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Varroa bee mite found in Nelson

16 June 2006

Varroa bee mite found in Nelson

A national surveillance programme for the varroa bee mite has detected affected hives at two sites near Stoke in the Nelson region, Biosecurity New Zealand senior policy analyst Paul Bolger said today.

Varroa is an unwanted organism that kills bees. It was first detected in 2000 in Auckland. However, by the time it was detected it had spread too far for eradication to be feasible. Instead, the government put in place a programme to slow the spread in the North Island and try and keep the South Island free of the pest.

“We have launched an immediate response to establish the spread of the infestation the Nelson area and this will determine what management options exist.

A controlled area declaration under section 131 (2) of the Biosecurity Act 1993 has been declared on the following Territorial Authorities: Buller, Marlborough, Tasman Districts and the Nelson City. Movement of all Honey bees and related beekeeping materials and products and equipment will require a permit.

Permits can be obtained by calling 0800 80 99 66.

“Biosecurity New Zealand has advised the beekeeping industry of the find and will work closely with beekeepers to measure the spread of varroa.” Mr Bolger said.

ENDS

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