Varroa Campaign Entering Important Phase

22 August 2000

As Spring approaches the Varroa campaign is entering an important phase, says MAF Exotic Disease Programme Co-ordinator Dr Matthew Stone.

"Activity in the beekeeping industry is increasing as beekeepers gear up to provide pollination services to horticulturalists", said Dr Stone. "In consultation with the National Beekeepers Association, we have developed movement control policies that allow beekeeping activities essential to providing pollination services and gearing up for the honey-flows. However, conditions are required when undertaking some movements to reduce the risk of spreading varroa. The effort to reduce spread could easily be undone if individuals ignore movement control requirements."

Dr Stone reminds beekeepers that failure to comply with the movement control conditions is an offence under the Biosecurity Act 1993. The penalty for non-compliance is up to five years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $100,000 for individuals.

He added that movement control conditions are likely to be reviewed following the regional meetings that are now taking place around the country. Today there are meetings in Gisborne and Havelock North, tomorrow in Whangarei, and Tauranga and Auckland on Thursday. (Details below).

"As soon as a clear mandate is received from the regional meetings, work will begin on re-drafting the movement controls. In the meantime the existing controls must be maintained, and the movement-permit hotline (0800 109 383) is working well, with no unprocessed requests outstanding."

Three new Infected Places have been identified through recent testing; one just outside the Hauraki Plains cluster, and two adjacent to the Te Awamutu Infected Place in Southern Waikato. The number of Infected Places is now 301, on apiaries owned by 140 beekeepers.

REGIONAL NORTH ISLAND MEETING TIMETABLE (South Island next week)

Tues 22 August, POVERTY BAY

AgriQuality NZ Office, 245 Childers Rd, Gisborne, 12.30pm. Enquiries ph 06 867 4591

Tues 22 August, HAWKES BAY

St Johns Hall, 22 Napier Rd, Havelock North, 7.30pm. Enquiries ph 06 844 9493

Wed 23 August, NORTHLAND/FAR NORTH

Whangarei Central Baptist Church, 202 Bank St, Whangarei, 12 noon. Enquiries ph 09 434 6344

Thurs 24 August, BAY OF PLENTY

Bureta Park Motor Inn, Vale St, Tauranga, 12.30pm. Enquiries ph 07 5524 585/ 549 1223

Thurs 24 August, AUCKLAND

Landscape and Plant Science Building, Unitec (in Entrance 2 off Carrington Rd), Pt Chevalier, Auckland, 7.30pm. Enquiries ph 025 906 253

Friday 25 August, WAIKATO

McMeekan Centre, Ruakura, Hamilton (bring lunch), 10am. Enquiries ph 07 856 9625

Contacts

John Hayes, Communications Adviser, MAF. 04-4744-268/04-904-1827.
Lin McKenzie, National Beekeepers Association Executive Member. 025-357-970.

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33