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Everything posted by NickWallingford

  1. Through the 1990s, we came just *so* close to losing the regulatory protection of what is now in our PMP. That is, unless the industry developed the (then) PMS that we did, there would have been nothing to stop the feeding of antibiotics. Nothing to compel a beekeeper to inspect for AFB. Nothing to make them destroy infected hives so they don't threaten the rest of the industry. No way that anyone else could destroy them, either... As as industry, we held firm, and got the regulatory environment that we wanted. The industry had enough confidence in the industry body, the NBA,
  2. Sorry. That is from the minutes of the last AGM of the Waikato branch of NZ Beekeeping Inc.
  3. "The second person has been instructed to burn two 40 foot containers full of equipment. They are relatively new beekeepers and have not done their surveillance of the hives properly. And if they had followed the policy for the surveillance that was set up a few years ago then they would have been targeted for an inspection before they got out of control over the last three years. We do not think that this has happened. They have just jumped in there and pretty much have had burn their whole outfit. He had passed his Deca but failed to recognize the disease. He may have got confused diagnosi
  4. I'm just sorting out an 'indicative attitude' with beekeepers toward AFB and the Mgmt Agency. Some beekeepers lament the fact that the Mgmt Agency does not do more, does not have even more powers, does not target beekeepers who cause the problems enough, does not come down hard enough to deal with AFB. Other beekeepers lament the fact that the Mgmt Agency is too hard, that they target certain beekeepers, that they act in an unforgiving fashion, not giving a beekeeper the benefit of the doubt. All in all, I think the first group reflects my attitude to dealin
  5. When the AFB PMS - now the AFB PMP - was 'built' by the industry in the late 1990s, Government was far from happy about providing even the powers that had been used by the Dept Ag/MAF of the time to 'the industry'. Such things as access to inspect hives brought up all sorts of personal freedom issues, and the consideration of destruction of private goods - not a power they wanted to give to our industry. So I don't doubt that the Mgmt Agency is severely constrained by such as Privacy Act and all sorts of other restrictions in what it is able to say about specific AFB outbreaks. I hope this
  6. Without doubt, the industry pays either way. It pays more if it doesn't happen...
  7. If those contaminated stickies pose a risk to the neighbourhood bees that clean them up, they must surely pose more risk to the beekeeper's own hives if he put them on next season. Rather than neighbouring hives sharing in the spore load from the 30% of boxes that were infected, the beekeepers own hives would be getting the 'undiluted' spore numbers. Inspections - regular, thorough and effective - combined with some form of marking and/or quarantine to be able to trace problems such as in this case. If you haven't managed to incorporate those two into your operation, by the time
  8. At one time, I think Dr Goodwin used to refer to 'uninfected', 'contaminated' and 'diseased' hives. More commonly, they might be 'uninfected/clean', 'sub-clinical' and 'visual'. A few quotes from Mark. Remember, he has worked with 'sub-clinical' infections since the early 1990s, and has seen the efficacy of the plating/testing method improve dramatically. "Uninfected means that the colony does not contain any AFB diseased larvae or any AFB spores. However, I have heard it suggested that if you looked hard enough you would find AFB spores in all hives. This is probably
  9. I keep forgetting... Are we wanting to curb the draconian powers being wielded by the evil empire Mgmt Agency? Or are we wanting to give them even more powers so that we can complain about that, too? Personally? I have no problem with a beekeeper who is willingly non-compliant being assisted from the industry by way of orderly reductions in hive numbers.
  10. This from a set of NZ Beekeeping Inc minutes (Waikato Branch): "AFB down the south Island has had a different kind of attitude coming to the fore where they have been looking at AFB spores and not looking at Clinical Symptoms. People are being put under stress. You would have to be very careful if someone just walks into your shed and scraps a sample of the floor and tests it, coming back with AFB spores and then burning all your boxes. This type of thing is not under the AFB PMP but under the Bio Security Act. They seem to be switching things around to suit their agenda to target
  11. For many years, it was said that tutin poisoning would only really happen with comb honey, with the active ingredient sometimes confined to only a few cells. One story of four people sitting around a table, eating from some comb honey. Two on one side got violently ill, the others were not affected. While there was a claim that any tutin in extracted honey would be so 'watered down' that it would not make people sick, there was also the claim that the honey may not be thoroughly blended enough to reduce the risk, that there could potentially be 'pockets' of the honey that might h
  12. Doug Briscoe was a beekeeping advisor for the Dept of Agric. I knew him when he was based in Tauranga, in the late 1970s/early 1980s (by then, Min of Agric). He said that given that he was responsible for the areas where tutin might be found in honey, he felt sort of obliged to have a taste of some (confirmed by others' illness!) to see if the effects were as bad as it was described. He said it was about the worst sick he had ever been, lasting a day or more. Never again, he said. I don't think I would have had the nerve to do that...
