To burn or not to burn ???

Welcome to NZ Beekeepers+
Would you like to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up
5,443
5,725
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Not a lot happening on da bees at the moment.... little bit too chilly to be popping lids
But we are running the dogs on an evening to give us a heads up on any AFB issues.B046B9C9-78CA-4944-944D-DEE343BC77D9.jpeg

48 hives in a yard.... 48 seconds to do a dog scan

Well there yah go..... 348 hives scanned in just over an hour.
At a charge out of $200/hr I ‘d call that peace of mind.
 
5,443
5,725
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Good question John F.

Grant's gonna give me the big thumbs down for discussing this on the Apiary diary , so perhaps I should start another thread, and let this one stand as a record of job done in the apiary.

But, I'll be quick and maybe he won't notice......

Back in the day we would have burnt the indicated pallets.
These days we have got the AFB down to a level that we will leave the hives on site and monitor them over the season, running a hive quarantine along the lines of clean gear in, dirty gear burnt.
With only three indications it's doable.

Perhaps this is where science now comes in ...... swab test the indications ..... The Boss mentioned swab tests are about $90 ....?
 
  • Like
Reactions: NickWallingford
179
252
Bay of Plenty
Experience
Commercial
Good question John F.

Grant's gonna give me the big thumbs down for discussing this on the Apiary diary , so perhaps I should start another thread, and let this one stand as a record of job done in the apiary.

But, I'll be quick and maybe he won't notice......

Back in the day we would have burnt the indicated pallets.
These days we have got the AFB down to a level that we will leave the hives on site and monitor them over the season, running a hive quarantine along the lines of clean gear in, dirty gear burnt.
With only three indications it's doable.

Perhaps this is where science now comes in ...... swab test the indications ..... The Boss mentioned swab tests are about $90 ....?
James not trying to be an arse, but you still getting AFB hives and you own AFB dogs. Why? to my way of thinking I would have thought you would be free from AFB, so what/where is the residue AFB coming from?
 
5,443
5,725
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
James not trying to be an arse, but you still getting AFB hives and you own AFB dogs. Why? to my way of thinking I would have thought you would be free from AFB, so what/where is the residue AFB coming from?
Haha , Grant your onto it !

Good question Dennis. Very good question..... and I ask that every time the dog tucker bill arrives.
But the reality is that we operate in the wider community and cozy up with NewBees, WannaBees, Hasbee'sn and commercials over the season when we leave the sanctity of our valley.
It's a bit like when the young Fellah's out on the town for the night. You never know where you might end up and a condom would have sorted the problem.

The Dogs are the insurance. The other year we had bees in pollination and the neighbour got closed down with a 90% infection .
We do our best.
I am very good at finding AFB.
If every beekeeper had a dog or access to a dog or had the sixth sense when doing the inspections before moving brood around , then I think we could make a serious inroad into the problem.
Sadly they don't, so we need to cover our arse.

The other thing is that we need to keep the dogs on form for on going contracts ..... Perfect Practice Prevents P Poor Performance.
 
5,443
5,725
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
But is it legal ? Does the colony burn requirement only kick in when clinical signs are detected ?
The legal requirement is to burn when visual.
The dogs can pick up pre clinical.
Sometimes it takes over two years to show up after a dog indication.
Sometimes it never shows up.
Some hives have that 'Clean Gene' , just like the varroa program is trying to isolate.
The problem is that when it becomes visual, it's a bit late, because the hive may well have been split .....

There is no doubt that the dogs can pick up pre clinical . The dogs are a heads up . DO NOT SPLIT.

If you have a big problem , the the scorched earth policy may well be the answer. Not so bad now that hives are worth next to nothing.
 
