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Varroa management – Options discussed

17 August 2006

Varroa management – Options discussed with the industry

The Government today met with representatives from the beekeeping industry and regional councils to discuss their proposals for aggressive containment of varroa in the South Island.

The Minister for Biosecurity, Jim Anderton, has promised to consider their proposals and reply in a week's time on the extent to which Biosecurity New Zealand can meet their requests.

The Government decided on the 2nd August 2006 that varroa will be managed in the South Island. The cost of attempting to eradicate varroa was not considered justifiable given the risk that eradication of varroa is not possible and that re-incursions from the North Island were considered inevitable.

The Government allocated $3.2 million to fund a management programme to slow the spread of the varroa mite within the South Island.

Since the Government's decision to manage varroa in the South Island, beekeepers have been working to identify further steps that could be taken to contain varroa. Biosecurity New Zealand has been working with beekeepers in the development of their proposals.

Since the first infected hive was found on 15 June 2006, Biosecurity New Zealand has surveyed approximately 20,000 hives. Biosecurity New Zealand has placed all infected apiaries under miticide treatment as soon as they were detected, and is currently treating other at risk hives in the Nelson region. Movement controls remain in place on beehives, bees and beekeeping equipment in the upper South Island.

ENDS

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