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20 April 2000
Twenty-eight apiaries have been confirmed with hives infected with varroa mite as of last night.
Three new apiaries were confirmed positive yesterday. These were in the Hauraki Plains and close to previously identified infected apiary sites. Nineteen beekeepers have infected apiary sites.
Laboratory results for varroa mite presence at Ohope and Rotorua apiaries have yet to be reported, though the results are expected tonight. Laboratory results for testing on the Otago apiary in the South Island have also yet to be confirmed.
MAF expects to complete its full surveillance of Bay of Plenty apiaries by Monday. Field staff took another 1000 sticky boards from Bay of Plenty hives yesterday for testing. This is in addition to the 1000 boards taken the previous day. MAF has ten entomologists processing the results.
During the Easter break, 15 field teams will continue surveillance work.
To date, 8117 hives on 520 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 2000, at which time a clear indication of the mites spread will be known. The entire North Island of New Zealand was declared a controlled area by MAF earlier this week to stop the spread and movement of the varroa mite.
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.
Gita Parsot, Communications Adviser, MAF. N/A.