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1,129
1,046
great barrier island
Experience
Semi Commercial
A sad day for finish off a pretty average season.
Last week I found our first ever afb hive, that’s the first recorded case on the barrier for over 20 years. The one thing I have always been worried about is being ‘that beek’ the one that wrecked our afb free (informal) status. 😢

I found an infected cell when doing the harvest inspection.
I didn’t look any further that day, just culled the bees that night and wrapped the hive up. Once I had the hive back at the shed I had a look at more brood frames and there were a lot of infected cells spread around most of the brood frames.

The pest management agency are now coming out this weekend to run a DECA course and inspect as many hives as poss. They are testing a sample to see if they can match the dna to an area or if we have our own special strain.

Today I’ve been sent an afb warning for another part of the island. From what I was told I believe this may have been a past case that wasn’t reported.
 
1,129
1,046
great barrier island
Experience
Semi Commercial
You are not "that beek".

Somebody else must have brought AFB to the area, not managed it, spread it to you, and they are that beek.

You are the responsible beek who has done something about it.
My emotions regarding the find are all over the place.
There’s the compliant side of me that loves to learn more about bees every day and who is really keen for them to go through the hives and maybe give pointers about how to improve my methods. There’s also a side that is 💩 scared they’ll find heaps, call me a PP beek, remove my DECA and would love to just lock the gate and get on with finding it and dealing with it myself. I can really understand now why some do bury their heads in the sand and hope it goes away.
PS i inspected that apiary again today and found nothing more.. yet.
 

Alastair

Founder Member
Platinum
8,022
9,218
Auckland
Experience
Semi Commercial
Let's say they find more. If you show you are keen to work with them and wanting to eradicate the disease, that will go well for you. Also the fact that you have found and reported it yourself before they were even involved, is a very good look. They are there to help, punishment is a very last resort after all else has failed.

The people who lose their DECA's are generally people who do not cooperate, hide their hives, and don't make the changes needed to eradicate AFB from their outfit.

It could also be they won't find any more AFB in your outfit. Let's hope they find whatever the source was.
 

Grant

Staff member
Founder Member
Platinum
10,230
4,781
You must be devastated, but it's not a poor reflection on you if you find it, report it and do the right thing, which you have done.

Sticking your head in the sand, ignoring it until someone else gets the disease, not inspecting at all, or being told by the agency that you have AFB is PPB.
 
8,413
4,837
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
Last week I found our first ever afb hive, that’s the first recorded case on the barrier for over 20 years.
i call that fantastic.
that may sound a bit weird but when there has not been a case in 20 years people often just stop checking or fake checking.
the simple fact your checking and found it before it becomes a problem, is fantastic.
its a good example of exactly why you must check and have good practises. you never know when its going to be your turn.
 
1,129
1,046
great barrier island
Experience
Semi Commercial
i call that fantastic.
that may sound a bit weird but when there has not been a case in 20 years people often just stop checking or fake checking.
the simple fact your checking and found it before it becomes a problem, is fantastic.
its a good example of exactly why you must check and have good practises. you never know when its going to be your turn.
thanks tristan
yes i agree, we haven’t been as careful as we could have been about things like hive tool hygiene. we do practice site quarantine and I very rarely swap brood between hives and never from apiary to apiary (usually its only swapped around a pallet) unless it’s a split which is marked back to the parent hive. however most of our sites are pretty close together and there would be 100’s of hives within the flight area of this site.

its actually was a little scary and a wake up call how easily it could have been missed if i didn’t open up several cells with holes in the capping on the first frame i looked at and had just rushed on with the harvest without a proper check. With the number of infected cells i believe the hive would have died out pretty quickly.

There was only one cell that had the pupal tongue and i found that after culling the hive and going over each frame really closely, it was a dark and dried pupae in dark comb... i must have missed it when putting the honey boxes on.
 
1,129
1,046
great barrier island
Experience
Semi Commercial
@nikki watts you have done the right thing and are very brave putting it out there. It’s a manure thing to happen, you will be super vigilant from now on, trust me I know. We had 66 hives when we had 3. Never had another case. (Fingers & toes crossed.) All the best.
thanks Bron

i remember a few years ago having a conversation with @daley on here about how i was worried that lack of finding afb would lead to missing afb when it did show up especially as I don’t have anyone going over the hives after me. Her advice then was not to stress too much, i’d know it when i saw it.
It took me nearly a week to get up the courage to post on here about it.
 

