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Expanding Options For New Zealand Beekeepers

The National Beekeepers Association has received a Sustainable Farming Farm grant from MAF to help Beekeepers strengthen their businesses in the wake of the varroa bee mite incursion.

NBA Vice President Lin McKenzie said treatment for varroa is estimated to cost $40-50 per hive annually. The goal of this project is the assist beekeepers to expand their income streams to meet this cost over the commercially managed beehives in New Zealand

The varroa bee mite not only threatens the livelihood of beekeepers, but primary industry sectors dependant on honey-bee pollination services.

"If we do nothing the NBA estimate that 30% of beekeepers could be forced to exit the industry. MAF estimate the flow on effect for farmers and growers could be up to $900m by 2035."

Expanding Options for New Zealand Beekeepers will provide leadership for the industry and focus on identifying new business opportunities. This will involve financial monitoring and benchmarking services, and liaison with other agricultural and horticultural sectors.

The project will be delivered regionally through NBA branches, so that each region can tailor their resources to meet the needs of local beekeepers.

"We are delighted to receive this grant from MAF which will be matched by industry funding and in kind contributions," Mr McKenzie said. "Central Government has provided funding to assist beekeepers with the technical control of the varroa mite. This sizeable investment will enable Beekeepers to establish a positive direction for their industry in the face of a challenging and difficult future ".

ENDS




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