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1 October 2000
The Government has approved a programme of targeted prophylactic, or preventative, treatment of beehives.
The aim of the programme is to reduce the spread of varroa during kiwifruit pollination, while minimising unnecessary use of treatment chemicals.
The programme also provides for the treatment of hives being moved close to the movement control boundary with the lower North Island. This recognises the need of beekeepers to move hives for honey production, while reducing the risk of varroa spreading to the lower North Island.
MAF is working with the beekeeping industry to prepare a two-year varroa management plan. This will be presented to Cabinet in late October. Cabinet has authorised an immediate start to the hive treatment programme, because of the need to move pollination hives.
The treatment plan was approved on October 9. Treatment will begin as soon as eligible beekeepers can be mailed details of the programme and application forms.
The Government will cover the immediate cost of treatment materials only. Beekeepers will be responsible for inserting and withdrawing the strips in their own hives.
The following hives will be eligible for treatment under the programme:
Strips will be made available to beekeepers whose hives are eligible for treatment, and who agree to use them according to label conditions, and who are prepared to return the used strips after pollination. Beekeepers who do not return the strips will be invoiced for their cost at the market price. This measure is to prevent any attempts to stockpile strips for later use.
Further information, including forms to request treatment strips, will be mailed out to known affected beekeepers immediately.
For further information contact:
Lin McKenzie, National Beekeepers Association. Telephone: 025-357-970
Paul Bolger, MAF Varroa Programme Co-ordinator. Telephone: 04-474-4144