"High-risk beekeeping operation"

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NickWallingford

BOP Club
144
202
Tauranga
Experience
Retired
Both the 2018/2019 and the 2019/2020 report on the National Pest Management Plan (both available from Reports to Industry | The Management Agency, National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan New Zealand) use an interesting ratio in interpreting some AFB reports and findings.

In both years, the target group, those who are being described, are beekeeping operations that considered 'high risk'. In the first year, there were 3 'high risk' operations. The second report refers to 12 high risk (quite likely including the 3 from the previous year?). It considers the total number of hives owned by these high risk operations, and the total number of AFB cases found by the Management Agency when concentrating efforts on these beekeepers, and concludes that operations that are in trouble such as these might well be under-reporting their AFB findings... I understand it fine up to that point.

But the report compares that "percentage of AFB found/reported in high-risk operation" with "percentage of AFB found/reported by all beekeepers". One might expect the high risk operations to be either commercial or at least semi-commercial in nature - but the "all beekeepers" includes (presumably) a reasonably large number of hobbyists, each of whom would be reporting a small number of hives each. Another large number of hobbyists would perhaps not be finding AFB at all. It just makes the comparison a bit questionable in value to me...

Don't get me wrong. I am not expressing upset at these large numbers of AFB hives found in a small group of beekeeping operations. I would like to hope that the Management Agency is both effective at dealing with the problem, but also making sure it all gets charged back to those beekeepers...
 
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5,526
5,842
canterbury
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Not quite sure what your angle is here Nick ..... but ..... I'll go for the tangent tonight.

Today has been one of those cruisy days . We finished extracing the Rata yesterday, which is a geat relief because it was going hard in the pipes and spinners overnight and we were having to drain and clean everything after every session.
It got to be a marathon in the last few days, mainly because the honey shed got hit by a robbing spree.
I had taken the bees away from our bush site up the hill a few days ago, hoping that would sort the problem, but it got worse. The robbing was a slow and staedy build up ..... couple of bees at 10am, by 3.00pm it was full on and the exyracting crew were wearing veils, and at the end of the day wheel barrow loads of deads bees were wheeled away to the vege garden ..... Dust to Dust, ashes to ashes.

Our nearest bee site of 48 was 3k's away.

We rang the agency and got a very personalised service from Mr M who jumped onto the system and said there were no known sites within 2 k's. Thanks Mr M !

I'm still none the wiser. Generally when we take the bees over to the other side of the hill it sorts the issue.

Out of curiosity , after we had closed the plant down the other night I jumped on the push bike and went in the opposite direction to where our bees are, and stopped every so often in my honey sticky overalls. I got majorley hassled in the first k and a half. Hmmm.

Today was low cloud and drizzle and we had the shed doors open all day as we had a major clean up, cleaning pipes and sumps and tanks ready for more honey ..... sweet Canterbury clover that can sit in the pipes for a week before it gets the urge to granulate.
And thankfully there was no robbing.

Next time the sun comes out I'm gonna put a sticky box out down the road and see whose interested in it.

High risk operation ..... AFB management and reporting relies on honesty ...eh.
 
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8,436
4,865
maungaturoto
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Commercial
High risk operation ..... AFB management and reporting relies on honesty ...eh.
you never know who is hidden away.

years ago i had one of the orchard owners telling me he had a visit from local beek wondering whose hives where on his orchard.
"o those guys, he been around for ages, thats not a problem. just looking for new guys because afb is showing up around the area."

local long time beek was hunting for the source of afb. we found out who a few years later when afb just ripped through everyone's hives like a bad curry that you can't get the bee suit off fast enough.
 
245
176
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
Not quite sure what your angle is here Nick ..... but ..... I'll go for the tangent tonight.

Today has been one of those cruisy days . We finished extracing the Rata yesterday, which is a geat relief because it was going hard in the pipes and spinners overnight and we were having to drain and clean everything after every session.
It got to be a marathon in the last few days, mainly because the honey shed got hit by a robbing spree.
I had taken the bees away from our bush site up the hill a few days ago, hoping that would sort the problem, but it got worse. The robbing was a slow and staedy build up ..... couple of bees at 10am, by 3.00pm it was full on and the exyracting crew were wearing veils, and at the end of the day wheel barrow loads of deads bees were wheeled away to the vege garden ..... Dust to Dust, ashes to ashes.

