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Concern For South Island Beekeepers

21 June 2004 PR 132/04

Concern For South Island Beekeepers

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s response to the possibility of Varroa in the Canterbury and Murchison areas is concerning, says New Zealand Bee Industry Group Vice Chairman and North Canterbury beekeeper Geoff Hantz.

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

A single Varroa mite was found during routine testing in the Oxford and Murchison areas. MAF has since announced that further testing of hives in Oxford and Murchison is required, expanding the controlled area around Murchison and Westport, and retaining the Oxford controlled area.

"Just about all of Canterbury and now a large portion of the Buller Catchment are ‘locked down’ while MAF continues its search for more mites. While NZBIG commends MAF for its cautious approach of more testing, it is acutely aware of the severe pressure this places on the beekeepers in the effected areas."

“A meeting for beekeepers is being convened at 2pm on Saturday 26 June at the West Oxford Hotel. The meeting will update beekeepers on the current situation, and offer assistance for those adversely affected by the response."

"NZBIG will maintain close contact with the affected beekeepers in the Murchison and Buller areas and continues to work with MAF to ensure that beekeepers are kept up to date about the Varroa situation," concluded Mr Hantz.


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