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Experts gather to address issues for bees, trees and farming

Experts gather to address issues for bees, trees and farming in New Zealand

An inaugural conference involving some of New Zealand’s top agricultural and environmental experts is being held in Gisborne this month to address the apparent decline of nutritional forage for bees in this country.

Nutritional stress is considered to be one of the main factors behind large-scale bee losses as reported overseas. The Trees for Bees research project aims to help avoid this happening in New Zealand.

The ‘Trees for Bees’ conference is being held at Eastwoodhill Arboretum and has been organised by the Eastwoodhill Trust and the East Coast Farm Forestry Association with help from the National Beekeepers Association. It will be held on April 26th and 27th at Eastwoodhill arboretum and at two field day sites.

“We have had a fantastic response to this conference which is the first of its kind in New Zealand. We have some quite extraordinary people coming from a wide range of areas. We have people from the agriculture and forestry industries, several Iwi, local government, scientists, beekeepers and environmental organisations. We are planning for this to be the first of two conferences with a following conference in April 2014,” says NBA President Barry Foster.

He says results from the latest research into Trees for Bees being conducted at the arboretum by Landcare Research scientist Dr Linda Newstrom-Lloyd will be released at the conference.

“It will also cover many other areas affecting the health of bees in New Zealand. Farm profitability depends on the health of bees and this conference presents an opportunity to show how all sectors of the community can improve bee health and at the same time provide trees for a wide range of uses,” says Mr Foster.

Eastwoodhill Arboretum is the largest and most comprehensive collection of Northern Hemisphere trees south of the equator and encompasses 135 hectares.

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