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MAF Publishes Varroa Management Book

A book on management of the varroa destructor (previously classified as varroa jacobsoni) bee mite pest is being published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said today.

The 120-page book is free to all 5000 registered beekeepers and is being mailed to them next week.

However, MAF is printing more copies for sale to interested people in New Zealand and overseas. Mr Sutton said MAF expected there to be considerable interest overseas as there were few books on varroa management written in English.

The book is expected to cost about $15 plus gst.

Mr Sutton said the book was written by two apicultural researchers from HortResearch, Mark Goodwin and Cliff Van Eaton. It has been extensively reviewed by varroa experts in Europe and North America, as well as some practising New Zealand beekeepers.

He said the book, which cost about $70,000 to research, write, print, and distribute, was essentially a survey of world varroa research and management practices. It made recommendations on varroa management for New Zealand.

In July last year, the Government decided to manage the varroa destructor infestation, rather than proceed with an eradication attempt that was judged to have little chance of success and would leave important horticultural areas with no means of crop fertilisation.

A buffer zone around the infested area was established and a management strategy implemented. MAF has worked closely with the National Beekeepers Association to deal with the pest.

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