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272
320
Gisborne Tairawhiti
Experience
Researcher
Hi John - I attempted zoom for the symposium. I wanted to hear Andrew Cridge. So got set up prior to that talk. I got the slides on my screen but the presenter prior, was only a mumble sound. I could only just hear Andrew, despite slides on my screen. I did a test on my PC to see if the zoom speaker thingy was working. So unfortunately, I zoomed out. Of course, this may be my fault, but I think if my beekeeper brain couldn't manage this, I suspect others may be in the same boat.

Thanks for that Maggie - I'll feed that back. The computer that people were presenting on was also the Zoom computer and so it should have worked better than that. Let me know if you want Andrew's contact details to get in touch with him directly.
Did have a look at some of the posters, and I think you would get more visits to these if they were in the foyer. Of course not every conference is going to have such a big foyer, so that may not be possible.
That's a good point Maggie - I think the idea of having them next to the photos meant that people could do both at the same time. We'll have to see what the Chch centre has.

Interesting comment in Shelley Hoover's climate change talk. It may not be resistance to varroa miticide treatments occurring, it may be increased temps aiding continued laying and foraging. Up until the last fortnight, Canterbury has had a mild winter, and we had a lovely balmy autumn.

All 3 speakers (Shelley, Randy and Dennis VE) spoke about how mite treatments are not decreasing mite numbers in the first month. None of them. And also how reinvasion was happening of varroa by visiting bees. Too me, it was some pretty startling information that suggests other issues are at play rather than mite resistance to flumethrins.
 

NickWallingford

BOP Club
321
470
Tauranga
Experience
Retired
Would welcome thoughts/feedback on the honeybee symposium. Anyone got to the posters?
I can say without having to hesitate that the results presented by @JohnF, both live and then on the poster, provided a highlight for me from the days in Rotorua. I lack the practical experience of varroa, and something of a (personal) lack of interest in gene manipulations, that this work of @JohnF 's made for a combination of defensible science, combined with obvious application and practicability in both the short and medium term.

His work describes, basically, using a swab at the colony entrance and then qPCR to identify the likelihood that the hive has, or soon will have, clinical symptoms. Amazing effectiveness, for a very practical and easy to use process.

But it gets better! Instead of swabbing and analysing on a 'per hive' basis, John has extended into composite sampling - using the same swab on a number of hives. It won't identify which particular hive(s) of the group of hives might have AFB spores at a high level, but the potential for quickly screening an entire yard at a time for AFB with have use. Not only by the beekeeper, but by the Management Agency as a means of cost effectively screening without necessarily visually inspecting each hive in the first place. If the results come back with positive AFB results, then the hive by hive inspections would take place.

I've heard a lot of neat processes and innovations for beekeeping. Often the 'real' value seems to still be too many years into the future for me to appreciate (I'm an old guy, remember). I'd like to think that this methodology might be able to make some differences into the *near* future...

Thank you, John Mackay and Barry Forster. I think you've provided some of the new tools that can have the confidence of beekeepers and lead us into a better outcome for AFB elimination in NZ.
 
3,598
6,733
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
I have to admit that I saw the posters but always got interrupted before I had a chance to read them. I am however quite familiar with John's work and think it is brilliant.
Composite samples would be a very quick and relatively cheap way of determining if a yard had AFB and at that point you can go back and retest each individual swab if a positive result has come up. This extra cost could I think be fairly passed back to the beekeeper involved.
 
1,150
1,076
great barrier island
Experience
Semi Commercial
hanks for that Maggie - I'll feed that back. The computer that people were presenting on was also the Zoom computer and so it should have worked better than that. Let me know if you want Andrew's contact details to get in touch with him directly.
i had the same problem. i was trying to listen on an iphone and could hardly hear anything. also my phone wouldn’t let me see any video or slides ??
 
