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Varroa Update 13

September 6 2006

Varroa Update 13

Biosecurity New Zealand and the South Island Varroa Control Group will start the first phase of an agreed programme to eliminate varroa from the Nelson area this week, senior policy analyst Paul Bolger said today.

“The first phase will be carried out by the South Island Varroa Control Group (SIVCG) and will focus on removing over 800 beehives from the infested zones around Nelson and transporting them to the North Island. Because varroa is already widespread in the North Island, the hives can be freely sold there.

“SIVCG have raised enough funds from the beekeeping, arable and horticultural industries to cover the cost of the hives and their removal. Some Nelson beekeepers have gifted their hives to the group, in exchange for a promise of receiving a replacement hive next season donated by beekeepers elsewhere in the South Island.

Any remaining hives will be dealt with by Biosecurity New Zealand, using powers under the Biosecurity Act.

“We are aware of some hives where the owner is out of New Zealand or otherwise un-contactable’ said Paul Bolger. As over 90% of hives in the area are being moved to the North Island, it would be unreasonable to allow the remaining few hives to prevent an attempt to kill feral bees. These hives will be uplifted by Biosecurity New Zealand at the end of the week.

Once all the managed hives have been removed from the area, Biosecurity New Zealand will coordinate a programme to lay out bait stations to kill feral (wild) beehives in the area. This will use voluntary labour supplied by beekeepers and the farming industry from throughout New Zealand,” Mr Bolger said.

Biosecurity New Zealand is also launching a campaign to get the public in the varroa-infested zones to notify Biosecurity New Zealand of any feral bee colonies. Landowners are asked to report any feral colonies to 0800 80 99 66


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