Four new varroa infected places outside Infected Zone

17 May 2000

Four new varroa infected places outside the Infected Zone have been identified, two of those south of Hamilton. One of the new infected places is 9km north west of Te Awamutu at Te Rore, about 10 km south of Hamilton. The other is about 40 km south of Hamilton at Rangiatea, to the east of Otorohanga.

There have also been two new infected places identified near Rawene, in close proximity to the original site of infection detected last week. MAF programme co-ordinator Matthew Stone says that one of the new sites identified is less than a kilometre from the original site, and the other is about two kilometres away.

"It appears that the two new infections in the Hokianga area are probably the result of natural spread from the site originally identified by tracing hive movements. The new sites south of Hamilton were also identified by tracing movements from South Auckland, and the original Te Puke site by tracing from Hauraki Plains. These finds emphasise the importance of the tracing operation, in that it has the potential to lead us to infected places distant from the Infected Zone, the focus for much of our surveillance activity. To date, we have completed 1,870 traces by phone survey, with follow up testing where considered appropriate."

"All the infected sites outside the Infected Zone are in the Buffer Zones established by the Controlled Area notice of 28 April. Specific movement restrictions are imposed on these sites, and all movements of risk goods in the Infected and Buffer Zones are by permit only. This system gives us the means to manage the situation to minimise further spread through beekeeping activities." said Dr Stone.

"The new finds have implications for the work to do in order to complete the de-limiting survey, in that testing in the local areas of those new finds and further tracing has to occur. There are also technical and economic implications for the on-going consideration of control options. However, we believe we can still meet our commitment to report back to Cabinet by the end of May."

Nine other infected places were identified within the Infected Zone, bringing the daily total to 13. The cumulative total of infected places is now 266, on apiaries owned by 122 beekeepers. 1,923 apiaries have now been visited, and the total number of hives on visited apiaries is 25,534. The movement permit free-phone operation (0800 109 383) received nine new requests for permits and they were all issued.

Information on the varroa mite is available on the MAFBNZ website.


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

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