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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    9,123

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    The state bee inspector came today at my request and inspected my hives.

    His method of mite testing seemed harsh. He scooped up about 1/2 a pint jar full and them sprayed starting fluid into the jar and shook it.

    Good news....... zero mites. Bad news...... 1/2 pint of dead bees.

    Does a sugar roll test kill the bees?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Odessa, Missouri
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    629

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    No!

    I have seen very few sugar rolls done among inspectors. If you have got all the sugar roll equipment ready on his arrival I imagine he would do the sugar roll.
    Bad news in a commercial operation is 1/2 pint times hundreds of tests.
    Did the inspector take the test off the bees on a brood frame?
    Bob Harrison

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    6,080

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    A couple comments....

    This lighter fluid method is no better than the sugar roll. Whether you use one method or the other, its just a number when done once. This number means nothing untill compared with following numbers achieved using the same method. Thats not to say that one hive with 1 mite, and another hive with 101, different courses of action and assumptions could be made.

    The state should be using a method that any beekeepeer can use. The fact that the state is using lighter fluid in this manner, against labling requirments, and passing off teaching or at least condoning(sp) this use is absolutely wrong. I question if a state program actually calls for such a procedure, or is the inspector just doing it "his way". A call to the state office might be in order.

    Teaching the sugar roll not only puts the beekeeper with a tool that can be done safely, but does not kill bees. And yes to do the test properly, you should shake bees from a frame with open brood.

    If I was a beekeeper in this state, I would refuse the mite portion of the state inspection, and learn to do it myself. And they should not have a problem with that. They should be there as a service and not a detriment to a beekeeper.

    I once burned a hive. Some state employee, not be named, asked how I destroyed the hive. I said I poured a cup of gas in the top and lit it. Its amazing how the state looks at unauthorized uses for chemicals, and non-compiance with labling laws. Something about liability....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    Yes the sample was taken from a brood frame.

    I will not call the state on the guy cuz unfortunatly there are only 2 inspectors in the whole state and would rather not piss him off.

    Next time I will have him abstain from the starting fluid portion and show him the sugar roll (I will be trying it for the first time next week).

    The inspector was a very nice fellow but in the dark about small cell, FGMO, screened bottom boards, and thought hygenic lines of bees were voodoo.

    He also did not think ventilation was a big factor in foulbrood and chalkbrood.

    How can a beginner like myself be ahead of the curve on a state inspector????????

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    You belong to beesource, and he probably does not. [img]smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Bismarck, ND USA
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    514

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    As a former bee inspector in ND, I have to chime in.

    First off, I'm pretty sure this was not the "state bee inspector" who visited you Bruce, but a deputy bee inspector hired on a seasonal basis (and could be in his first season working with bees). These deputy bee inspectors receive no training in actual beekeeping (small cell, FGMO, etc.). What little training they receive is only to find and identify diseases in beehives.

    The method he used to detect Varroa mites is commonly called an "ether roll", and inspectors in this state have been using this method since at least 1990 (and uses engine starting fluid, not "lighter fluid"). This method is a fast & dirty way to determine if Varroa mites are present, and not terribly accurate. However, these inspectors are terribly pressed for time, as they are a lot of beehives in ND (approx. 350,000??). And is taking 300 bees from a hive which should contain 40,000 - 50,000 bees a big concern?

    Bottom line is, as you said Bruce, he came at "your request". You don't have to have your bees inspected by the state, they do it on a request basis (unlike in the past, when everyone was inspected). My personal feeling is that the beekeeper is ultimately responsible for the health of his/her bees.
    Gregg Stewart

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    Gregg, You are correct he was defineitly seasonal.

    I agree that the beekeeper is responsible and I gladly requested, and I might add, am grateful for his visit.

    I was just disappointed in the lack of knowledge on basic ideas like hygenic bees, screened bottom boards, small cell, etc.

    This state should by all means increase it's inspection personel to at least 4 field inspectors and do random uninvited as well as requested visits.

    I do not have as big a problem with the ether roll as the lack of time, training, and number of inspectors. I clearly stated it was starting fluid and not lighter fluid.

    The fellow was great(has had 6 years of beekeeping experience with a commercial concern) and I am sure in time he will do fine. He is welcome at my place anytime.

    What is the time difference between the ether roll and a sugar roll??

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Edgefield County, South Carolina
    Posts
    648

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    I'm a newbee and just completed an extension supported beginner beekeeping class. The ether roll method was the method taught (or should I say mentioned in the text,) I do not remember any other method mentioned, maybe it slipped by me. I first heard of sugar roll method here on beesource. There is a poster-aid on sugar roll in the latest issue of bee culture mag.
    sc-bee

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Bismarck, ND USA
    Posts
    514

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    Bruce,

    Bjornbee called it lighter fluid, not you, just wanted to make sure we're on the same page. Not disagreeing about increasing the number of inspectors, but this state has experienced severe funding cuts in this program. My first year as an inspector (1988) there were 7 of us, although at that time the goal was to inspect at least 10% of everyone's hives in the state. Many states do not even have an inspection program anymore.

    My first year as an inspector I knew absolutely nothing about beekeeping. As previously said, the training involved identifying bee diseases (at that time, AFB, EFB, chalkbrood, sacbrood, no Varroa!) and getting introduced to working around bees. I'm amazed I survived that first Summer. I recall the 1st week I was "on my own" in June of 1988 the temperature was over 100 degrees every day, the well serving the place where I lived was down, so no easy access to water, and working bees so mean I was about carried off! Whatever I learned about beekeeping was a gradual process & completely on my own.

