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8 March 2007
Varroa bee mite education workshops for South Island beekeepers began in Nelson this week.
Biosecurity New Zealand varroa spokesperson Paul Bolger says the purpose of the workshops is to help beekeepers recognise and manage varroa, which was found in the Nelson region last year. An attempt to eliminate the mite from the infested areas was unsuccessful.
“The free workshops are a mix of theoretical and practical sessions that aim to give commercial and hobby beekeepers information about how to monitor and manage varroa should they discover an infestation in their hives. The workshops draw on the lessons learned by North Island beekeepers in varroa management over the past seven years.
“The Nelson and Blenheim workshops were held first as they are within or close to known infested areas. Workshops will be held in other South Island centres progressively over time. The experience from the North Island tells us it is best to hold the workshops close to the time beekeepers need the information.”
Workshop dates for other South Island regions have not yet been confirmed.
Additional measures have been put in place to slow the spread of varroa from Nelson to Marlborough, Paul Bolger says
“After consultation with beekeepers in the Controlled Area, two new control points have been established at the Wash Bridge and the Pelorus Bridge.
“This means restrictions for beekeepers moving goods that may transfer varroa from the areas west of the control points across to the east of these control points, and we are reminding beekeepers in the controlled area that they must contact the permitting office on 0800 80 99 66 before moving any risk goods.
“Additional surveillance in the Marlborough area will be carried out in autumn 2007 to determine whether varroa has spread to Marlborough. Surveillance will enable Biosecurity New Zealand to review the location and need for control points within the controlled area.”
Judith Hamblyn, Senior Communications Adviser, Biosecurity New Zealand 04 894 0687 or 029 894 0687