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Acting through the Varroa Management Group, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
(MAF) and the National Beekeepers Association (NBA) have decided to test and treat all
known hives within 5 kilometres of Waiouru to ensure any local bee populations have not
been exposed to the varroa bee mite.
The precautionary decision follows the placement of a 5 km movement control zone at
Pauatahanui, north of Wellington, where an isolated find of the bee mite was confirmed
The mite was transported to Wellington in a colony of feral bees, which were living
inside a hollow log trucked from the upper North Island to a Wellington sawmill. MAF
discovered the truck that had transported the log stopped at Waiouru for approximately 30
minutes on the 16th of January.
The truck also made a stop of less than five minutes at Ohakea and the Varroa
Management Group is assessing the number of hives that would be affected by movement
The Group will decide on a course of action after contact with affected beekeepers.
MAF's control programme for varroa includes a movement control line, as provided for
under the Biosecurity Act 1993. This line was notified in November 2000 and extends across
the North Island from north Taranaki to East Cape. It is designed to restrict the movement
of live bees. In addition the movement of honey boxes or used hive parts (frames etc)
requires a MAF permit.
As well as the ban on movement of beehives across the control line MAF's varroa control
programme for 2001-2002 features on-the-ground surveillance for the varroa mite throughout
the lower North Island from April onwards.
To date the following actions have been taken at Pauatahanui:
Varroa Programme Coordinator
DDI: (04) 474 4144
Mob: (025) 869 539
DDI: (04) 470 2753
Mob: (025) 977 028
A map of the radius around Pauatahanui is available as a .jpeg on request.
Also see: http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests/varroa
Also see: www.nba.org.nz