Pup trained to save the bees

Api­arist to use dogs to de­tect dis­eases

The Chronicle - - News - Tom.gille­[email protected]­i­cle.com.au

A DOG train­ing cen­tre in the South­ern Downs known for teach­ing ca­nines how to find truf­fles will help sup­port the re­gion’s bee pop­u­la­tions.

Law­dogs Aus­tralia in Stan­thorpe will start train­ing a new Ger­man hunt­ing terrier called Jag to de­tect a bac­te­rial prob­lem found in hives that can dev­as­tate bee pop­u­la­tions.

Head trainer Matthew Hib­berd said he was ap­proached by api­arist Ja­son Traplin to help with de­tect­ing Amer­i­can Foul­brood early be­fore it spread to other hives on his prop­erty.

Mr Hib­berd said well­trained dogs could smell the bac­te­ria from out­side the hive, mak­ing them a valu­able weapon against it.

“They have sourced that pup, he’s passed his ini­tial assess­ment and then we’ll start teach­ing him that once they find a sam­ple of an in­fected hive,” he said.

“It’ll only take six weeks, but he’ll need to be more ma­ture so it will be a six month oper­a­tion.

“The process to train dogs to de­tect is very straight-for­ward, whether it’s bees, truf­fles, drugs or ex­plo­sives.

“Once we’re known for our de­tec­tion de­mon­stra­tions, peo­ple have come to see us to ask about a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent in­dus­tries.”

Amer­i­can Foul­brood is a fa­tal dis­ease caused by a spore form­ing bac­terium. Heavy in­fec­tions can af­fect most of the brood and even­tu­ally kill the colony.

Mr Traplin, who owns Gran­ite Belt Honey, said it was vi­tal to keep the dis­ease in check when keep­ing bees.

“I have seen dogs used in the in­dus­try and thought we re­ally need one in our oper­a­tion as there are cost ef­fi­cien­cies in be­ing able to lo­cate in­fected hives quickly,” he said.

Law­dogs Aus­tralia earned a rep­u­ta­tion for train­ing skilled truf­fle dogs, with Stan­thorpe and the South­ern Downs be­ing the only place in Queens­land cold enough to grow the fun­gus.

Mr Hib­berd still runs truf­fle de­mon­stra­tions with his dog Co­nan at the cen­tre.

Photo: Con­trib­uted

PUP POWER: Gran­ite Belt Honey owner Ja­son Traplin with his new pup Jag, who is be­ing trained to de­tect a dis­ease that can de­stroy bee pop­u­la­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.