Varroa decision next week

Hon Marian Hobbs, Minister for Biosecurity
Hon Jim Sutton, Minister of Agriculture
Hon Pete Hodgson, Minister of Research, Science and Technology

5 July 2000

The Government wants more information before it decides whether to attempt eradication of the varroa bee mite or opt for a controlled management programme, the Ministers for Biosecurity, Marian Hobbs, Agriculture, Jim Sutton and Research, Science and Technology, Pete Hodgson, said today.

"Specific questions have been raised about the feasibility of removing infected feral bees," the Ministers said. "This is crucial to the success of eradication.

"The chances of successful eradication appear slim. But we have agreed to explore a suggestion for further research into the feasibility of eradicating feral bee colonies. Pending the results of this research controls of varroa would be maintained.

"We have asked officials and scientists to evaluate this proposal and report back next week. It is expected that the first control chemical will have received registration by about the middle of July, by which time a decision on eradication or control needs to be made."

A decision will be taken at a special cabinet committee meeting next Wednesday.

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