp 564-668. Blanchet, Felix. 1979. Honey producing observation hive. Amer Bee Journal. February 1979. pp 114-115,137. Lehnert, T and Cantwell, George E. 1966. The Beltsville research apiarium. Amer Bee Journal 106(9):336-337. Anonymous. 1949. Single-frame observation hive. Co-operative Extension work in Agric and Home Economics, North Carolina State College and U S Dept of Agriculture Cooperating. 1pp. Caron, D M. 1979. Observation bee colonies. Entomology Leaflet 103, Dept Entomology, Univ Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. 14pp. Gary, N E and Lorenzen, K. 1976. How to construct and maintain an observation hive. Dev Agr Sci, Univ California Leaflet 2853. 18pp. Jaycox, E R. 1973. Making and using an observation bee hive. Dept Hort, Univ Illinois Publ H-678, Urbana, IL 61801. 4pp.
  12. Sadly, in N.Z., I think it is simply that there has been little effort to preserve our beekeeping history. The industry has just never been large or important enough for anyone to focus on ensuring the continued availability of the old books. After all, "Everything is on the Internet"... And for sure, if you're going to read these old materials, you need to be clearly aware of the *current* conditions and practices for such things as AFB control and the (then quite indiscriminate) use of agricultural chemicals.
  13. This dates back to 1984, and was mostly relating to the Bay of Plenty and Waikato areas...
  14. I just returned from a short time in Wellington, where I again took the opportunity to visit the National Library/Alexander Turnbull Libraries. Edgar Earp was one of the very first apiary staff in NZ. Upon his retirement (?) in the late 1930s, he donated his own collection of books and other items - about 400 items in all. They are not really easy to get at - you can't just browse them on the shelf. You have to order them from the catalog. But to be able to hold the programme for the 1913 beekeeper's conference in your hands, with E.A. Earp's signature stamp on it - pretty amazing. I'm hoping at some point to make some of his earlier writings more available. Earp worked through that period when AFB was to be controlled under legislation - but control often meant 'shook swarming', a less than effective measure to eliminate disease from one's colonies...
  15. The Basics of Beekeeping This article appeared in the NZ Beekeeper No. 190, Winter 1986, pp 11-13. It appeared under the pseudonym 'Skep'. As I cast about for topics suitable for this column, this issue is always the hardest. Though as I write this, the weather is still warm and pleasant, I know that you will be reading it in the throes of winter. My first thoughts were to write about sources of information for the beginner beekeeping. I've decided to save that topic for the future, while optimistically writing this to give the beginner an overview of the critical operations of beekeeping. Maybe by giving you time to think about this in the less rushed time of winter will allow you the chance to critically examine your own beekeeping practices to see how they compare with these thoughts of mine. Arthur Gosset was a very well respected beekeeper in Canterbury, New Zealand. I worked some years ago for Bray and Gosset. Sitting in the smoko room, I remember very clearly some advice he gave me. At the time I was all fired up with complicated and labour intensive methods of getting as much production from a colony as possible. I was dreaming up all sorts of involved and fiddly gadgets and management systems, involving two queening and strange hive designs. Arthur looked at me and simply said that all beekeeping is a matter of watching out for three main things: You must have a young queen in the hive. You must never let them become short of food. You must give them enough room at the right time to store the crop. At the time, as a young(er) man, that was all too simple for me. Where is the 'art' in beekeeping if it can be reduced to that few words? At the time, I even thought he was holding out on me, not letting me in on his 'secrets' of management. Only with more experience have I now come back to his words and realised how true they are. The complexities of beekeeping come with HOW to do the WHAT of those three questions. The methods and timing that you will use to get a queen in the hive, feed the colony if need be and super it up will determine how successful your beekeeping can be. Sugar syrup mixing and feeding and supering up are really topics of their own. There are plenty of options available to you in either operation. Re-queening is another major topic that should be covered more fully than in this article. Of course, with the goal of messing up such a tidy presentation, I would add another few operations to Arthur's three. Knowing how to properly inspect a hive for brood disease should be listed. Another concept I feel strongly about is that of using methods and materials related to the scale of your beekeeping. Disease recognition for the hobbyist is a real poser. Because it is present in such small levels, the odds say if you have only one hive, it will only get infected once every 200 years. (NB: This is based on NZ's average of about 0.5% of hives being found infected annually. Antibiotics are not fed for AFB in NZ - bees are destroyed, though hot paraffin wax dipping can salvage most equipment) Like many other statistical