Sampling concludes for NZ's biggest ever bee study

Media contact: MPI media team

Biosecurity New Zealand has completed sampling for the largest and most detailed study of honey bee health ever undertaken in New Zealand.

More than 60 beekeepers have participated in the Bee Pathogen Programme and had their hives tested every 6 months for 2 and a half years.

Biosecurity New Zealand senior scientist, Dr Richard Hall, says the research will provide a wealth of valuable information to the beekeeping industry.

"The Bee Pathogen Programme will help us better understand the effect that diseases, climate and apiary management practices have on colony losses and productivity," he says. 

"We have completed sampling and our experts have begun carefully evaluating the huge amount of data that has been collected.

"This includes studying more than 130,000 honey bees from 300 samples taken throughout the country that are now archived in Biosecurity New Zealand's freezers.

"Once the data has been carefully evaluated it will be available to the beekeeping industry and to researchers for further analysis."

Biosecurity New Zealand is aiming to release its conclusions from the Bee Pathogen Programme in late 2019.

Dr Hall says Biosecurity New Zealand is grateful to the beekeepers who participated in the research programme and the inspectors who conducted the fieldwork.

"We are very thankful to all of the beekeepers who have participated in the programme and allowed us access to their hives for sampling."

All about the Bee Pathogen Programme – infographic [PDF, 429 KB]

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