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Alastair last won the day on January 20

Alastair had the most liked content!

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About Alastair

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  1. The bees are OK once you outfit them with little tin hats.
  2. Well said Tristan, you are exactly right on all counts. 👍 In fact you must have some experience dealing with some of those people, because those excuses you quoted, I too have heard all of those, almost word for word for what you said. 😎 Re AsureQuality, they were intially involved to bring in management expertise and quality control to ensure everything was done right and above board. However I did talk with Rex one time and he expressed deep dissatisfaction about what they were charging for their services, he didn't name the figure but clearly felt it was way over the top. Not sure but i think it may have been him that initiated getting rid of AQ and thereby freeing up a bunch of money.
  3. https://www.clarkproducts.co.nz/products/chemicals
  4. Maggie this is a popular opinion but i don't think it is actually the case. The levies the "good" beekeepers pay are not subsidising the "bad" beekeepers. The money the "good" beekeepers are paying, is being used to deal to the bad beekeepers, and keep the "good" beekeepers free of contamination, or at least relatively free. The levy the "good" beekeepers are paying, is working for them. It can be compared to the tax money that "good" people pay, that is used for the police budget. The good people do not need a visit from the police, but they do need police, to deal to the baddies, and thereby protect the "good" people. On another issue re training. My own personal belief is that a person can be trained to recognise AFB in 5 minutes. The recidivist AFB spreading beekeepers are often not due to ignorance of the disease, it is due to laziness. A lot of these folks can recognise AFB, but they just don't get in the hives and do the work. It is harder to motivate some people to expend the energy and do the work, than it is to teach them to recognise AFB.
  5. Hmmm..... Canterbury it would seem is the NZ capital for not just AFB, but M Bovis also. 🦉
  6. Very good explanation Chris 👍. I see where Matt was coming from now. 🙂
  7. Wild hives were a major AFB issue pre varroa. Now, based on personal experience i believe they are overated as a source. They are a source, but a small one compared to kept hives. The majority of swarms that establish in the wild are killed by varroa before they have time to develop major AFB. If they die with an AFB infection it will be early stage. Wax moths then move in. Varroa mites did us a favour in that regard. Eliminated wild hives, and eliminated leave it alone beekeepers.
  8. I'll agree that it "seems" to be not working. But in fact it is working. The fact that we now have 5 times the hive density we did a few years ago, with a huge increase in migratory beekeeping, but AFB rates have not massively increased, shows it is working. Over the last year we have seen enough incidents (only some reported), of AFB issues about to explode, that have been extinguished only by the actions of the AFBPMP. And the people who did not get AFB because of these actions are generally unaware. The AFBPMP is "keeping a lid on", but failing to achieve total eradication. Because total eradication cannot be achieved by 30 part time inspectors. It requires better work from all beekeepers.
  9. But like i said, it won't happen. . Let's explain a little further. We would all like to see less hives. But there are two obvious reasons why a "buy down" will not happen. They are logistical, and financial. Logistics, are that counting unreported hives, there are over a million hives in NZ. Let's say the govt bought 300,000 or 400,000 hives to reduce hive numbers to 700,000, or 600,000. What would happen to those 300,000 or 400,000 hives that the govt bought? They would not just be burned bees and all, that is far too wasteful and would be unpalatable. Where would the hives be put? Who would manage them? If a corporate manager was put in charge, you can bet they would not be managed as well as they were under their original owners. In addition, bees reproduce rapidly and there are still beekeepers merrily making splits. Let's say hive numbers were "bought down" to 700,000. It would not take long for beekepers seeing empty places now available to put hives, to bring numbers straight back up to a million again. Financial. We are not dairy farmers who have millions of taxpayer dollars paid to us when there is a problem. We are beekeepers and as such we traditionally get nothing. The money for a "buy down" will not happen. If a reduction in hive numbers does happen, it will be by natural attrition and financial hardship. The powers that be know that, and have essentially been advised of that by our representatives.
  10. Well yes. Same as the assumption in your post. I just expressed it in a few simple words, instead of many words and complex diagrams. 1 to 1 1/2. Simple enough that people can easily do it without having to understand calculus, and get the same result. 😄
  11. The answer Phil is more money for the AFBPMP. But that's not going to happen because back when more money was asked for, the moaning, crying, and general uproar the request generated meant the extra money didn't happen. And this was when beekeepers were making good money. So, what hope now? Probably none. However the fact that the handful of AFBPMP inspectors found a full one third of all AFB that was found in the country, is not just a sterling effort on their behalf, it is an incredible, astounding, amazing effort by those few part timers. I just find it hard to tolerate the endless critisism thrown at the program. It is unfounded and ignorant. That is not refering to the OP, he raises some very good points. I am referring to the other dribble that gets posted.
  12. Exactly right Chris. I do get annoyed with a lot of the moaning i hear about the AFBPMP. Beekeepers are legally required to sort their own stuff in relation to AFB, and if they all did, we would be virtually free of the disease in perhaps 3 years. The AFBPMP is a beekeeper funded program essentially to deal with non compliant beekeepers, on the behalf of the majority of beekeepers who are compliant and are doing what they are supposed to be doing. But are subject to disease and expense because of the few who do not play ball. There HAS to be a monitoring program because just one non compliant beekeeper can cause so much damage. But some folks have the idea that our AFB statistics are caused by poor management at the AFBPMP. Our poor statistics are caused by poor beekeepers. I have said this before, but last years figures were that there were over 6,000 beekeepers, and just over 30 inspectors (who are very part time). You would think with those numbers and all those beekeepers checking their hives, that virtually all the AFB would have been found by the 6,000 beekeepers. But no. Fully a third of AFB that was found was found by the handful of inspectors. The inspectors are stretched very thin, so my personal assumption is that this very poor showing by the 6,000 beekeepers must mean that a whole lot of AFB did not get found at all. And in fact we know that, by the ongoing rate of infections. That may seem harsh but it's the facts and i find it very discouraging. Should say though that it is not an indictment on all beekeepers because most of us are trying pretty hard. But some are not.
  13. You have a way blown out idea of their budget.
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