Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Florida dept of apiary inspection had the reputation of setting the stanard of quality years back. Now almost all inspectors have little or no beekeeping experience. I dont know of any that have ever had more than a handful of hives for a few years other than a few oldtimers still there. My inspector while a really nice person and doing the best she can has never had and doesnt have bees. The problem seems to be low pay and inability to attract knowledgable beeks. They seem to think that going thru a short bee school and being certified master beekeeper is good enough. I had to correct one inspector a couple years back that took off the top box and sat it down in 6" tall grass. I explained that you could kill or loose a queen. Later the head guy called and thanked me for helping them! REALLY? I have heard numerous stories from other beeks. Last week I had a yard of over 100 hives quaranteened for american foyl brood just as i was preparing to head north. (Would be expensive to head back in 30 days with a semi). After looking at the hive i determined rather easily it was not AFB. I remained under quarantine for a week until lab results came back. It was NOT AFB. Any experienced beek woykd gave known. My inspector did the best she could with her lumited experience. I was a slight case of a virus with just a few cells and great looking brood pattern. This kind of thing can cost a beek thousands of $$ in lost pollination and lost contracts and honey production. Let alone returning to pick up a few hives. We pay for inspection fees and moving permits...it all gets into your pocket after awhile. A beek who dont control and burn AFB is out of business. After talking to several commercial beeks we have decided to seek to end the inspection program in FL. It would be much better to have a few KNOWLEDGABLE BEEKS to have in time when needed. But to waste taxpayer and beeks dollars on unqualified personnel is nuts. We will in the near future begin a petition to end this program as all Ive talked to are very disatisified. Any ideas and input are welcome. Rick Sutton
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,677 Posts
so what will you do for states that require an inspection permit to enter the state?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,420 Posts
Nothing. Enter the state. There are only 2 states that I know that check at the border. The rest that I have seen is just a paperwork drill. I had an inspector quarantine a yard of mine in NYS for AFB last fall. Now granted it did have similarities to AFB, but it wasn't, it was EFB. He actually did 2 inspections and swore up and down if was AFB. Luckily I was not trying to move my bees at that time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,120 Posts
It's sad to here it's coming to this. Everyone in our club looks forward to the expert advise that comes from our inspector with 30 years as a commerical beek under his belt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,237 Posts
I fully understand a mistake like this could cost $$
However you asked for thoughts.
To me anyone can err even a pro,
I just don't believe ALL these beeks!! ( I was told 27 States visit/ winter in Florida )
will self monitor,
Kill or cure their bees before entering or exiting Florida?
IMO,There is Always ONE ?

You've had 2 errors in how many years in the Fl. System??
One being corrected immediately and you taught him a lesson
(Then thanked by his boss)

The second took a week, too be turned around.

I do see your frustration on the most recent, but wanting too abolish the
Entire program. I feel it's a bit much.
I think the inspector is a nice person,I also "see/feel" there is
a few that just have it out for her,not just with bees but personality.
That helps nothing to the inspector position.

I am in no way saying you, these are people I've had contact with.


JMHO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
no beekeeping experience. ... They seem to think that going thru a short bee school and being certified master beekeeper is good enough.
Being a certified master beekeeper in Florida means you must have had bees for 3 years, I wouldn't call that a short school.
http://http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/honeybee/extension/master_beekeeper.shtml#Master

After talking to several commercial beeks we have decided to seek to end the inspection program in FL. It would be much better to have a few KNOWLEDGABLE BEEKS to have in time when needed. But to waste taxpayer and beeks dollars on unqualified personnel is nuts. We will in the near future begin a petition to end this program as all Ive talked to are very disatisified. Any ideas and input are welcome. Rick Sutton
As a hobbyist and not a full time commercial beekeeper this is a bad idea. You may feel the inspectors are beneath your level but the vast majority of beekeepers in the state are hobbyists with little or no knowledge and they are well above them. The hobbyists are the people that are a danger to your hives since they cant recognize AFB at all. Without the inspectors those people will have infected hives and that will spread to destroy your business. They will be out of a few hundred dollars, you will be out of a livelihood.

I am not dissatisfied with the inspectors in North Florida. The several apiary inspectors in Florida I have had extended contact with; Jeff Pippin, Rob Horsburgh, Gary Van Cleef (who regularly visits these forums), Mark ***** and Stephen Cutts are all knowledgeable. From the lectures they have given at Bee College and our local club I know several of them at least have their own bees. Cutts is a 4th or 5th generation beekeeper and has stories about beekeeping at 4-5 years old, thats not not experience.