  13. The only case of AFB I ever had in my own hives was found when it was the first hive I went to in the spring. Even worse (?) it was in the burr comb between the boxes - I had cracked the top box and there in the bit of comb was an infected cell - not one doubt about it. I hadn't even, strictly speaking, lifted a beehive that season yet! Already, I was anticipating a massive level of infection through all my hives. That cell was the only one I ever found in the colony. Having AFB may not be a beekeeper's problem, but continuing to have AFB is the problem. And, as we know, it ca
  14. I don't have a great sense of smell. (That's not the same thing as saying that I don't smell good.) But that cutting, sharp smell of lots of alarm pheromone in the air has always been sort of offensive to me.
  15. I remember a beekeeper saying something to me some years back that he sure enjoyed the money from selling venom, but said the collection was sheer hell. It involved a thin latex (?) layer, with criss-crossed series of wires below. Voltage to the wires, and the bees would stick their stinger into the latex. Inject poison. And hopefully withdraw to live another day. But the alarm pheromones made the whole apiary a difficult place to be during the collection...
  16. @Drone bee Which plant are you talking about in this reply?
  17. Warning: I am not a honey specialist, but I do like Van Morrison. This is mostly from memory of the history and science, and without checking things, I may well make a mistake or two, and trust some on the list who really know this stuff to correct me. The ratio of dextrose:levulose (Damn sugars always have more than one name, and I can never remember which to use - fructose?) is significant. If the dextrose predominates (Viper's bugloss, peppermint, most honeys?), the honey will granulate very slowly with big crystals, an unpleasant texture for many people. If there is more lev
  18. The levy order came into place in Nov 2003, and there was a quick, part year, levy demand that brought the dates into line for the levy order. The first full year of levy collection came in early 2004. It used 31 March 2004 as the calculation date, and was due for payment on 1 June 2004. Every year after that, for nearly 20 years now, 31 March has been the calculation date, and the levy paid on the following 1 June. That has been the model for all that time: 31 March levy calculation date, beginning of levy year 1 June of the previous calendar year, end of levy year and collecti
  19. A levy year has four elements in the Order: A calculation date - just as referred to by @ChrisM above. The Order states it to be 31 March. A start date - the 1 June that precedes the calculation date. Note it is in a different calendar year, but that is the 'start' of the levy year. A finish date - the 31 May that follows the calculation date. A levy due date - on or by 1 June, the first day of the *next* levy year, effectively the same as the end of 'this' levy year. Every levy year has a calculation date 'inside' it. So if you want to know which levy year appli
  20. And would be allowed entry based on a minimal risk profile: presumably clean - will have been heated strained and likely bleached? packaged in small units - not so likely to be made into foundation for instance? relatively high value - indeed, as anyone who has sought to be such small beeswax blocks will tell you... would not be highly attractive to honeybees if it were to be exposed - Maybe a mild interest, but not likely to be avidly foraged upon would not provide significant risk when discarded, and again, as high value would not be likely to be discarded.
  21. Old Allan Bates, starting beekeeping in Taranaki, used to site his apiaries to be convenient to a trout stream coming off (then) Mt. Egmont. There were some idyllic looking bee yards.
  22. Since the Biosecurity (American Foulbrood—Beekeeper Levy) Order 2003 was first put into place, it defined 'levy year' as the year preceding a levy payment. 'Levy year' is the in which someone had beehives, and had to pay a levy. Levy year looks 'back'... Beekeepers, almost as soon as that levy order came into place, reverted to talking about 'operational years' and 'budget years' - the time *after* the (legislatively defined) levy year. Beekeepers, naturally, were naturally forward looking - the spending of the levy. But contrary to some things I've heard, this levy
  23. I could be wrong (it happened once before) but I think this relates to the selling of drone larvae, 'extracted' from the comb (?) and then consumed. High protein, high fat, apparently sorty of nutty in flavour, suitable for frying...
  24. Indeed, Dennis! I sure didn't think about that as I worked down through it. Thanks for spotting and highlighting that. Times change. And even within my time (young as I am...) I worked for a beekeeper who used carbolic acid boards to get bees out of the honey supers...
  25. You'd think the Internet would have enough to look at without going back into the past, but there you go... Nearly 25 years ago I created a conversion programme for beekeepers. It contained the 'mathematical' conversions - feet to metres, etc. But more importantly (I feel) it collected together a lot of the more esoteric rules of thumb - the ones you don't know until you have already done something, often. Obviously, those have particular assumptions that can be challenged. But I thought you might enjoy seeing it, all these many years later... Back in *th
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