Bee export consignment to be humanely destroyed

1 May 2000

A consignment of bees prepared for export to Canada prior to the outbreak of varroa on 11 April, and held in containment since that time, is to be humanely destroyed by the exporter.

The bees were sourced from various sites, including known infected apiaries, in what is now designated the Infected Zone for varroa. The consignment has been held in containment at a Waiotapu premises since 11 April. Waiotapu is south of Rotorua, and in the southern Buffer Zone (as designated by MAF in the review of movement control restrictions announced on Friday 29 April).

Canada suspended imports of bees from New Zealand in response to the varroa outbreak, leaving this consignment stranded in packages. Late last week Canada announced that trade was re-opening under revised conditions, allowing new shipments to be prepared and exported over the weekend. However, the consignment now to be humanely destroyed does not meet the new Canadian conditions, which stipulate certification of origin from apiaries not known to be infected with varroa.

MAF has required the export consignment to be held in containment since learning that it was sourced from apiaries in the Infected Zone. MAF has not ordered the destruction of the consignment, or any other infected bees or hives, at the present time. The decision to destroy the consignment was taken by the exporter in order to allow decontamination of the premises where the consignment was held in containment, prior to preparation of further export consignments scheduled for next week.

MAF will supervise the destruction and decontamination procedures. Humane destruction will be by sealing the premises and gassing the bees.

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