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Everything posted by NickWallingford

  1. In round numbers for many years NZ consumed about 2/3 of its production. As production started to touch 10,000 tonnes, NZ consumption was still relatively steady at say 6,000 tonnes. The role of such as the HMA was ensure that the 1/3 that ultimately needed to be exported (regardless of whether the world price was high or low) would sell at the best price possible. The HMA was also allowed to compete on the local market, which caused contention. Some variables that impacted on prices included such as: prices being achieved in NZ, prices being achieved on the world market, produ
  2. Sorry. I don't mean to be causing confusion, and I'm certainly not wanting any AFB spores in your syrup! This was part of Mark Goodwin's earlier work into AFB. The AFB spores were intentionally mixed into the syrup at a given 'dose'. Three different doses, as I recall. From the results, he concluded something along the lines of AFB is not so absolutely contagious as we sometimes feel - he had not been able to cause an infection at the two lower doses...
  3. Absolutely transferable in syrup... But the colony needs to be exposed to 5M spores before larvae and pupae might get infected. Some spores will be stored in honey. Some will find their way into the adult bee stomachs. The overall spore load will decrease when the bees defecate outside the hive. Some spores may be fed to larvae. But it all depends on how many they get whether there are enough to cause an infection. We can eliminate clinical cases of AFB, but may never eradicate the organism. But though the spores might survive damn near forever, unless there are enough of them at one ti
  4. This from some of Mark Goodwin's work:
  5. Trevor Palmer-Jones started research initially into mastitis, but then in 1944 was made the chief NZ beekeeping scientist. He worked through until 1975 - and was made a life member of the NBA. In the middle 1980s I had dinner with Trevor and his wife Claire. I asked Trevor what was the most amazing advance in beekeeping research that had come about during his time as a researcher. He didn't hesitate. "The photocopier!" In all of those early years, a magazine might come by on circulation. If there was anything you wanted to read more closely, or save to be able
  6. I would agree with John here. For 'open robbing', if a super had come from an undiagnosed hive, the AFB spore levels would be divided among the hives that rob it out. The hope/plan/belief is that even *if* an inspection had failed to find the disease before extraction, and *if* (well, when...) spores are brought back to a colony, that the spore level will not be so great as to cause a clinical infection. I'd still have to express amazement that *only* 45% of the hives that had infected supers placed on them became infected. As pointed out, these were infected supers placed dire
  7. Careful paraffin wax dipping, combined with some degree of equipment quarantine, combined with serious and effective inspections and the gear (boxes and excluders - not drawn comb) could be brought back into service. But I think you maybe did the right thing by passing. Often the reason all that gear is put into the shed is that the bees died. To simply add it into your own equipment would be a very, very risky move IMHO...
  8. Back in about 1993, Dr Mark Goodwin did this: 20 supers were collected from hives with a light (est 5 larvae/pupae showing infection). The honey was extracted, and the next spring the 20 boxes were put on 20 clean hives. There were another 20 clean hives that did not have the infected supers placed on them in the same apiary. Within 2 days, all hives (even those without the infected supers) tested positive for AFB spores, even though no obvious robbing had occurred when the wets were added. Ultimately only 45% of the hives given the infected gear developed AFB infect
  9. From memory, it will take something like 5,000,000 AFB spores per mg to create an infection in another hive. The argument that open robbing is 'safe' would rely on that, that even if several boxes from the stacks came from an active AFB hive and were open robbed, there would not be the concentration required to cause clinical AFB. Robbing out a 'dead out'? That's a different story, categorically, in terms of spore spread... To my mind a bigger risk, if someone had up to 6% AFB, would be the implicit acts of regularly transferring equipment between hives. Now *that* would cause
  10. I believe I would agree with that decision. *If* the Mgmt Agency gets so far down the track that they are preparing to destroy AFB infected hives from an abandoned apiary - the owner has not been able to be located - it would be very questionable whether any such gear could be given away to another beekeeper rather than being destroyed. It seems a real waste, but is one of those compromises that the PMP would have had to come to in order to obtain such powers as entry, inspection and destruction. The Govt has never been all that keen to allow individuals or groups those powers - the ability
