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Survey shows low-to-average colony loss for third year

Friday 16 March 2018

New Zealand’s annual honey bee colony survey shows low-to-average colony loss for third year in a row

The latest Bee Colony Loss Survey Report shows New Zealand continues to maintain low to average colony loss rates compared to international results.

“Just under 10 per cent of colonies were lost in New Zealand last year, consistent with the results obtained in 2016 and 2015,” says Barry Foster, ApiNZ Board member and part of the NZ Colony Loss Survey advisory group.

This year’s survey shows some regional variation with estimated losses substantially higher in the middle South Island and lower South Island in 2017 than in 2016.

“We will be interested to find out more about the regional variation experienced this year,” says Mr Foster.

This annual survey is an important tool in monitoring the health of honey bees, which are the lifeblood of New Zealand’s primary sector.

“Apiculture New Zealand is pleased to see strong industry support and involvement in the survey, with over 2000 respondents from both the commercial and non-commercial sectors.”

“New Zealand’s history of good beekeeping practice, along with this country’s strict pest management regime and good biosecurity, have helped contribute to a thriving beekeeping industry.

“However, there is no room for complacency though, as our industry rapidly grows in size and value¹, our ongoing challenge will be ensuring growth is managed sustainably, and our honey bee colonies remain healthy.

“For that reason, it’s important we continue to have this survey to help gain a better understanding of trends and emerging challenges around colony losses. This will help inform any further research or action needed,” says Mr Foster.

The full report can be read here on the MPI website.


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