Low level of varroa found south of movement control line

13 July 2001

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the National Beekeepers Association are discussing whether the current location of the movement control line for the varroa bee mite should be moved.

An apiary approximately one kilometre south of the Movement Control Line, on SH4 ("the Parapara Rd") between Raetihi and Wanganui, has tested positive for low levels of varroa.

The apiary was tested last week as part of the on-going surveillance programme for varroa. Five hives showed signs of low-level varroa infestation, which has now been confirmed by laboratory examination.

A Restricted Place Notice has been issued on the apiary to prohibit the removal of bees from the property and the hives are being treated to minimise the further spread of the mite.

Two sites north of this site, above the Movement Control Line have also tested positive for low levels of varroa. Sites tested further south from these finds have so far been negative.

Testing is continuing in the area, and in other parts of the southern North Island.

MAF and the National Beekeepers Association will discuss whether changes are required to the current movement control line location.

Since varroa was discovered in Auckland in April 2000, movement controls have been in place to slow the spread of the mite.

The current movement control line runs from Taranaki to East Cape. The line restricts the southward movement of risk goods such as beehives and queen bees. Up until now, no varroa had been found south of this line.

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