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Firm Action Required On Varroa Outbreak

Release: National Beekeepers' Association

The National Beekeepers Association is calling on the Government to take all necessary measures to contain and eliminate the Varroa mite outbreak in the South Auckland area.

All live bee exports have been halted. The live bee export trade is worth $1.8m per year to New Zealand.

Experience from outbreaks in the United Kingdom and United States suggests that bee populations decline by up to 60% when infested with Varroa mites. This greatly reduces pollination and has huge implications for New Zealand's horticulture industries and clover-based pastoral sector.

"The implications of this outbreak are serious for both the honey industry and the wider agricultural industry," said Mr Lin McKinzie, the spokesperson for the National Beekeepers Association Executive Member.

The NBA and MAF are asking for the co-operation and assistance of all hive-owners in the controlled area. All beekeepers throughout New Zealand are encouraged to inspect their hives for signs of the Varroa mite.

NBA President Terry Gavin will be liasing with all Government departments for the length of the outbreak.

ENDS

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