Rather than trying to destroy a valuable program that protects you from the incompetence of others maybe you should contact your inspectors supervisor about their lack of knowledge, or look to make changes to the program for operations over a certain size. You should also be aware that if Florida stops inspecting your bees the other states wont let you enter them with your bees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
Maybe their should be a reimbursement to the beekeeper when the state quarantines your hives for lost income, transportant cost etc when found not to be AFB. I really don't know why we have these inspections in any state because all states have the same disease and pests
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,120 Posts
While I'm not dissatisfied with my inspector. I want to know how someone with no experience can become an inspector? I can assure you a "Master beekeeper" cert doesn't mean much. I worked for Oracle corp and I can't tell you how many times I went in to fix databases and on the wall behind the admin was his "Master Cert". Classes are no substitute for experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
Last week I had a yard of over 100 hives quaranteened for american foyl brood just as i was preparing to head north. Rick Sutton
Rick, once the "AFB" was detected, did the Inspector inspect all of the rest of the colonies in that yard? That's what would have happened in NY. At least that's the way it used to be.

I never understood the need to quarantine the whole yd when one suspect case was found.

Did you have the option of burning the hive that the supposed AFB was found in?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
While I'm not dissatisfied with my inspector. I want to know how someone with no experience can become an inspector?
It's not like their are experienced and knowledgeable people beating down doors to fill the positions.

Seems to me like FL should pair experienced and knowledgeable Inspectors w/ Novice Inspectors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
The hobbyists are the people that are a danger to your hives since they cant recognize AFB at all. Without the inspectors those people will have infected hives and that will spread to destroy your business. They will be out of a few hundred dollars, you will be out of a livelihood.
You over estimate the virulence and efficacy of AFB and its impact on a commercial operation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,677 Posts
Our inspector is experienced and a pleasure to work with.Don't expect much support for your petition.
maybe all the beeks that are happy with their inspectors, should start writing letters in support of those inspectors to their legislators and the head of the bee inspection agency.
may help the good ones to keep their job, allows the less experienced to be addressed, and keeps the system working.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
You over estimate the virulence and efficacy of AFB and its impact on a commercial operation.
I disagree, certainly the outbreak of AFB in the last century, absent antibiotics, nearly wiped out beekeeping in the US and hives were much less numerous then. In the early part of this century word was as 1000 hives in NY were burned during the 2001 AFB outbreak. Studies on AFB spores showed not much other than fire destroys the spores and they remain viable for decades. That's virulence with a a capital V. In Chemung County alone there were over 100 hives I am aware of with AFB and the bee club was burned out of existence during the 2001 outbreak. if you read the New Zealand Study they added one extracted infected super to one hive in a yard of I think 40 hives and within 20 days all hives in the yard were infected. I'm confident the concept commercial operations don't show infection has more to do with what used to be the continuous use of TM and today the use of Tylan. Remove the efficacy of the medications, which will eventually happen, and then ask what happens.

I've been an outspoken oponent of inspections for years due to the process of having either inexperienced beekeepers or my competition inspecting my hives. Peter Borst certainly made me a believer in the fact it is a good idea to have inspections by qualified inspectors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
I know my experience is anecdotal, but I have never used TM or Tylosin to address AFB. I have had cases of active and visually detectable AFB, which I burned. It didn't spread like wild fire.

In my 20 years of doing Apiary Inspection in NY I have seen plenty of cases of AFB w/in an apiary, not effecting the other hives in the yard. One case in point was a yard of 40 or so hives w/ 3 hives w/ active state AFB and scale showing too. The beekeeper knew of them but had not gotten time to deal w/ them yet. Once I found them the quarantine kept them from dealing w/ them until Lab Verification came back. That was more than a month. But they couldn't move anything out of that apiary because of the quarantine, further exposing the rest of the colonies to potential infection.

If AFB is so contagious, wouldn't the intelligent thing to have done would have been to allow the beekeeper to go ahead and burn the infected hives? Or to move the rest of the hives to a vacant apiary?

I don't know to what degree Sutton looks at each and every frame in each and every brood chamber when his hives are in FL, but I end up looking at almost all of mine and many of them more than once during my spring in SC.

