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5,529
5,853
canterbury
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Commercial
About what. There are several points @Alastair made.
Sure, if you have 40 or 50 hivrs to burn , them it's probably better to get a digger in and scoop out a big hole, but for one or two, or four or five , i sure as heck am not gonna spend the afternoon with a crowbar digging a hole in hard clay and rotten rock.
It's the burning drum every time. Start off standing up, and then as the burn proceeds, tip it over onto a stand, which then lets the air in and gets a rip roaring fire going, and as that subsides into a mass of gunk and charcoal, rotate,burn, rotate, and by burn end all that is left is nails and wire.
No residue. No unburnt honey in the soil for potential robbing, because trust me, bees will find it .... and I'd suggest that every one is not as conciertious as digging holes as Alistair.
Trust me again on that on. I seen bonfire sites in the Back of Beyond that were one helluva good party.
 
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247
176
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
I have always used a drum on it's side with a good bottom, and turning it (fortunately not for ten years now). Try digging a hole in Leeston - I would have to get in a contractor with a huge digger.

If I lit a bonfire, I would risk setting the whole of Mid Canterbury in flames. Also underground fires despite the surface being controlled, cos of our shingle soil have caused major devastation to property the last few years.
 

Alastair

Founder Member
8,092
9,300
Auckland
Experience
Semi Commercial
Hmm I don't recall any of those problems when burning AFB in Leeston. Just dug a hole a bit like you would anywhere else in NZ, put the hives in, apply diesel, light. Seemed to work ;)

But here's a tip for those struggling with hard dirt. Take the turfs off and put them to one side, then use a pick axe. You can powder up the hardest of dirt pretty easily then shovel it out. Works simply enough for stuff you would kill yourself trying to get a spade into.
 
3,373
6,242
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
I would like to see community AFB incinerators made from heavy duty steel , capable of holding a whole pallet of hives and able to be loaded by a forklift. Underneath it would have a secondary fire pit to thoroughly burn any honey pooling in the bottom. Properly constructed fire pits are good but it is impossible to burn all the honey when you have a heavy hive.
The burning of Infected plastic frames, boxes et cetera is thought by most beekeepers to be legal but I have heard several views on this one and we probably won't know for sure until someone is prosecuted .
 
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Alastair

Founder Member
8,092
9,300
Auckland
Experience
Semi Commercial
Very much agree John, the biggest obstacle I have seen here to people properly dealing with their AFB hives is the difficulty of doing it. So many hives were not dealt with properly. There is now a guy here doing it commercially, 50 bucks for most hives. Has helped the overall situation a lot.

Nothing stopping something similar in other areas.
 
247
176
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
In December because of a local enquiry I contacted the AFB PMP regarding AFB hive destruction during the fire ban.

I understand the PMP have a list of trusted beekeepers in various parts of NZ who offer destruction at $50 per box, plus mileage, and that this is the usual price for safe destruction of AFB infected hives for a fee to hobbyist beekeepers. This is a good option for hobbyist beekeepers in densely populated areas.

DECA holders have permission to move infected gear for either safe storage (if there is a fire ban) or safe destruction. Non DECA holders must destroy the hives on site, and if they cannot they can ask for a free permit from the Agency to shift.
 
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247
176
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
I would like to see community AFB incinerators made from heavy duty steel , capable of holding a whole pallet of hives and able to be loaded by a forklift. Underneath it would have a secondary fire pit to thoroughly burn any honey pooling in the bottom. Properly constructed fire pits are good but it is impossible to burn all the honey when you have a heavy hive.
The burning of Infected plastic frames, boxes et cetera is thought by most beekeepers to be legal but I have heard several views on this one and we probably won't know for sure until someone is prosecuted .
If the govt are going to be building specialised isolation facilities, I would imagine incinerators would be part of the deal. Now there's an idea!
 

Alastair

Founder Member
8,092
9,300
Auckland
Experience
Semi Commercial
Jacinda rebuffed the idea, for the obvious reason that we should all be vaccinated before any specialised quarantine facility would be finished.
 
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3,373
6,242
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
I have a vague memory that the local port used to incinerate hives in their incinerator. I assume that ports and airports have some means of destroying all the contraband goods that come in and get confiscated including many tonnes of honey every year.
I'm not sure I'd be willing to pay $50 a box for safe destruction but $50 a hive would be probably cheaper than what it cost me to do it myself.
 
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247
176
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
I have a vague memory that the local port used to incinerate hives in their incinerator. I assume that ports and airports have some means of destroying all the contraband goods that come in and get confiscated including many tonnes of honey every year.
I'm not sure I'd be willing to pay $50 a box for safe destruction but $50 a hive would be probably cheaper than what it cost me to do it myself.
Once upon a time... over 20 years ago.... I do know that the incinerators at Lincoln Uni and Port Lyttelton were used.

Unbelievably the first day of an AFB surveillance contract that I undertook in 2000, the first hives I inspected had AFB and the owner disposed of these.

Then I went to a site in ChCh, the whole of a huge front lawn was covered in Langstroth hives and nucs, but not many had frames, most had no frames! Tony Roper had just been appointed as AQ SI officer, hadn't even moved here, and I understand that his first job was taking all these hives to Port Lyttelton for incineration - No AFB, but illegal, cos no movable frames.

My third site, I inspected that day, I had to use a spade as a hive tool to crack it, and I was unable to put the hives back together, so they had to be destroyed as well. The beekeeper had cheekily placed it in a public park, so he had to attend to it ASAP, particularly as he was the Parks and Reserves manager for a local body! His staff happening to be pruning trees in the park that day thought it hilarious (apparently he was an old grump).

The fourth site, I stepped in a massive smelly dog poo, and the hive had not been inspected for over a year; according to the previous AFB inspector report placed on the hive mat over a year previously. There were numerous swarms in barns on that property, and The Rope had to attend to these also.

What a welcome to being an AFB inspector! Seriously questioning, what I had let myself in for. Fortunately the other sites inspected that day were normal, as were the remaining days of that particular surveillance programme.
 


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