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lazybee 

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Hello all,
I kept bees in the UK for 12 years (av 8 hives), before moving to france. I was never visited by a bee inspector despite being a member of the the local bee group. Has anyone else slipped through the net so to to speak Is this normal? I am curious as I didn't get any advantage at all from being a member (occasional A4 sheet newsletter). Just paid out money each year. What is your experience????

I was in the Waveney and district group (Norfolk affiliated) It may be very different now. That was 7 yrs ago.

Lazybee
 

Heather 

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There are so few inspectors (though numbers are increasing I am told) so they dont get to all as a courtesy visit- but if you ring them with a query or problem they seem to be quick off the mark to visit- I can only speak for this area, but in West Sussex - ok.
All I get from BBKA is a monthly magazine and insurance. But my local association is very supportive and eager to teach, so worth belonging to them.
They don't come to you - you go to the meetings :rolleyes:- increases advantages :cheers2:
 

Black Comb 

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Local inspector came to see me about 3 months after I got my first nuc.

He said the current policy is to visit all new beeks asap.

Found him very helpful and very focussed on IPM.
 

MJBee 

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I started beekeeping in 1980 and moved to France in 1999 - 19 years and only one visit and that was prompted by an EFB outbreak in the area:(
However during the 19 years we moved 5 times so I was pretty hard to catch up with:)
 

tonybloke 

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Hello all,
I kept bees in the UK for 12 years (av 8 hives), before moving to france. I was never visited by a bee inspector despite being a member of the the local bee group. Has anyone else slipped through the net so to to speak Is this normal? I am curious as I didn't get any advantage at all from being a member (occasional A4 sheet newsletter). Just paid out money each year. What is your experience????

I was in the Waveney and district group (Norfolk affiliated) It may be very different now. That was 7 yrs ago.

Lazybee
As a member of both the Norfolk Beeks, and also The Waveney beeks, I've met the bee inspector several times at various events, and we had a talk by Mike Willis (seasonal inspector), (with examples) of foul brood at Grange Farm.
I think it's like most things in life, you have to get involved to get the benefit!! ;)
 

lazybee 

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As a member of both the Norfolk Beeks, and also The Waveney beeks, I've met the bee inspector several times at various events, and we had a talk by Mike Willis (seasonal inspector), (with examples) of foul brood at Grange Farm.
I think it's like most things in life, you have to get involved to get the benefit!! ;)
I don't know why you think I wasn't involved????...... I would go to all the apiary visits etc Rockland, Elmham (Gail Sp**e's) Barsham etc I visited one of the Norfolk bee inspectors at Rougham (can't remember his name) his house had a strange sounding name. I actually said I was never visited. I was told by other members that they would visit every two years if they could.

By the way tonybloke, do you know R** J*****n Lived in Gorleston moved to Bradwell???has he still got bees.
 
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oliver90owner 

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Yep, best part of ten years and last year was the first time (EFB in an adjacent 10km square) for an inspection. Apart from the early worries, when inexperienced, I now don't think I need him/her every year, or possibly even ever again - unless there is a problem in the area. I know how to contact, if needed, and would if it became necessary. It is a matter of being responsible to your fellow beekeepers. They would be a very close second to know of any suspicions with my bees.

Regular and prompt warnings, if disease is found locally, is a far better system I think. The grapevine works quite well, sometimes too slowly in the area in my opinion. It is always anonymous (as it should be?, esp. if it is not confirmed) but often (sooner or later) the 'source' is pin-pointed. Personally, I could not care a jot if the source is known as long as the beekeeper is not a 'persistent' problem. These things do happen; we can all catch a cold now and again!

I look at it this way; I cannot necessarily prevent a colony being infected, but I can try to prevent spreading any disease to my other colonies (hive tools, gloves and bee-suit). Strong colonies resist infection but those bees might just be the robbers that bring back a nasty disease from an ailing colony, or find an abandoned jar of contaminated honey to scavenge (how much of potential risk might be on supermarket shelves, I wonder).

It is a problem for new beekeepers (inexperience - I know because I was one of those!) and for those with bees in several locations (spread before it becomes apparent).

The rest of us can only be vigilant and try to be careful with our kit and to look for signs at inspections. Regular inspections may be needed for some; I like to think the bee inspector would be very unlikely to 'randomly' find my bees to be a problem. If I suspected them I would like to think that he knows I would be in contact - PDQ. We do see him on a regular basis at the local BKA and do have a good relationship with him.

