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Survey shows NZ bee loss is low

Survey shows NZ bee loss is low

New Zealand's honey bee population is growing, with starvation, queen problems and wasps at the heart of bee health issues, according to annual survey.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today released findings of the 2016 NZ Colony Loss and Survival Survey, which demonstrates that New Zealand honey bee loss is low on an international scale.

Colony deaths from starvation, queen problems and wasps accounted for 87.3 percent of losses in the 2016 winter season. Losses averaged 9.78 percent - down from 2015 and over two percent lower than the northern hemisphere average.

Hive numbers have increased 20 percent between March 2015 and June 2016. The challenges for beekeepers include competition for apiary sites, lost pollen and nectar sources, according to the survey.

Agcarm chief executive, Mark Ross says, “The survey is critical not only because it informs us on bee health, but because it allows us to make better choices to protect our bee population and to track changes on colony loss and survival for the future.

“The report shows that we still have some work to do - to make sure our bees are well-fed and protected from wasps. But, overall, our bee population is thriving - which is good news, especially with all the hype we hear about bee loss.”

As a champion of bees, Agcarm will continue to work with the bee industry to help ensure a healthy bee population.

ENDS

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