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21 May 2000
No new varroa infections have been discovered in the last three days. MAF programme co-ordinator Matthew Stone has cautiously welcomed these results, the first time in the varroa campaign that there have been three clear days. "While we should not read too much into these good results, negative tests are always satisfying. With continuing negatives, we estimate another 10-14 days surveillance to achieve our target confidence levels."
The total number of Infected Places remains 266 on apiaries owned by 122 beekeepers, after visiting 2,097 apiaries housing 39,830 hives and following 1,979 traces. 25 teams were out in the field yesterday.
The location of the various operations teams were reviewed this week, and from Monday a number of functions will be performed from MAF's National Centre for Disease Investigation (NCDI) in Wallaceville, near Upper Hutt. The satellite headquarters in South Auckland will continue to manage field activity, in particular directing field teams. Tracing and mapping moves to NCDI, along with AgriQuality NZ Ltd’s apiculture experts.
Dr Stone says that the varroa campaign is preparing to move into a new phase, and the operational restructure was considered appropriate to ensure co-ordination of inputs for the control options decision-making process. "The field surveillance deadline provides a deadline for the strategic analysis of a number of technical and logistical issues, and this has to occur in a consultative manner." said Dr Stone. "Concentrating our technical experts at NCDI will provide the best support for this process, and provide the most accurate and complete summary and analysis of the masses of information we have captured over the last 37 days.
Dr Stone added that the relocation of the varroa team will not result in disruption to beekeepers.
The general enquiry number for the FORT (Field Operation Response Teams) remains 09 256 9395, however other numbers will be affected by the shift. The free-phone movement permit request operation on 0800 109 183 will be redirected to Wallaceville between 7am and 7.30am on Monday, and fax number for requesting movement permits will change to 04 526 5601.
Information about the varroa mite is available on the MAF website.
John Hayes, Communications Adviser, MAF. 04-4744-268/04-904-1827.
Lin McKenzie, National Beekeepers Association Executive Member. 025-357-970