  • Good Info
Reactions: southbee
115
160
Gisborne Tairawhiti
Experience
Researcher
James not trying to be an arse, but you still getting AFB hives and you own AFB dogs. Why? to my way of thinking I would have thought you would be free from AFB, so what/where is the residue AFB coming from?
Isn't that a bit like saying 'if you're a good beekeeper then you won't get AFB' ? Which is *not* the message

Like the dogs, we can detect pre-clinical AFB (and quantify it). At low levels we know those hives wont develop clinical signs of AFB. Are the dogs smelling those hives?? Don't know . . .but work is afoot at Massey to find that out
 
  • Like
Reactions: NickWallingford
5,443
5,725
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
The short answer JohnF is Yes, the dogs are detecting pre clinical . And this is where it gets tricky, beacuase if you want total eleimination then the preclinical has to be dealt with .
The preclincal hive may well live a happy and productive life for several years, until such a time it gets a stress event , and then starts to collapse.
At the moment it's up to the individual bee keeper to come up with a game plan on how they treat the preclinical.
The zealot will burn all indications.
The humanitarian will initiate the quarantine and say thankyou for the heads up.

Our own policy is to say "Thanks for the heads up' on the live gear, because we are curious, but any honey box or associated "dry" gear goes in the log burner.

The scientific response , and JohnF will know better than me, is to swab the indications and analyse the results with a very definite thumbs up and thumbs down verdict when the level of indication is determined.
 
115
160
Gisborne Tairawhiti
Experience
Researcher
It seems to me there's a good chance of degrees of pre- clinical, and that at some point the signs are so pre- that the dogs don't pick it up,
so actually AFB is here for good.

And that’s what we call ‘sub clinicsl’ - very low levels that don’t progress to clinicsl signs. To be fair, these may also be infections that the bees clean out.
All clinical hives have been detected above a certain level by DNA - we can detect levels about 1000 times lower though
 

Josh

Gold
768
513
Christchurch
Experience
Hobbyist
If it’s only 3 indications… surely 🔥 then replace. What’s to be gained by keeping them… other than the science of dog validation.

full disclosure, I’m a beek who’s still learning. But watch these conversations with great interest
 
  • Love
Reactions: Grant
8,390
4,812
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
All I know is, that the beeks that I know that kept AFB gear to wax dip later, never got on top of their AFB issues, no major outbreaks but a constant niggle of 1-3+ hives a year and at no set yard. But this was based on when they found AFB by sight, not using dogs.
trouble is for any commercial beek of decent size, you have enough hives that the odd afb hive can be solely due to beeks down the road.

wax dipping gear imho is not worth the cost. its cheaper just to burn and make new gear than to run the wax dipper.
 
3,342
6,177
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
Wax dipping done properly as 100% effective at controlling AFB but you have to have a good Thermometer and you have to use a watch. Subclinical hives have always been with us and when you find clinically infected hives in an apiary where they have robbed out neighbouring hives you can pretty much guarantee the rest of the hives will have some level of subclinical infection. Most of these will not go on to become infected and if you do regular comb replacement over time the level of subclinical infection will decrease as will the risk.
Having said all that I generally don't replace any gear for the first year after an outbreak as it is a bit heartbreaking to put a whole lot of new gear onto hives just have to burn them. There are a lot better methods of detecting subclinical AFB these days but even 20 years ago there were areas where over 50% of the hives were subclinical and most of those would not go on to become infectious.
 
8,390
4,812
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
Wax dipping done properly as 100% effective at controlling AFB but you have to have a good Thermometer and you have to use a watch.
true, however is it worth doing?

time is money. plus cost of getting a dipper in the first place.
its the single most dangerous thing in beekeeping. people have burnt their sheds down doing it.
boil overs are just nasty.
all to save a bit of used gear :unsure:
 
  • Like
  • Good Info
Reactions: Bee Real and Grant
5,443
5,725
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
We do a lot of wax dipping at this time of year. It's agreat way to clean up queen excluders , washed out frames and empty boxes prior to repainting and ensurs that used gear aprt from honey boxes has been sterilised before going out again.
The diesel burner has two nozzles and thermometer technology in the wax tank to turn the second jet on and off as the temp fluctuates.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Grant


Top