I would like to know if there is a risk nearby, as soon as possible. That 'information spreading' is a much better system than spreading the disease.

This thread will prompt me to debate if my BKA should retain a test kit for EFB (in particular) and AFB for members' use (at purchase price). Must be better than everyone having them, not needing them and expiry issues, etc., never mind the cost. Peace-of-mind is far better than worrying about it.

Regards, RAB
 

hedgerow pete 

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inspectors do have alarge area to cover and unless they know about you they will never find you, the system starts to have problem when someone how is a bee keeper is not a member of an organisation, in which case its up to you to find them as you dont exsist on thier radar screens, to some people this can be a bad thing because when a diesease does hit they dont have enough information to deal with that situation to otheres its a blessing because they resent them, a very sharpe double edged sword, but dont forget that there are several reportable dieseases that they have to be informed about
 

m100 

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This thread will prompt me to debate if my BKA should retain a test kit for EFB (in particular) and AFB for members' use (at purchase price). Must be better than everyone having them, not needing them and expiry issues, etc., never mind the cost. Peace-of-mind is far better than worrying about it.
Use of the test kits was commented on during the recent Scottish outbreak. I think it was an issue affecting just the EFB kits but can't be sure. They don't necessarily always work as claimed - even when following the supplied instructions to the letter. What the issues are I'm not sure but bee inspectors apparently know of the specifics to get an accurate test in the field and in any case it will almost certainly be backed up with a more accurate test at CSL.

If you suspect you have EFB or AFB then IMHO the first call really has to be the inspector. Wasting time retrieving a test kit from someone within the local association, or waiting for one to come through the post, and then contending with a result that might be inconclusive when it is performed by an untrained operator is to my mind not a particularly good idea.

Some have speculated that it's probably not too far off EFB being officially 'unreportable' just like varroa is now. At that point the treatment regime won't change, it's just there will be less paperwork (and less cost to DEFRA!)
 

Chris B 

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Some have speculated that it's probably not too far off EFB being officially 'unreportable' just like varroa is now. At that point the treatment regime won't change, it's just there will be less paperwork (and less cost to DEFRA!)
I've heard this too. Don't know how true, but it would be ironic: bee inspectors will be spending all their time collecting bee samples, a simple task that any beekeeper can do, but leaving us all to diagnose and deal with foulbrood, a much trickier task.
 

Hivemaker. 

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They were going to remove EFB from the the list a couple of years ago,due to financial cutbacks,but there was such a fuss that they decided to continue,but who knows for how long.
 

oliver90owner 

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Hivemaker,

You are probably right re the microscope; I had forgotten that. I have, thankfully, never needed to use it in that situation.

I was ultra cautious this last season. We knew there was EFB around early in the season, but not exactly where (we have a few with several out apiaries and we knew it was a beek with several locations). I was probably too careful for my own good, but better to err on that side....

m100,

Are you saying the test kits are NBG? Or was it the 'different' type of EFB found in Scotland that was the problem?

Regards, RAB
 
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I have been told the test kits can give a false positive, i.e. say there is disease present when it isn't. I suppose that does mean it works on the safe side. This applies to both the AFB and EFB kit but is fairly rare I was told.

I think the story about EFB was there was a move to take it off the list of notifiable diseases. This is not the same as saying bee inspectors wouldn't check for it or comment if they found it when looking for the more serious AFB. However, it would have meant that a beekeeper who suspected they had a case would not be obliged to tell anyone, which is the case at the moment I understand.
 

gavin 

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John, Rab, Mike

The issue with the EFB kits is that they give false negatives if you don't know what you are doing, and that is the worst kind of error as it can (and did) reassure people that they don't have it when they do.

The ultimate problem is that the infected larvae get overgrown with secondary bacteria so you have to catch the right age, and that this is NOT said anywhere in the instructions, a pretty serious omission in my book. I'm surprised that there is no talk of litigation, given the financial hit taken by some people.

We put a notice on the SBA website and in the magazine to strongly recommend that no-one uses these kits. There is currently (and I hope there will continue to be) an obligation to call the authorities on suspicion of a foulbrood, and so we think that trotting off to Thornes to check it yourselves is the wrong thing to do.

This talk of relaxing EFB's status worries me. If elimination of the disease locally stops being the aim then levels of infection will surely rise and rise.

all the best

Gavin
 

VEG 

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However, it would have meant that a beekeeper who suspected they had a case would not be obliged to tell anyone, which is the case at the moment I understand.
I thought EFB was a notifiable disease :confused:
 
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