Development of Phase Two of Varroa Management Plan begins

21 August 2000

This week the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry starts a series of regional meetings to consult on the two-year management plan for varroa. The two-year plan is phase two of a three-phase management plan, aimed at mitigating the impacts of varroa and to maintain the South Island free of varroa for as long as possible.

Phase one of the plan is currently underway with the Government funding treatment of hives in infested areas. Good progress has been made in phase one with 17,000 Apistan strips distributed to practically all the affected commercial beekeepers in and around the known areas of infection. Treatment of qualifying hobbyist beekepers' sites will begin next week.

In the meetings set down to discuss and agree on the details of phase two of the plan, MAF and beekeepers will consider issues such as:

  • a North Island treatment policy;
  • surveillance in the North Island and the South Island;
  • movement control both in the North and South Islands;
  • appropriate responses to any incursion of varroa into the South Island;
  • treatments to be used;
  • programmes to inform beekeepers and other affected people on the plan and its implications;
  • research underway and proposed; and
  • means of administering the plan.

"It is important that all beekeepers take part in developing a plan that best serves the industry. These are critical times for beekeepers, and the shape of phase two of the plan - a springboard to the future of the industry - will be developed over the next fortnight ," says Matthew Stone, MAF's Programme Co-ordinator, Exotic Disease Response.

The regional meetings form part of the consultation programme developed by MAF and the NBA. Meetings will run for two weeks, starting today and ending 31 August 2000, taking in 13 locations (Wanganui, Gisborne, Havelock North, Whangarei, Tauranga, Auckland, Hamilton, Nelson, Blenheim, Christchurch, Timaru, Alexandra and Balclutha).

Contacts

John Hayes, Communications Adviser, MAF. 04-4744-268/04-904-1827.
Lin McKenzie, National Beekeepers Association Executive Member. 025-357-970.

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33