New South Island Controlled Area for varroa bee mite

1 August 2008

MAF Biosecurity New Zealand (MAFBNZ) has established a new South Island Controlled Area for the varroa bee mite.

The Controlled Area notice imposed on 13 May 2008 under Section 131 of the Biosecurity Act 1993 will be revoked and replaced with a new South Island Controlled Area notice taking effect at 4pm on Friday 1st August 2008.

"This decision has been informed by the input of individual beekeepers, industry representatives and the results from the autumn varroa surveillance and the exotic bee disease surveillance programme," said MAFBNZ Incursion Response Manager, Richard Norman.

Letters have been sent to all registered South Island beekeepers advising them of the change. The Controlled Area Notice and map was published in the New Zealand Gazette and the public notice sections of the Nelson Mail, The Press, and the Otago Daily Times on Thursday 31st July 2008. Information is also available on the MAFBNZ website Beekeepers directly affected by the new South Island Controlled Area are being contacted individually.

"Complying with movement controls is an important element of slowing the spread of varroa. MAFBNZ appreciates the ongoing assistance and undertakings of beekeepers to actively slow the spread to uninfected areas by limiting movements. We also appreciate the cooperation of individual beekeepers and industry representatives during this response," said Richard Norman.

It is important that beekeepers in the South Island outside Nelson/Marlborough who detect varroa in their hives report the find to MAFBNZ via the 0800 80 99 66 free phone number.


Judith Hamblyn, Senior Communications Adviser, Biosecurity New Zealand 04 894 0687 or 029 894 0687

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