Significant new varroa find in central North Island

26 May 2000

A site in Raurimu, near National Park in the central North Island, has tested positive for the varroa mite. Four other new infected places have been identified, all in the known infected area. The culmulative total of Infected Places is 279, owned by 131 beekeepers.

MAF programme co-ordinator Matthew Stone says that the National Park find, which resulted from the tracing operation, is the furtherest South of all finds to date. "Infected hives were taken from South Auckland after pollination in the summer into the Mamakus, near Rotorua, for honey production. A number of beekeepers had hives in the vicinity. All hives that were in the area have been traced and their present sites tested. One of those traces took us to the Raurimu site, close to National Park, where hives have tested positive. Very light infestation was found, and at this stage there appears to be very few hives in the vicinity."

2,407 apiaries, housing 46,377 hives, have now been visited. The tracing count has risen to 2,211.

The latest find means that there are Restricted Places outside the Infected Zone at Middlemarch, Oamaru, Te Puke, Omaniaia, Te Rore, Rangiatea and National Park. It is hoped that the first of these places to be identified, at Middlemarch in Otago, can be re-tested shortly. A "clear" test would mean that restrictions would be lifted from that site, and a similar result from Oamaru would confirm the South Island's Disease-Free status.

Eleven movement permits were requested yesterday, with seven issued and the reast adding to the pending pile, which now stands at twenty three, more than half of those pending Apistan tests.

A comprehensive collection of information about varroa is available on the MAFBNZ 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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