Josh

Gold
777
518
Christchurch
Experience
Hobbyist
thanks Bron

i remember a few years ago having a conversation with @daley on here about how i was worried that lack of finding afb would lead to missing afb when it did show up especially as I don’t have anyone going over the hives after me. Her advice then was not to stress too much, i’d know it when i saw it.
It took me nearly a week to get up the courage to post on here about it.

So Daley was spot on. Again well done, I think all responsible beeks are worried about missing it.
 
219
160
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
My emotions regarding the find are all over the place.
There’s the compliant side of me that loves to learn more about bees every day and who is really keen for them to go through the hives and maybe give pointers about how to improve my methods. There’s also a side that is 💩 scared they’ll find heaps, call me a PP beek, remove my DECA and would love to just lock the gate and get on with finding it and dealing with it myself. I can really understand now why some do bury their heads in the sand and hope it goes away.
PS i inspected that apiary again today and found nothing more.. yet.
This doesn't sound like a case of PPB on your part.

There is the possibility that the source could be a jar of honey dumped or thrown into a rubbish bin.

I know of two instances where the beekeepers couldn't work out where the AFB came from. Eventually finding, in both instances, in derelict buildings an old container of honey.

A number of years ago, I had sporadic cases, but apiary specific. Eventually after several seasons of sporadic cases, it transpired that 1 km from this apiary stored for many years in a shed was equipment from a long time deceased beekeeper. Once all the gear in the shed was matched, no prob.
 

kaihoka

Gold
222
190
whanganui inlet
Experience
Hobbyist
Theres something fundamentally wrong with bee keeping culture if people feel they will be criticized for having AFB.
I know I would feel like Nikki and be reluctant to post it to the forum.
How did we end up in this situation.
Its the same with covid .
For the last yr we have to be repeatedly told its the virus thats the problem , not the person.
Must be something primeval in human nature to find fault in often uncontrollable situations.
 
15
9
New Zealand
Experience
Commercial
Over several years there has been so much wining that the AFB PMP were not doing there job. Their knee jerk reaction has been to try and be big brother even to the extent were they encourage people to dob in your neighbors
Now the PMP was set up to be run by the beekeeper for the beekeepers. We now have the situation were almost all beekeepers are not able to give meaningful input. So we now have a police state. And dont get me started about the unworkable hive levy

So get rid of the big brother state and get beekeepers working together.

Also dont forget the review thats coming up, that is going to be conducted the elite few
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: Bee Real and John B
1,129
1,046
great barrier island
Experience
Semi Commercial
Over several years there has been so much wining that the AFB PMP were not doing there job. Their knee jerk reaction has been to try and be big brother even to the extent were they encourage people to dob in your neighbors
Now the PMP was set up to be run by the beekeeper for the beekeepers. We now have the situation were almost all beekeepers are not able to give meaningful input. So we now have a police state. And dont get me started about the unworkable hive levy

So get rid of the big brother state and get beekeepers working together.

Also dont forget the review thats coming up, that is going to be conducted the elite few
hi @Morporks
i’ve been really happy with the response of the afb pmp. As much as i’m scared what they’ll find i’m really grateful they’ve taken my case so seriously and are throwing dollars, inspectors time and lab testing at trying to find the source and then eradicate. It will be 16 days from me calling them to them flying in tomorrow.

I hear stories of factious and over the top handling of cases, I have faith that’s not what will happen this weekend. 🤞🤞

also, it’s is beekeepers coming over.
 
1,129
1,046
great barrier island
Experience
Semi Commercial
Theres something fundamentally wrong with bee keeping culture if people feel they will be criticized for having AFB.
I know I would feel like Nikki and be reluctant to post it to the forum.
How did we end up in this situation.
Its the same with covid .
For the last yr we have to be repeatedly told its the virus thats the problem , not the person.
Must be something primeval in human nature to find fault in often uncontrollable situations.
Theres something fundamentally wrong with bee keeping culture if people feel they will be criticized for having AFB.
I know I would feel like Nikki and be reluctant to post it to the forum.
How did we end up in this situation.
Its the same with covid .
For the last yr we have to be repeatedly told its the virus thats the problem , not the person.
Must be something primeval in human nature to find fault in often uncontrollable situations.
i haven’t had covid but that is exactly what I imagine it would be like. you kinda know it’s not your fault but still feel ashamed.
 


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