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Possible Varroa Outbreak

NEW ZEALAND BEE INDUSTRY GROUP
4 June 2004 PR 118/04
Possible Varroa Outbreak

The New Zealand Bee Industry Group has been made aware of a suspected Varroa incursion in North Canterbury says Chairman Milton Jackson.

The New Zealand Bee Industry Group (NZBIG) is an industry group of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc), representing commercial and hobbyist beekeepers.

The Varroa mite, (Varroa destructor) is an external parasite of honey bees that attacks adult bees and their developing larvae, weakening and killing honeybee colonies.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s routine exotic disease surveillance activities found the possible incursion, and NZBIG will work with MAF to support the movement control restrictions put in place tonight (4 June).

The controlled region is made up of the Christchurch City Council area, and the Selwyn, Waimakariri, and Bank’s Peninsula District Council Regions. This area is bounded to the south by the Rakaia River and in the north by the Kowai River – Ashley Forest region.”

“MAF has estimated that the spread of Varroa to the South Island would cost $314 million over 35 years with the bulk of the impact hitting the pastoral sector. The varroa bee mite not only threatens the livelihood of beekeepers, but primary industry sectors dependent on honey-bee pollination services.

“NZBIG will continue to co-operate with the MAF and the beekeeping industry throughout the process to determine whether Varroa has been detected,” says Mr Jackson.

ENDS

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