How long has the technology been available in NZ to make the diagnosis?
Must admit in my early beeking I never read, or was advised to bag up a few failed hive bees and send them to this sort of outfit. That’s something that should probably be brought into the teaching. Although PMS, starvation and “learning curve” are most likely, would be good to know about these other things too.
The technology used is the same as the COVID PCR testing - namely quantitative PCR. In contrast to what you may have heard from COVID nutters, the technology has been around for over 20 years and is used in a wide range of human, animal and environmental diagnostics.
I should point out that 'this sort of outfit' is *our* outfit !
The important aspect of that bit on sampling is "If you’re not sure about getting a test, take the 10-20 bee sample into a small container and euthanise by freezing the bees overnight
". ie you don't need to get things tested - but if something looks strange then put some strange bees in a ziplock and freeze.
Were EFB or another virus to come into NZ, then MPI and others will rely on this activity. If something looks really strange then take the samples and call the MPI hotline to report it immediately (0800 80 99 66).