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10 May 2000
A low-level infestation of varroa mite has been detected in a small number of hives near Rawene in the Hokianga area of Northland.
This discovery followed a high priority trace from the primary Infected Area in South Auckland. The beekeeper is working closely with officials to identify any risks from further movements within Northland. Teams are now testing apiary sites in the vicinity of this new Restricted Place, as well as that near Te Puke, to establish if these sites are isolated or are indicators of more general infections out side the designated Infected Zone.
Just two other Infected Places were confirmed yesterday, both within the original Infected Zone. While resources have now been diverted to Northland and the Bay of Plenty, work continues within the Infected Zone to establish the outer limits of infestation.
The total number of Infected Places is now 177. The number of beekeepers owning apiaries with Infected Places has risen by three to 59. 1,623 apiaries have now been visited, and the total number of hives on visited apiaries is 30,934.
An invitation has been sent to 480 hobbyist beekeepers to attend a seminar this weekend at the Allenby Park Motor Inn, Papatoetoe, but commercial and unregistered beekeepers are also welcome. On Saturday two technical sessions (9-11am and 1-3pm) will instruct hobby beekeepers on how to test their hives with kits they will later receive. Clear instructions on the use of the kits will be issued, and contracts regarding the use and return of those kits will be signed. On Sunday the beekeepers will return with their samples, which will be analysed in the MAF laboratory and individual beekeepers will be advised of their results.
The movement permit free-phone operation (0800 109 383) received 11 new requests for permits, with nine issued and two pending further work.
Information on the varroa mite is available on the MAFBNZ website.
John Hayes, Communications Adviser, MAF, Ph:. 04-4744 268 or 04-904 1827