  11. I believe if you have a DECA you may be allowed to recover equipment using paraffin wax dipping...
  12. I am somewhat moulded by having grown up in the US. What I have from the beginning tried to emulate Kiwi spellings and word use, there are still some like this that elude me. Where I grew up, I think practice and practise were pretty much interchangeable. Inspecting every visit and minimising dramatically any exchange of equipment between hives - and you will clear up an AFB infection. Many of the other vectors - open robbing of wets, neighbour's AFB, 'natural' spread between hives - are, IMHO, often somewhat overstated as possible explanations. Yes of course, even if your
  13. John would be referring, I believe, to the practice of stacking wet supers out in the open after extracting, rather than placing wet supers on top of hives. And I agree with him, that if there is no disease present, it poses no risk. (Having said that, the stinging, robbing brutes were awful to work around, picking up the supers to take back to winter storage...) But it would not be acceptable practice if AFB was present in an outfit. Any amount. But I can't help but still believe that it is the exchange of equipment - frames and gear - from an infected colony to another, uninf
  14. A few days back, I got rid of a wasp nest. It had established behind some ponga retaining, and I took quite some time before I noticed it. Consider it dealt with now. And it reminded me of a story... Jim Barber was a beekeeper. Not long before 1940, he set up commercially near Pio Pio, in the King Country, to the southwest of the Waikato. It would have been pretty hard beekeeping. Jim was involved in the NBA over many years. He was on the Executive, or serving as President, in the period from 1939 through to 1964. Almost every year, either an Executive member
  15. In general terms, the PMP does not specify practices to use or avoid, but allows behaviours that lead to increased AFB to be managed. That is, a beekeeper with a known AFB problem would not be allowed to open rob wets (as per Sailabee above...), presumably. I would hope that dangerous practices are heavily discouraged in developing a management plan for a business that does not have AFB freedom... I always wondered what it might be like when a substantial area is cleared of AFB. It would be human nature to ease somewhat, but I would think that most beekeepers would still keep wi
  16. I read a newspaper article yesterday, with congratulations to Kiwis for having 'eliminated COVID-19', and it reminded me a lot of some events from 25 years ago... NZ's AFB had been regulated since the 1906 Apiaries Act. Without that Act, AFB would have been effectively 'deregulated', to use the popular term of the day. Without that Act, no one could be forced to deal with AFB, there would be no means of requiring inspections, there would be little to counter the wide-spread feeding of antibiotics. It would have been chaos. So along came the Biosecurity Act, intended
  17. A rather strange request... I would sure like to get a copy of the March 1977 magazine if anyone would be willing to let me have it. Even just to borrow would be fine - I plan to scan it, and can happily return it to you. Nick Tauranga
  18. I think the research that debunked the 'smoke causes the bees to fill their honey stomachs so they can prepare to leave the hive' was done in Australia. The issue came down to the time it took them to fill their stomachs with honey - it was shown that by the time the bees would have all filled up in order to abscond, the colony would have burned. That explanation of why the bees are calmer to work simply didn't stand up to scientific investigation. I think the accepted explanation now is related to disruption of the phenomenal communication.
  19. Honey granulates most rapidly at about 11degC. Such honeys as pohutukawa (and rata and some others) have a higher ratio of levulose:dextrose, which means they will crystalise both quickly and with a very small crystal - that is why they are favoured as a starter. Honey crystals, once formed, can be smashed about physically, resulting in a texture that is more desirable. I would count the agitation (with cooling) of a traditional 'creaming' process to be more aimed at continuous distribution of the new (fast, small) grains as they form, rather than the physical grinding or smashing about pro
  20. Research some years back concluded that the adult wax moth: will almost always try to enter a stack of boxes from the top (with other holes in supers all bets are off...), and is not inclined to enter if there is any air flow coming up through the stack. Practical import? You can put the stack of supers up off the base, so there will be a 'chimney' of fresh air being drawn in from the bottom and flowing up through the stack to the top. From memory, some of this may have come out of the Waikato many years ago (?). Mostly open sheds for storing supers would be built with
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