The solution is education. Education and experience. I don't know any Apiary Inspectors in FL, but, I would not want the me that came out of two years of school w/ a Degree in Commercial Beekeeping inspecting bee hives alone, w/out experienced education. I was shown my first case of AFB by the beekeeper after I had inspected one of his apiaries, the first week of work. Training, experience, and supervision are key.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,290 Posts
I'm confident the concept commercial operations don't show infection has more to do with what used to be the continuous use of TM and today the use of Tylan. Remove the efficacy of the medications, which will eventually happen, and then ask what happens.

I've been an outspoken oponent of inspections for years due to the process of having either inexperienced beekeepers or my competition inspecting my hives. Peter Borst certainly made me a believer in the fact it is a good idea to have inspections by qualified inspectors.
My thoughts exactly Joel.

In 2011? a Florida beekeeper sent 1000 nucleus colonies to New England. Many broke down with AFB and EFB. They came with a Florida inspection certificate.

Trouble is, the producer uses Tylan to control the disease. He told me he doesn't use Tylan but I know he does. I saw his inspection report. AFB severely resistant to TM. So he sends the nucs to beekeepers who have never heard of Tylan, and what do you think happened? No Duh!

And when 7000 Florida colonies land in Maine for blueberry pollination…all inspected on the same day, well…

That's what we call a "Lunch Counter Inspection".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,237 Posts
Michael Palmer
Without having to use names of apiary can you tell me where in the state of Fl. He is from
North, north east
East
South south east
West south west
Panhandle

And all,the rest
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,046 Posts
And when 7000 Florida colonies land in Maine for blueberry pollination…all inspected on the same day, well…

That's what we call a "Lunch Counter Inspection".
The inspectors do not inspect all colonies in large operations. I once asked how they managed that with so few inspectors. They are required to inspect 10% of colonies in operations with more than 100 hives. 10 or less they inspect them all and I don't remember what the other numbers are. And they only inspect once a year. if those nucs were made after the inspection or before the inspection it is unlikely than any were inspected. The problem is that in Florida the number of beekeepers has about quadrupled and inspection services are having a hard time keeping up.

A better solution may be to have the more experienced inspectors that just inspect the commercial/sideliner outfits and the less experienced the hobbyist (which make up the majority of registered beekeepers but require more time on a per apiary basis.

You know you get what you pay for most of the time. Bee registration in Florida is $100.00 per year for 500 or more hives. For hobbyist with less than 10 it is $10.00. With that type of budget the fees are unlikely to even cover the cost of fuel to get to all the hobbyist. I imagine the fees will go up if we are to expect a more thorough and comprehensive inspections from experienced inspectors.

In all I have found the inspectors to be very knowledgeable, helpful and an invaluable resource to small keepers. Large commercial bee outfits are no different than any other commercial activity. None want more government involvement in their operations. And while most will do what is right, there are always those that don't. Industry as a whole has no credibility when it comes to self-policing. We will have intrusions by government, we just need to do all we can to see that it is fair and beneficial to all.

I am sure Americasbeekeeper can correct any inaccuracies in the above, but will likly choose to stay off this thread.


Johnnie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
I'm on my 4th in 4 years. Far as I know they are still inspecting in other area's of FL. Liked them all. Most were hobby beekeepers before inspecting. Do I need them no. They are a time and cash drain. Takes about three days of inspecting to check bees that we have worked with in the last 2 weeks. Every new person I have is taught how to look AFB and if found dealt with in the fire pit. Having them inspect once a year does nothing in providing a service to the commercial beekeeper. Every beekeeper should always be on the look out for AFB. Now the bee-informed people do provide valuable information to me that I can use. Bottom line there is no value to me to have apiary inspections. The only thing I really need them for is ant inspections. Even this doesn't assure ant free loads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Here is a question I have. My assumption is that all inspectors sooner or later have to deal with a hive infected with AFB. Now, what do they do with all their equipment after that happens? Do they burn their bee suits, hive tools and gloves along with the infected hive since AFB is so infectious? Judging by the state of my inspectors bee suit I would doubt it. It looked like it's been used for years. I don't think they irradiate it either. If I'm not mistaken the only lab to set up for that is at UF. If that's the case now we have a person who effectively spreads AFB bacteria though all the hives he/she inspects.

As far as how infectious it is, I've been taught that AFB can be found in just about every hive. However when the colony becomes weak and can not effectively suppress it then the bacteria multiplies reaching epidemic levels.
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top