Promising preliminary results from Exotic Bee Disease Survey

11 May 2000

Preliminary results from the survey to establish whether other exotic diseases were introduced at the same time as the varroa mite are promising, being all negative to date.

While final results will not be available till the weekend, there have been no detections of any other exotic diseases so far. The other exotic diseases that could have been introduced along with varroa include tracheal mites, European foulbrood, Tropilaelaps mites, and small hive beetle. As with laboratory confirmations of varroa findings, this work is being undertaken by MAF’s New Zealand Animal and Plant Health Reference Laboratories.

Samples of the varroa mite found in New Zealand were sent to the USA for confirmation of identification, and analysis of strain type. This has confirmed the New Zealand varroa as being the species Varroa jacobsoni and the Russian strain type. This strain type occurs throughout Europe and the United States of America, where it causes significant colony mortality and economic impacts for the apiculture industry.

No new infected placed were confirmed in the laboratory yesterday. Work today is concentrating on investigations surrounding the recently-notified Restricted Places near Rawene and Te Puke.

The total number of Infected Places remains at 177 on apiaries owned by 59 beekeepers. 1,632 apiaries have now been visited, and the total number of hives on visited apiaries is 31, 127.

The movement permit free-phone operation (0800 109 383) received 15 new requests for permits. All were issued, but there are still five other permits pending.

Information on 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

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