Beekeepers Attitude Praised - Marian Hobbs

New Zealand Government Press Release

13 April 2000

The Minister for Biosecurity has complimented beekeepers on their responsible and co-operative attitude to the bee mite disease discovered in some Auckland beehives.

Marian Hobbs met representatives of the National Beekeepers Association and Federated Farmers in her office today to discuss their concerns.

"We agreed this is a major issue," Marian Hobbs said. "I am delighted with the responsible attitude that beekeepers and particularly commercial operators, have adopted in searching their hives and acknowledging the unpalatable discovery.

The beekeepers were satisfied with the current level of support from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in dealing with the outbreak, she added.

"They raised the issue of compensation for the loss of hives," Marian Hobbs said. "This is something to be considered further down the line. If we order the destruction of hives under the Biosecurity Act then we have to compensate for whatever's been destroyed.

"In the meantime, MAF will consider supporting the costs of some volunteer bee inspectors involved in the response.

"I really appreciate the way beekeepers have worked so closely with MAF. They were able to swing into action very quickly.

"The excellent partnership MAF and the beekeepers have demonstrated is crucial for our biosecurity defence mechanisms."

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