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30 Million Mainlanders Exiled to North Island

South Island Varroa Control Group Inc

8/9/06

30 Million Mainlanders Exiled to North Island

The South Island Varroa Control Group (SVICG) is sending 30 million bees to the North Island as part of a programme to rid the Nelson area of the varroa mite.

SIVCG spokesman Matt Davidson says the bees from managed hives will be transported north over the weekend and early next week.

“This has been a major operation and it would not have happened if it wasn’t for the co-operation of many primary industries, regional councils and beekeepers in the South Island.

“They are well aware of the impact varroa could have on pollination and ultimately primary production so they have dug deep to the tune of $300,000 dollars to give us a real fighting chance to beat the bug. The SVIC group had doubts that we would get the support we needed but when we put the call out for help the money and promise of assistance can rolling in. It really has been a humbling experience”

“However we still have a long way to go and SVICG will be working closely with Biosecurity New Zealand over the next phase of the project which is a feral baiting programme aimed at knocking out all the wild bees in the area.

“Feral bees spread the mites quickly so it’s very important we destroy as many wild hives as possible.

“Local residents can do their bit to help us as well – we need anyone who knows the whereabouts of wild hives to lets us know as soon as possible –Residents around Stoke, Richmond and Nelson and Waimea Plains can ring 0800 80 90 66.

“We just want to say thanks for everyone who has helped us, we have a way to go but we are confident with the support we have that we can eliminate varroa from the Nelson area and keep the South Island free of the mite,” says Matt.


ENDS

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