lies, if you trust to that, you'll likely come unstuck. In fact, as a hobbyist, you have several things going against you. Because you'll see cases of disease so rarely, you'll tend to get complacent and even careless in your inspections. After all, after looking for something you don't want to find for some time, its easy enough to decide to stop looking! Because you probably have your one or two hives in an urban location, your's are relatively close to many other hobbyist hives. All it takes is one careless beekeeper to put everyone else nearby at risk. If you're not confident that you can recognise American Brood Disease, talk with a local beekeeper who might be able to help you. Contact your local beekeeper's club and ask if they might be able to arrange a programme to help with disease inspection. Get a copy of the relevant Ag Link from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries or other good photographs. Don't just trust to good luck and the odds; its up to all responsible beekeepers to keep disease levels down. There is nothing wrong with getting a case of disease; it happens to most all beekeepers at one time or another. There is a problem if you don't know how to properly deal with disease and become a source of infection for other beekeepers and your other hives. My other interest, making sure that your approach to your beekeeping is of the appropriate 'scale' is not a difficult one. It is often overlooked by hobbyist (and other...) beekeepers. What I mean is that you don't need to kill flies with a sledge hammer. You are a hobbyist, and your approach to beekeeping should keep that in mind. You don't need to involve a lot of specialised equipment that will only be used once a year. While keeping your specialised equipment costs down, you can take advantage of the time that you can put into your beekeeping. After all, you are doing this as a hobby, remember? You can afford to be a little more exacting than a commercial beekeeper, and do things that involve more trips to the hive, for instance. A good example of keeping your 'scale' in mind is equipment making. You probably won't save much money by making your own boxes and frames, for instance. If you enjoy doing it, go ahead by all means. The scale of your beekeeping should tell you, though, that you'd be better off buying equipment in kitset to assemble. Similarly with honey handling equipment. What started out as a relatively inexpensive hobby can rapidly change to a major expense if you insist on buying a new stainless steel extractor and building a small honey house in your backyard. Sure, this might suit you, and if you are determined to do it, go ahead. A better method for someone with only a few hives, however, would be to share the bare minimum of extracting equipment with several other hobbyists. Often, a local hobbyist beekeepers club will have the basic equipment that can be rented from them for a reasonable daily rate. If not, why not form your own 'syndicate' of 2 or 3 like-minded beekeeper friends and share one set between you? Extracting together can be a truly social event if approached in this manner. I guess what I'm trying to get across with this column is that there are only a few key points to being a good beekeeper, no matter how many hives you have. If you learn how to properly care for the basics, especially Arthur Gosset's three rules of beekeeping, you will be a good beekeeper. It's not hard to get a good crop in a good year. Have you ever heard the saying 'Bees make honey in spite of beekeepers'? It's often true, you know... If you are a GOOD beekeeper, you'll get a honey crop in that mediocre season when others get little or nothing. Your hives will be gentle enough that you don't upset your neighbours or become a nuisance. Your hives will be tidy enough that an Apiary Inspector will not have to attack the glued up frames with a spade. The details of how you go about taking care of the important aspects of beekeeping, re-queening, feeding and supering at the right time, are the subject of all the talk of beekeepers and the books and the magazines. Learning what methods work for you in your location for a particular season is the 'art' of beekeeping. Now you've finished this short article, sit back and think about your own beekeeping systems. Are you taking care of the fundamentals? Are you re-queening at least every 2 years? Has your hive always had at least two good frames of honey or stores provided by feeding sugar to them? Do you give them the extra room that they need when they need it? If you do, then you can move ahead to the 'fine tuning' of more intricate management systems, such as two-queening or complicated dividing/uniting procedures suited to your local requirements. If you can't honestly say you are taking care of the basics, make that your special goal over the coming season and see what a difference it makes. Young queens, with reduced swarming levels and smooth, rapid, reliable build up. Colonies that never get the set back of running short of food. Hives that get the new honey super before the bees have started to pack out the brood nest. What a difference they all make! Why is it always such a surprise that the beekeepers who consistently get the best crops are the ones that sit quietly at the back of the room and claim they don't have any special tricks or gadgets to share?
