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AFB PMP Management Agency

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About AFB PMP Management Agency

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    Nu Bee


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    Non Beekeeper - I do not want bees


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  1. Clause 15 of the National Pest Management Plan states that: "No beekeeper may permit beehives owned by that beekeeper to be situated in a place for more than 30 consecutive days unless that place has been notified (registered) as an apiary" Please note that a beehive is defined as: "thing constructed for the keeping of honey bees and that is being used or has been used for that purpose; but does not include an introduction cage or a mailing cage" Hence beekeepers must register apiary sites even if none of the hives on the site have a live honey bee colony in them.
  2. Beekeepers legal obligations under the National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan are quite clear: ensure, where American foulbrood is discovered in a beehive owned by that beekeeper, that all honey bees, bee products, and appliances associated with that honey bee colony are destroyed unless otherwise directed (clause 28) ensure that materials associated with American foulbrood are not used and not accessible to honey bees (clause 29) When the Management Agency identifies that a beekeeper is in breach of these plan rules the Management Agency will act to manage the AFB risk that these hives and materials pose to other beehives owned by neighbouring beekeepers.
  3. AFB dog trials should be designed and managed by a professional research organisation such as a Crown Research Institute or University. The Management Agency has provided permits to access and keep AFB materials under appropriate conditions for research purposes, and would not hesitate to do so for research into AFB detector dogs.
  4. Even if there was provision for compensation under the American Foulbrood National Pest Management, section 162A(3)(c) of the Biosecurity Act 1993 would apply:- "Compensation must not be paid if the person failed to comply with biosecurity law: (i) in a serious or significant way (ii) in a way that contributed to the presence of the organism (iii) in a way that contributed to the spread of the organism"
  5. There are no issues with acceptance of research done overseas. The major issue with the above article its presentation of the results does not conform the established scientific norms for the description of their methods and materials and for presenting estimates of sensitivity and specificity. This makes it really hard to assess the validity of the estimates.
  6. Under the National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan beekeepers are responsible for eliminating AFB from their beehives, and the Management Agency is responsible for monitoring and auditing beekeeper compliance with their obligations in order to eliminate AFB from managed colonies in New Zealand. i.e. individual beekeepers are free to make their own decisions as to whether they wish to hire/purchase an AFB detector dog to augment their AFB inspection and elimination practices. The National Pest Management Plan also requires that inspection methods approved by the Management Agency must be generally recognised by the scientific community as effective in the detection of AFB. Currently their is a lack of research on the use of dogs for the detection of AFB published in peer reviewed scientific journals. The Management Agency is legally unable to approve the use of AFB detector dogs until this changes and a quorum scientists are publicly stating that the use of dogs is effective for the detection of AFB.
  7. The Management Agency has recently implemented changes to its apiary inspections: 1. The number of AP2s inspecting apiaries has been increased from 21 to 37 2. The Management Agency is now actively searching for beekeeping operations with high levels of unreported AFB, and we have changed our processes for managing AP2 inspections to facilitate this. Regrettably - the Management Agency believes that there are many more beekeeping operations with high levels of unreported AFB yet to be identified. Beekeepers can assist the Management Agency to identify beekeeping operations with high levels of unreported AFB by ensuring that they report all cases of AFB they find, both within 7 days and as part of their Annual Disease Return. The Management Agency uses this information to identify geographic clusters of AFB and prioritise apiaries within the clusters for inspection. If we find one or more apiaries with a higher than expected level of AFB we schedule further apiaries owned by the same beekeeper for inspection to make a more thorough assessment of the level of AFB in their hives.
  8. The Management Agency has taken the DECA Inspector list down from the website. In future this list will only be available on the website from August to November to assist non-DECA holders to contact a DECA holder to arrange for their hives to receive a Certificate of Inspection.
  9. Trevor, The Management Agency takes its responsibility for protecting the privacy of beekeepers information very seriously. If you could please supply the Management Agency with the name of the lady from Wall Street Journal concerned, her phone number, the mobile number she called you on, and the Management Agency will investigate.
  10. The Management Agency posting information on AFB outbreaks is a balancing act between informing the wider beekeeping community so that they can take action to manage the risk of AFB in their hives, versus protecting the privacy of the individuals concerned - not only because they have a right to privacy under the Privacy Act, but the Management Agency also has a moral responsibility to protect the beekeepers concerned and their families from bullying and harassment that can and does occur as a result of being identified as a result of experiencing a significant AFB outbreak. Individual beekeepers, and particularly those with leadership positions within the beekeeping community should consider what they can do to create/facilitate a culture amongst the beekeeping community where individuals feel safe to admit that they have recently had a case (or outbreak) of AFB, inform their neighbours, seek advice and assistance, and share experiences on how they moved forwards address AFB in their hives. Next time anyone reading this post is considering engaging in a conversation about AFB please consider whether what you are about to say is likely to contribute to a positive culture where beekeepers feel safe to honestly share their AFB experiences, or whether it will perpetuate the current culture where AFB is frequently regarded as a socially unacceptable disease that beekeepers are reluctant admit to. The Management Agency is acutely aware of the learning (and beekeeping culture improvement) benefits of making real case studies about AFB outbreaks and how beekeepers addressed the problem available. These cases studies are most useful if they are presented with the informed consent of the beekeepers concerned as this enables the experience to be shared from the beekeepers perspective. We are working with a couple of beekeepers to progress this and do intend to build a small library of case studies over time.
