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September 6 2006
Biosecurity New Zealand and the South Island Varroa Control Group will start
the first phase of an agreed programme to eliminate varroa from the Nelson area
this week, senior policy analyst Paul Bolger said today.
"The first phase will be carried out by the South Island Varroa
Control Group (SIVCG) and will focus on removing over 800 beehives from the
infested zones around Nelson and transporting them to the North Island. Because
varroa is already widespread in the North Island, the hives can be freely sold
"SIVCG have raised enough funds from the beekeeping, arable and
horticultural industries to cover the cost of the hives and their removal. Some
Nelson beekeepers have gifted their hives to the group, in exchange for a
promise of receiving a replacement hive next season donated by beekeepers
elsewhere in the South Island.
Any remaining hives will be dealt with by Biosecurity New Zealand, using
powers under the Biosecurity Act.
"We are aware of some hives where the owner is out of New Zealand or
otherwise un-contactable' said Paul Bolger. As over 90% of hives in the
area are being moved to the North Island, it would be unreasonable to allow the
remaining few hives to prevent an attempt to kill feral bees. These hives
will be uplifted by Biosecurity New Zealand at the end of the week.
Once all the managed hives have been removed from the area, Biosecurity New
Zealand will coordinate a programme to lay out bait stations to kill feral
(wild) beehives in the area. This will use voluntary labour supplied by
beekeepers and the farming industry from throughout New Zealand," Mr
Biosecurity New Zealand is also launching a campaign to get the public in
the varroa-infested zones to notify Biosecurity New Zealand of any feral bee
colonies. Landowners are asked to report any feral colonies to 0800 80 99
Contact: Tina Nixon, Senior Communications Adviser,
Biosecurity New Zealand, 0-27-223 2789.