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3 May 2000
A hive on a beekeeping property near Thames has proved to be infected with the varroa mite. It appears that two adjacent hives, on the same property, have also been infected, but at very low levels. Testing is continuing on the Coromandel Peninsula, with no other indications of varroa there so far.
MAF programme co-ordinator Dr Matthew Stone says that the new find was the result of a trace from the infected area in the Hauraki Plains, where the infected hive - now on the Coromandel - was placed for several weeks in November. Dr Stone says that it will be important to establish if this is an isolated infection, or there has been a wider spread of varroa on the peninsula. Apiary sites in the area of the newly identified site are being tested.
In addition to the Coromandel find, eight Infected Places have been confirmed within the Infected Zone. The nine new Infected Places brings the cumulative total to 112, on apiaries owned by 36 beekeepers. 24,516 hives have now been tested on 1,341 apiaries.
The movement permit free-phone operation (800 109 383) has been very busy with received 74 requests for permits yesterday. 13 permits have been issued under the movement restrictions reviewed on Friday evening, with two declined and the rest pending. To ease the process further, the application form for permits will be posted on the websites of MAF and the National Beekeepers Association later today.
Information on the varroa mite 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.