  11. Nuc_man please do not misrepresent yourself as an AP2. You do not have a valid Warrant as an Authorised Person under the Biosecurity Act 1993 nor an AP2 Contract with the Management Agency - and you have not held either of these for a considerable period of time.
  12. The central premise of the American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan (NPMP) is based on evidence that back in the 1990’s many beekeepers demonstrated that it was possible to eliminate AFB from their beehives with the available tools and technologies. If all beekeepers replicated the same AFB elimination practices used by these beekeepers, then the elimination of AFB from managed colonies in New Zealand was possible. These AFB elimination practices are enshrined in Disease Elimination Conformity Agreements, and the balance of the NPMP rules define the minimum standards for AFB control in New Zealand. Under the NPMP beekeepers are responsible for eliminating AFB from their beehives, and the Management Agency is responsible for monitoring and auditing beekeeper compliance with their obligations in order to eliminate AFB from managed colonies in New Zealand. Many beekeepers are to be congratulated for their AFB elimination practices. Due to your efforts the levels of AFB in New Zealand hives have been held at similar levels to what it was in 1998 when the NPMP was initiated. Unfortunately, your efforts have been undermined by beekeepers that have chosen not to comply with the AFB elimination practices specified in their Disease Elimination Conformity Agreement and/or NPMP rules and a Management Agency that has failed to hold these non-compliant beekeepers to account. This issue was recognised by the Management Agency Board in 2016. In 2016 the Management Agency Board initiated the development and roll-out of a five-year strategy to eliminate AFB. The Management Agency employed Clifton King as National Compliance Manager in November 2017, Marco Gonzalez as National Operations Manager in October 2018, and transferred the management of inspection and compliance activities from AsureQuality Ltd to the Management Agency in November 2018. These changes provided the Management Agency with the capability to undertake compliance and enforcement actions to address serious noncompliance with NPMP rules, as was previously announced in December 2018. The Management Agency has also changed the focus of its apiary inspections from ‘seeking to find hives with AFB’ to ‘seeking to identify beekeepers whom are not implementing the AFB elimination practices specified in their Disease Elimination Conformity Agreement’. The Management Agency is assessing whether AP2 inspection findings are consistent with good AFB elimination practice, and what, if any compliance and enforcement actions are appropriate. In most cases the AP2 inspection findings do not give the Management Agency cause to be concerned. However, the Management Agency is also identifying extreme cases of noncompliance (AP2 inspection finds AFB in more than 10% of hives) and in these instances the Management Agency is cancelling Disease Elimination Conformity Agreements, serving Biosecurity Act directions and acting on default - as in the Mid Canterbury case. Unfortunately, the compliance and enforcement actions undertaken by the Management Agency since November 2018 represent the ‘tip of the noncompliance iceberg’ and there are a significant number of beekeepers with AFB in more than 10% of their hives that have yet to be identified. The Management Agency has recently appointed 17 new AP2s to bring the total to 36 and we are prioritising their work to identify as many seriously non-compliant beekeepers as we can within our existing resource constraints, and undertake compliance and enforcement actions to reduce the AFB risk for neighbouring beekeepers.
  13. The Restricted Place Notice only applies to the apiaries owned by the beekeeper concerned. They cannot move hives from any of their apiaries without a permit from the Management Agency. Other beekeepers with hives in the high risk area are free to move their hives, but as described in this afternoons alert, Beekeepers in the High Risk Area are advised to take the following actions to identify any of their own hives that may have become infected as a result of this outbreak and prevent AFB spreading to their other hives: 1. Identify all hives that either are currently situated on apiaries in the High Risk Area or have been situated in the High Risk Area at any time during the 2018/19 season. 2. Ensure that all hives identified receive monthly inspections for the balance of the autumn period and next spring for minimum of 6 months. 3. Beekeepers should note that hives in the High Risk Area will have a higher than average risk of becoming infected with AFB for the next two years and beekeepers should manage their risk by: a. Implementing quarantine measures b. Ensuring that they complete full frame inspections of every frame of brood at regular intervals during the spring build up and at least once during the autumn c. Minimising the amount of brood shifted between hives d. Minimising the making of splits, tops and nucs e. Minimising the exchange of wet or dry supers between hives located in the High Risk Area and hives from outside the High Risk Area, f. Avoiding the use of feed honey or bee collected pollen, and g. Minimising the movement of hives and h. Keeping good traceability records. Map of the High Risk Area below
  14. Yes composite honey samples can be accurately tested. The Management Agency is planning to take composite samples from multiple apiaries owned by the same beekeeper. This will enable the Management Agency to establish which commercial beekeepers are doing a good job of eliminating AFB from their beehives at a much lower cost than sending AP2s to inspect their apiaries. Positive honey samples will result in AP2 inspections being scheduled to assess whether an AFB management problem exists. The economics of testing composite honey samples works best with commercial beekeepers. Prioritising AP2 inspections of hobbyist apiaries is best done by analysing the spatial patterns of AFB notifications to assess where the unreported AFB apiary acting as a source of infection for the surrounding apiaries may be located. The Management Agency has recently enhanced its methods of assessing the spatial patterns of AFB notifications and is currently using the new processes to prioritise AP2 inspections of both hobbyist and commercial apiaries.
  15. John, Honey testing is an effective screening tool for AFB that will enable the Management Agency to effectively identify problem apiaries/beekeepers in locations where little to no AFB is reported to the Management Agency. The plan is to test 2,000 honey samples per year in regions/locations where little to no AFB is reported by beekeepers. If there is no AFB in apiaries that contributed honey to the sample - then the honey PCR results will be negative. However, if positive honey PCR results are found the Management Agency will organise an AP2 to inspect these apiaries. The assessment of how well the beekeeper is inspecting and eliminating AFB and any subsequent actions will be based on the AP2 findings.
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