Our nearest bee site of 48 was 3k's away.

We rang the agency and got a very personalised service from Mr M who jumped onto the system and said there were no known sites within 2 k's. Thanks Mr M !

I'm still none the wiser. Generally when we take the bees over to the other side of the hill it sorts the issue.

Out of curiosity , after we had closed the plant down the other night I jumped on the push bike and went in the opposite direction to where our bees are, and stopped every so often in my honey sticky overalls. I got majorley hassled in the first k and a half. Hmmm.

Today was low cloud and drizzle and we had the shed doors open all day as we had a major clean up, cleaning pipes and sumps and tanks ready for more honey ..... sweet Canterbury clover that can sit in the pipes for a week before it gets the urge to granulate.
And thankfully there was no robbing.

Next time the sun comes out I'm gonna put a sticky box out down the road and see whose interested in it.

High risk operation ..... AFB management and reporting relies on honesty ...eh.
Have you got a drone (not a bee) that you can put in the sky?
 

NickWallingford

BOP Club
144
202
Tauranga
Experience
Retired
Your story is much more interesting than my misc. scribbles, @James . The point I was wanting to make was that the Mgmt Agency found 12 beekeepers with 620 cases of AFB. But what is missing for my understanding is some relationship to total hive numbers. If those beekeepers only had a total of 620 hives before the burning started, I'd feel one thing. But if they had, say, 60,000 hives my perception of risk might be quite different.
 
5,526
5,842
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Wow ..... so that's 51 afb hives per beekeeper. That's quite a lot , but then as a percentage it mght be quite small. My first year with Airborne honey we burnt over 200 !! That was from about 5or 6000 hives.
 
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5,526
5,842
canterbury
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Ha .... we run a very high risk operation.
We start cracking lids in mid August, and start paying out more wages, sugar, varroa, trucks, fuel, compliance and sundries with absolutely no idea of what sort of a crop price or yield we are looking at.
We run a very dodgy business.
Compare that to my mate down the road who milks cows. He knows already that for next season he is looking at a $7.46/kg payout and is pretty confident about how much each cow will produce.
No wonder he bought the top of the range boots at the field days today, and I settled for a new pair of crocs.

Having said that, we both agreed that he would never want to crack lids, and I sure as heck have no ambition to be peed on by a cow in the cowshed.
 
29
43
Canterbury
Experience
Hobbyist
Your story is much more interesting than my misc. scribbles, @James . The point I was wanting to make was that the Mgmt Agency found 12 beekeepers with 620 cases of AFB. But what is missing for my understanding is some relationship to total hive numbers. If those beekeepers only had a total of 620 hives before the burning started, I'd feel one thing. But if they had, say, 60,000 hives my perception of risk might be quite different.
I believe high risk operations were described or defined as the ones having more than 10% AFB found by AP2s at inspection.
Reports had beekeepers with Afb incidences ranging from 20% to above 80%
 
188
176
Southland
Experience
Commercial
Ha .... we run a very high risk operation.
We start cracking lids in mid August, and start paying out more wages, sugar, varroa, trucks, fuel, compliance and sundries with absolutely no idea of what sort of a crop price or yield we are looking at.
We run a very dodgy business.
Compare that to my mate down the road who milks cows. He knows already that for next season he is looking at a $7.46/kg payout and is pretty confident about how much each cow will produce.
No wonder he bought the top of the range boots at the field days today, and I settled for a new pair of crocs.

Having said that, we both agreed that he would never want to crack lids, and I sure as heck have no ambition to be peed on by a cow in the cowshed.
I agree on all points there and nothing wrong with a new pair of crocs :) I'd say you described all beekeepers blight, we can't really predict next season's crop as much as a farmer. And it would be great if we would get some indication of a price for next season, but try and tell the buyers that....
 


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