272
320
Gisborne Tairawhiti
Experience
Researcher
.But it gets better! Instead of swabbing and analysing on a 'per hive' basis, John has extended into composite sampling - using the same swab on a number of hives. It won't identify which particular hive(s) of the group of hives might have AFB spores at a high level, but the potential for quickly screening an entire yard at a time for AFB with have use. Not only by the beekeeper, but by the Management Agency as a means of cost effectively screening without necessarily visually inspecting each hive in the first place. If the results come back with positive AFB results, then the hive by hive inspections would take place.
.
Thanks Nick. It’s been a few years’ work and from a team. But yes, as @John B says, we’re able to go back and test each individual swab that made up the positive pool if required. Which could be useful since we can also detect preclinical infections (hives that *will* break down but are not currently showing clinical symptoms).
 
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445
327
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
I didn’t realise my attendance to a SI conference was so important :) 😘
Tell ya what Frazzie - if you wore that red & black number at any conference u would be deemed as v important! Particularly a conference in Canty in our colours! (y)😍 Would be a treat at the cash bar night - u mightn't have to buy a drink. Betta be careful u might get a job behind the bar, pouring drinks
 
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445
327
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
I liked the New Zealand Bee Biosecurity Visual ID Guide, pocket size, 16 pages double sided photography. I got a couple of these and they were free. They are v similar in format to ID card books printed by the International Bee Research Assn (IBRA), but these are a lot sturdier. I don't know whether they are normally free, but the photography is good, and they would be a great training resource in an educational toolkit
 

Trevor Gillbanks

Founder Member
10,637
7,219
Palmerston North
Experience
Hobbyist
I don't know whether they are normally free, but the photography is good, and they would be a great training resource in an educational toolkit
Yes, they are free.
These little booklets fell out of the Bee Pathogen project that MPI did over a period of 3 years.
SNI bee group was very involved with this project.
Dr Richard Hall is in Wellington and Hayley Praegert is in Auckland.
Two very helpful and approachable people.

I use the booklet when I do COI inspections so that I can show the beginners what I am talking about and looking for in the beehives.

I stole (with Richards approval) half a dozen for giving away to other beekeepers.
 
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272
320
Gisborne Tairawhiti
Experience
Researcher
Yes, they are free.
These little booklets fell out of the Bee Pathogen project that MPI did over a period of 3 years.
SNI bee group was very involved with this project.
Dr Richard (surname has slipped my mind) is in Wellington and Hayley Praegert is in Auckland.
Two very helpful and approachable people.

I use the booklet when I do COI inspections so that I can show the beginners what I am talking about and looking for in the beehives.

I stole (with Richards approval) half a dozen for giving away to other beekeepers.
Dr Richard Hall
One of the things that they presented - if you have high hive losses, then let MPI know - ring the hotline.
No point in just complaining about varroa resistance on a forum (OK, that's my bit, not their's). But really, there are a number of resources (and free!) to work out what has caused hive losses but beekeepers have to do a much better job of reporting issues.
Lots of 'we're hearing anecdotally. . .'
 
3,598
6,733
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
I agree that all beekeepers with unusual hive losses should report them to the MPI hotline but some of us with longer memories would be pretty reluctant to do so because of what happened to one beekeeper who reported possible European foul brood. It's absolutely necessary that MPI investigate possible disease incursions but when that investigation nearly ruins someone financially then they should get some compensation for being a good citizen .
I had something similar but nowhere near as financially damaging many years ago when I ticked yes on my harvest declaration to the possibility that my hives may have gathered honey from a crop that had been sprayed.
I was forbidden to extract the honey, I had to find out what sprays have been used and send off honey samples. Surprisingly to me the test came back completely negative but I was told regardless I was not allowed to export the honey and could only sell it on the local market. By the time all that was sorted out wax moths had eaten half of it. I heard through the grapevine that I was the only person to ever tick that particular box.
I guess my hives must've been the only ones ever to be near a horticultural crop.
 
445
327
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
lol probably won’t be there :)
Boo hoo sob sob don't be like that. I was lookin' forward to meeting ya and garner your image stylist's name. Do ya think a complimentary bottle of superior Leeston mead would tempt you? My favs are blackcurrant honey and thyme honey - Oh la la to die for! And of course I could save you a courier fee on superior quality queen candy. As we know freight is about to go through the roof post Covid. Crikey - I think that's all a v enticing offer! I understand it's only going to be a two day conference.
 


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