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Varroa Update 15


October 13 2006

Varroa Update 15

Biosecurity New Zealand is making good progress to identify an alternative insecticide to be used for feral bee baiting as part of the programme to eliminate varroa in the Nelson area, Biosecurity New Zealand Senior Policy Analyst Paul Bolger said today.

The planned feral baiting programme was put on hold two weeks ago when Biosecurity New Zealand was unable to secure approval from the manufacturer holding the patent for the preferred insecticide for killing feral bees.

“We have now identified 18 alternative insecticides, and have short-listed the four most promising. An application has been lodged with the Environmental Risk Management Authority New Zealand (ERMA) for approval to carry out trials. HortResearch will carry out the trial work,” said Paul Bolger.
Dates for the feral bee poisoning attempts are to be finalised.

“Ideally we will conduct one poisoning attempt as soon as a trialed insecticide is registered for use to control bees, with another attempt in autumn. While we are disappointed that a spring attempt has not been possible, there are still good opportunities to eradicate feral hives from the affected area.”
The bait stations, installed by volunteers in late September, are still in place and ready to be used. Biosecurity New Zealand is continuing to work closely with the South Island Varroa Control Group.

“We are continuing with our feral search and destroy programme and have located and destroyed 140 feral hives in and around Nelson. We have had a great response from the public and are grateful for their continued co-operation in seeking out wild hives,” Paul Bolger said.

“We have had reports of hives from as far south as Canterbury, but at this stage we only need to know about feral hives in the Nelson, Stoke and Richmond areas.”

The use of chemicals for poisoning feral bees means that honey from wild hives in this region must not be consumed.

The public are requested to report any feral bee colonies in the Nelson, Stoke and Richmond areas to 0800 80 99 66.

ENDS

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