  16. This photo from a few years ago now - one of my favourites. Ian Berry once said to me that when he was at the NBA conference each year, it felt like he was with his family. His smile in this photo says it all. I've got several photos of Kevin Ecroyd when he was only a child. He and his sister used to get used in a range of honey-promoting photographic advertisements. Town buzzing with beekeepers | Guardian online WWW.GUARDIANONLINE.CO.NZ Beekeepers from far and wide celebrated their centennial year at the annual conference on Sunday, welcoming New Zealand funny man Te...
  17. Notice that even as early as this, Allan Bates was active in the bee industry... He was involved for more than 60 years, and would have seen many changes...
  18. In 1910 Mr W Lenz had extended his operations to Taranaki, but in 1913 decided to sell his Taranaki holdings. A small co-operative was formed to buy the bees to sell them out to the members in lots, and to act as a marketing operation. The New Zealand Co-op Honey Producers' Association Ltd (HPA) was formed by HW Gilling (Matapu), HR Penny (Okaiawa), GH Buckeridge (of Eltham, the agent of the Farmers' Co-operative Organisation Society, which handled produce for export to England on consignment), HW Warcup (Hawera), HB Nicholas (Hawera), AR Bates (Kaponga), WJ Melville (Kaponga) and CE Grainger (Te Kiri) on 17 December 1913. It was initially built around the packing operation of Mr HW Gilling in Hawera. There was no initial capital, with share capital being obtained by deductions from payments for honey supplied. Payments to members were financed by bank overdrafts secured by Joint and Several Guarantee for £8,000 by the Directors and by advances on honey shipped to the Company’s British agents.
  19. Russell Poole also played a mean string bass... And he appeared in some NZ quiz show and won a prize? I'll have to look that one up...
  20. In the late 1970s, only a few years or so after I came to NZ to work as a beekeeper, I had the chance to meet Allan Bates. At the time, Allan was in his late 80s. He had started beekeeping in Taranaki before the first war, and he even attended the first NBA Conference ever, in 1912. He served on the NBA Executive on numerous occasions over the years, and as president for two years in the early 1920s. He was made a Life Member by the NZ in 1960. At some point, he moved to Matamata and was a well-respected queen breeder. So I met Allan Bates at a Waikato Field Day - I can't quite place which year it was! Russell Poole was delivering an address to the crowd of beekeepers, loud enough that all could hear him well - he told of the Honey Marketing Authority, somewhat beleagured by that time by the honey industry. So the whole crowd could hear Russell Poole just fine. All except for Allan Bates. He sat in a chair immediately in front of Russell, and he had a massive ear trumpet. I have never seen one before or since. But Allan sat there with this device sticking up into Russell's face as he spoke, with a continual "What? What was that you just said? What?" Russell held his composure and finished his remarks. Allan died a few years later, in 1979. So it amazes me that I met him. I probably shook his hand. But sure didn't know he'd been such an important part of the beekeeping industry for about 40 years before I was even born...
  21. @Maru Hoani I certainly do like those tall pallets. My back feels better just looking at the photo...
  22. Again, hives are not going to be destroyed because of a positive test. It would only alert the agency to better target the inspections that will happen. A positive honey sample from a packer will not be the basis burning hives, and it is malicious to imply that . The testing will be used to better target inspections that might follow. Arguing about how the results came to be is sort of interesting, but beside the real intention - improving tools and procedures to identify elements that have and do lead to the spread of AFB... I have a hard time understanding the mindset, seemingly encouraging beekeepers to stay just barely on the right side of the line of what could be deemed 'illegal', then challenging the agency to make the determination of which side of the line the beekeeper is on. My children used to do similar in the car's back seat: "She put her hand on my side!" "No I didn't. I had it as close to the middle as I could, but still on my side! You can't get me for that!".
  23. If it were not for the PMP, AFB would effectively be de-regulated in New Zealand. Nothing whatsoever could be enforced: no one could be forced to deal with their AFB. Nothing could be done if AFB is exposed to other hives - intentional or accidental. Nothing. No one could be made to do just about anything related to AFB (and nor could anyone carry out inspections without the beekeeper's approval). If the (very small percentage of turnover) AFB levy provides nothing else, the fact that it provides for a degree of regulation of AFB makes it more than worthwhile. As for the empire being built? Eliminate AFB and you can eliminate the Mgmt Agency. Let's do it - but let's do it in the right order - eliminate AFB, then the Agency...
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