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No varroa found in beehives around Pauatahanui

20 February 2002

No varroa found in beehives around Pauatahanui

Samples taken from approximately 80 managed hives within a 5 kilometre radius of a find of varroa at Pauatahanui made earlier this month have all tested negative for the invasive bee mite.

"These test results are an encouraging sign that MAF and the National Beekeepers Association have been able to contain the spread of varroa in the Wellington region," says Paul Bolger, MAF's Varroa Programme Coordinator.

"From what we know about the terrain and prevailing weather conditions around Pauatahanui at the time of this exposure to varroa it appears that this was an isolated incident. However the Varroa Management Group has acknowledged that varroa will eventually spread throughout the North Island," he says.

"While these tests are helpful, MAF had also scheduled widespread surveillance of the lower North Island which will commence by April. When the result of this sampling is known we will be able to re-evaluate the effectiveness of the movement control programme

"The current movement control line is targeted at slowing the spread of varroa through restricting movement of managed beehives and known associated material. Feral bees cannot be targeted in the same way.

"The message to take from this is that the transport industry and the travelling public in general, need to display extra caution to ensure their loads are free of all bees and bee material".

For further information contact

Paul Bolger or Stephen Olsen

Varroa Programme Coordinator Communications Adviser

DDI: (04) 474 4144 DDI: (04) 470 2753

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