Varroa found 10kms south of movement control line

20 August 2001

A further varroa-infested apiary was found south of the Movement Control Line last week.

The infested apiary was detected as part of MAF's surveillance programme in the southern North Island.

During the programme testing materials are sent to beekeepers with at-risk hives. Beekeepers carry out the hive testing, and return sticky boards to Ruakura for laboratory examination.

Varroa was detected in an apiary near Jerusalem, in the upper Whanganui River region. The apiary is approximately 10 kms south of the movement control line. Of the 21 hives tested, five were found to have varroa present. The hives have been treated to further minimise the spread of the mite.

A number of other apiaries in the region have been tested with no varroa found. Further testing is continuing.The Varroa Management Group consisting of members of MAF and the National Beekeepers Association will meet this week to discuss North Island movement control options.

Early last month, an apiary one kilometre south of the movement control line, on SH4 ("the Parapara Rd") between Raetihi and Wanganui) tested positive for low levels of varroa. This was the first find of varroa south of the control line.

Since varroa was discovered in Auckland in April 2000, movement controls have been in place to slow the spread of the mite.

The current movement control line runs from Taranaki to East Cape. The line restricts the southward movement of risk goods such as beehives and queen bees. Up until last month, no varroa had been found south of this line.

For further information contact Paul Bolger, Varroa Co-ordinator, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on 04-474-4144

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