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Everything posted by NickWallingford

  1. I'm doing my individual best - promoting mustache wax made from NZ beeswax and coconut oil. I figure I should be able to get through maybe up to a 100gm a year with this???
  2. Absolutely! Though the volume is not great, I guess, we certainly could/should be ensuring that NZ beeswax satisfies the needs. Given the nature of the product (small, discrete, relatively expensive) I would think that should be possible...
  3. Yes, biosecurity is a tenuous thing. But on the other hand, adherence to an approach like NZs could be very reassuring for our industry, assuming our trading partners would all do the same! When the issue of importing honey from Oz, for instance, is proposed - we can use the science of "sanitary/phytosanitary" to resist. We can't say "We don't want honey from Australia because it will wreck our market". We can't say "Ours tastes better than theirs". We can't even say "There would be no demand for their honey." We had to make the argument that there was an identifiable and real
  4. Absolute prohibitions are not common. For animal products, many factors could be taken into consideration when an import permit is sought. The risk analysis would need to take into account: likelihood that the product carries a pathogen etc volume of the import overall volume of the individually packaged wax labeling, either promoting or discouraging a particular use value vectors by which the product might be exposed to bees if exposed, what is the likelihood of an infection Some bee products have an inherently higher risk. Think hon
  5. You might also get good info from: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/importing/food/honey-and-bee-products/
  6. Hi John... Best phone number I could see was 0800 80 99 66, but that is MPI's 'report exotic pests/diseases'. You'll likely get shoved about, but that should get you into contact with whoever would be able to confirm that the item has an import permit. To get such a permit for such a risk item, it would need to have gone through a consideration of risks. That would consider what pests/diseases might be introduced, what risk of actual exposure, etc. I have not been aware of such an import before, but I've not been following things for some time.
  7. I'm not suggesting that the market is the same today. But at that time, yes - based on that evidence people would not buy more if it was cheaper. I don't think honey has become poor value. Back then, when people mostly bought it on the basis of "do I already have a container in the cupboard?", it didn't have an especial 'value' - it was just a spread, and one of the more expensive of those available. Over the last 25 years, NZ consumers have learned (IMHO) to appreciate honey more, providing opportunities of all sorts to create something that is more than just another spread.
  8. Years ago, back when domestic consumption was est. 2/3 of production, there was some interesting marketing research. It was trying to establish how honey was positioned in the minds of families, esp. At that time, even with no honey being imported, the domestic returns were seen to be tied to export returns. This marketing guy seemed to take a different tack - asking what motivated the purchases of honey. Remember, most honeys were being treated strictly as a commodity back then... The shoppers were asked "If the price of honey were to be cut in half, would you buy more?" Resp
  9. Through the life of the HMA - early 1950s to late 1970s - the HMA held moneys back (esp in a good year), with the concept that these funds went into an 'equalisation fund'. Theoretically, that fund would be used to increase the payout in bad years. Remember, the HMA's payout to beekeepers pretty much dictated the price packers' had to pay for honey - if a packer was not willing to meet the figure, the bkpr could always send it to the HMA. When the HMA was to be wound up, there was a lot of discussion about where the money should go. Should it go only to those who supp
  10. That lifter looks a lot like the old Ward Loader. Good for both hives and stacks of honey boxes. Driven by someone who was careful, it was very efficient. But as someone said, prone to have problems if the site was not level...
  11. 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
  12. 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...
  13. 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
  14. This from some of Mark Goodwin's work:
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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...
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. I believe if you have a DECA you may be allowed to recover equipment using paraffin wax dipping...
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
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