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Varroa movement controls to change

20 July 2004

Varroa movement controls to change

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry plans to reduce South Island varroa movement controls as no varroa have been found since the investigation started in June.

MAF Varroa Programme Coordinator Paul Bolger said that the movement controls around Murchison will be removed once final testing of hives is completed next week.

“MAF is satisfied that the Murchison detection is likely to have been the result of laboratory contamination and further controls are not warranted,” he said.

The Oxford investigation will continue, with changes to movement control restrictions and further testing of 7,500 hives over the next month. Currently over 300 beekeepers are affected by movement controls in North Canterbury. With the new controls the number of beekeepers directly affected will be fewer than 30.

Mr Bolger said that the controlled area currently covering the whole of North Canterbury will be reduced to a 10 kilometre zone around the Oxford property on Tuesday 27 July.

Movement restrictions will remain on apiaries within this zone and any hives outside of the 10 kilometre zone which are also owned by beekeepers that have hives within the controlled area.

“If there is no further evidence of varroa, the Oxford investigation will be called off by the end of August. To continue with current controls would seriously disrupt the commercial operations of beekeepers and potentially those industries that rely on bees for pollination services,” Paul Bolger said.

The varroa investigation was initiated in June after a single varroa mite was found on an Oxford apiary. The investigation was extended to include Murchison following the detection of a mite on the outside of a plastic bag containing sticky boards used in varroa surveillance from a Murchison property.

A meeting with Canterbury beekeepers will be held on Thursday 22nd July at 7.30pm at the Sudima Grand Chancellor Hotel, corner Memorial Ave & Orchard Rd Christchurch Airport

For more information on the South Island varroa investigation please go to: www.maf.govt.nz/varroa

ENDS


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