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Varroa Update 10

August 9 2006

Varroa Update 10

Biosecurity New Zealand is about to put in place revised control measures for beekeepers in the Nelson area, following decisions by the Government last week, Manager Surveillance and Response David Hayes said today.

“With the completion of the surveillance programme, we now have the information we need to put in place a comprehensive movement control and management plan. BNZ will release a draft management plan to the beekeeping industry next week and seek their input.

The government has allocated $3.2 million to be spent over the next four years on a management programme to slow the spread of the varroa mite within the South Island and limit its impacts. This funding comes on top of around $2 million spent last financial year on responding to the Nelson varroa find.

“Biosecurity New Zealand is also aware of attempts by the Beekeepers Action Group in Nelson to develop an “aggressive control” strategy. We have been working with this group to establish what they wanted to achieve.

As a result, Biosecurity New Zealand will assist the group wherever possible as long as it does not undermine the integrity of its own plan to slow the spread of varroa.

“We have been pleased with the working relationship we have with the beekeeping and related industries to date and wish that to continue as any attempts to limit the spread of varroa will only be achieved with the full co-operation of all parties.” Mr Hayes said.

Biosecurity New Zealand launched an immediate response after a national surveillance programme for the varroa bee mite confirmed the presence of varroa at two sites near Stoke in the Nelson region on Friday 16 June 2006.

Varroa is an unwanted organism that kills bees. It was first detected in 2000 in Auckland. By the time it was detected, it had spread too far for eradication to be feasible. Instead, the government put in place a programme to slow its spread in the North Island and to try and keep the South Island free of this pest.

A controlled area declaration under section 131 (2) of the Biosecurity Act 1993 has been declared on the following Territorial Authorities: Bullet, Marlborough, Tasman Districts and the Nelson City. Movement of all honey bees and related beekeeping materials and products and equipment will require a permit. Permits can be obtained by calling 0800 80 99 66.


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