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26 April 2000
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry reports 14 new varroa infected places, all in the original infected zone. MAF programme co-ordinator Dr Mathew Stone says that the total in the north of that zone remains at the four reported earlier this week.
"We have 36 teams in the field today, including extensive work in the southern part of the North Island, working from satellite centres in New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Napier, and Gisborne/Wairoa." said Dr Stone.
"Surveys should be substantially completed by this weekend. MAF hopes to establish, as far as is possible in this timeframe, the spread of varroa by Monday."
MAF will prepare a Cabinet Paper by Friday examining the technical, logistical and economic issues regarding control options.
Starting today, MAF will conduct a telephone survey of all 1300 South Island registered beekeepers in order to establish if there have been any other high-risk movements from the infected areas of the North Island. To date, the Middlemarch and Oamaru apiary sites have been identified by tracing movements from North Island beekeepers. Information from South Island beekeepers themselves regarding bees or hives moved from North Island sources in the last 3 years would ensure a complete tracing exercise. Any information on such movements can be passed onto MAF via the exotic disease hotline 0800 809 966. MAF would particularly appreciate information from unregistered beekeepers that will not be reached by the telephone survey
64 places have been confirmed as having hives infected with varroa mite as of last night. The number of beekeepers owning infected apiaries stands at 28. To date, 13,037 hives on 809 apiaries have been inspected for varroa mite.
The Ministry expects that the movement control provisions for the North Island will be reviewed by 28 April.
Information on the varroa mite is available on the MAFBNZ website.
Matthew Stone, Programme Co-ordinator Exotic Disease Response, MAF Biosecurity Authority. Ph 025-332-509, N/A84.
Lin McKenzie, National Beekeepers Association Executive Member. 025-357-970.
John Hayes, Communications Adviser, MAF. 04-4744-268/04-904-1827.