    Having never done a sugar roll, I can't say how long it takes, although I have heard it is much longer than an ether roll, which takes about 30 seconds.
    Gregg Stewart

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Odessa, Missouri
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    629

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    Most inspectors & researchers are not interested (have learned better by now) to get into long conversations with new beekeepers over methods discussed on the internet.

    Time is valuable to inspectors and many people believe if its on the internet its so. Sadly not true just like many things you read in bee books are poor methods of bee management.

    Everything told to a new beekeeper will be repeated (like a joke) and changed (like a joke) a small amount.

    Many inspectors & researchers are far smarter than given credit for.

    I am a commercial beekeeper (few on any bee list). I do not take chances with my bees. I do not waste money on gadgets which may or may not improve my bees. I am still in busness because I look carefully at new methods and try on only the number of hives I can afford to lose. The method has provided dividends and kept me from losing big losses. I do keep an open mind to all beekeepers comments not matter if they only keep a single hive.

    My two cents worth.
    Bob Harrison

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    I would not be against a small fee per hive (say $1.00) with 1/2 going to R&D and 1/2 funding inspectors.

    With ND's hives at approx 350,000 that would yield some nice $$$$ without a major hit.

    I feel the industry needs inspection for the good of all.

    This gentleman spend a couple of hours with me and I gleened some good info.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Bismarck, ND USA
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    514

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    Keep in mind Bruce that most beekeepers don't need or want (myself included) bee inspectors looking through their bees. Also, $1 per hive? For the average commercial beekeeper in ND that is several thousand dollars, and up to $10,000 for quite a few.
    Gregg Stewart

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    I hear you Gregg. One could put a ceiling on the fee to help with commercial keepers.

    I understand the reluctance to have an inspector view our bees. The counter arguement would be is one has nothing to hide then why not??

    As I said I understand both sides of this and lean toward inspection as a "good thing" as Martha would say.

    The key would be trained inspectors funded appropriatly.

    All that said, I am not delussional and realize that it will never happen.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Odessa, Missouri
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    629

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    Fees are cheap compared to other countries. In Australia the inspection service charges $130 Austrailan per hour. The inspection is good for ten days only.

    Nebraska charges .50 per hive yearly even of commercial beekeepers to support the inspection service. The inspection service took a friend to court and got the fees for his 1200 hives.

    I once had my hives inspected four times in a couple months by two different states. I only had to pay for one inspection. Missouri. Each time I have had bees inspected on return from California in Missouri the inspection service has inspected every hive which amounts to a bunch of hives. Never a sample amount. "What the Missouri state inspector wants" was the reply when we asked about the practice.
    Bob Harrison

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    233

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    if i was an inspector and somebody tried to change my methods to something like a sugar roll, during an inspection, i don't know what i'd do.

    darn hippies.
    \"You\'ve got to stop beating up your women because you can\'t find a job, because you didn\'t want to get an education and now you\'re (earning) minimum wage.\"<br /><br />-Bill Cosby

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Bismarck, ND USA
    Posts
    514

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    The only reluctance I have with a bee inspector pawing through my hives is that it is another disruption of the bees, and in this case, unnecessary. I have nothing to hide, although there are some commercial beekeepers in this state and across the country who do.

    I also remember some of the inspectors I worked with, and would not want them anywhere near my bees. Every ether roll done has the potential for the queen getting zapped in the jar.
    Gregg Stewart

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Blountstown, Florida
    Posts
    535

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    Well,

    I guess I just didn't realize that not all states required annual inspections. Here in Florida, it IS required. The fees are small, depending on how many hives you have.

    Last year, I only had about 6 or 8 hives (I can't really remember, I have about 13 now, I think lol ) and Doug inspected them all.

    I enjoyed having him there immensely. He is a long time beekeeper himself, and retired Navy. we had a ball looking and talking about bees.

    I THINK it is something along the line of 1 - 10 hives is $5.00 and 10 - 50 is arounf $10.00 and so forth. I have NO idea how high the fee can go.

    btw...... Doug used the Sugar roll method. Doesn't take any longer than the ether roll.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    Well I am going to take "hippie" initiative and call the state inspector, Judy I think. I've talked with her before and she seemed nice.

    I will forward the Bee Culture poster and suggest they change to the sugar roll. The possibility of killing a queen is real and if the time frame is the same...... why not?

    Heck, even a redneck should get it........

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
    Posts
    923

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    Oh geeze ... I'm REALLY not trying to get any stuff started, just making a point...

    &lt;&lt;I understand the reluctance to have an inspector view our bees. The counter arguement would be is one has nothing to hide then why not??&gt;&gt;

    Is that kinda like:

    If you aren't doing anything illegal with it, why be against gun regestration?

    If you aren't making meth with it, why are you against limits on the amount of psuedophedrine products you can buy?

    If you have nothing to hide, why are you against some parts of the Patriot Act?

    BubbaBob
    running, ducking, and putting on body armor...

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

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    I agree that my use of "hide" was a poor choice of words.

    As a society we inspect and test a multitude of objects and people for the "greater good".

    Like testing OTR trucks and Autos for safety.
    Airline pilots for proficiancy.
    Food products for safety.
    etc, etc, etc. All of these are "intrusions" to somebody.

    An unchecked beekeeper with loads of mites and AFB is a threat to all within range of his bees. If they are migratory them this is even worse. The vast majority of beekeepers are not a problem.

    And BubbaBob........ no need for armor you points are well taken.

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