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Bee Safety A Priority

20 June 2008

Bee Safety A Priority

Agcarm members are going into bat for bees to ensure they can continue to do their important work as pollinators, said Graeme Peters, chief executive of Agcarm.

Agcarm, the industry association for crop protection, animal health, and farm retailing companies, is sending 10,000 brochures to growers, farmers, and sprayers to inform them of ways to reduce risks to bee pollinators.

“Bees are extremely important to New Zealand agriculture, horticulture, the home garden and our native fauna – and not only because they produce honey, beeswax, pollen, and royal jelly,” Mr Peters said.

“They are extremely good pollinators of crops, so they contribute substantially to New Zealand’s multi-billion dollar agricultural economy.

“Pesticides are also important to New Zealand agriculture but unfortunately many are harmful to bees. So it’s vital that pesticides are used at the right times, in the right quantity, and in the right conditions.”

The Agcarm brochure, developed with the National Beekeepers Association and Federated Farmers’ Bees Industry Group, explains the key risks and offers 10 ways to keep bees safe. More than 3,000 brochures were sent yesterday to growers through the Foundation for Arable Research mail-out. Agcarm is also distributing the brochures through its 30 member companies.

“Many hundreds more will be distributed in coming months through GROWSAFE spraying courses, which teach principles of safe, responsible and effective agrichemical application with minimal adverse impact on human, environmental and animal health,” Mr Peters said.

“Agcarm fully supports Federated Farmers’ plan to demonstrate the importance of bees to the New Zealand economy and environment, and highlight the risks bees face from inadequate spraying and irrigation practice.”

Agcarm is the non-profit trade association of companies which manufacture, distribute and sell products that keep animals healthy and crops thriving. Member companies are committed to ensuring that these products are used safely, effectively and sustainably.


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