... From: JMitc1014 Newsgroups: sci.agriculture.beekeeping Sent: Friday, April 28, 2000 12:24 PM Subject: NZ quarantine backed with
Message 1 of 2
, Apr 30, 2000
----- Original Message -----
From: "JMitc1014" <jmitc1014@...>
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2000 12:24 PM
Subject: NZ quarantine backed with fines, jail
> Article below from The Evening Post in Wellington, NZ (April 24).
> accurate to say that beekeeping in some Southern states of the U.S.
> "devastated" by the introduction of the small hive beetle? Also,
> in comparing quarantines: What are the repercussions (legal and
> violating the quarantine on moving honey bees out of Texas counties
> been infested with the Africanized honey bees? And a question for
> beekeepers: How far across is Cook Strait?
> Mite invasion exposes soft underbelly
> By Barry Hawkins
> The recent varroa bee mite discover, and snakes found at our ports,
> caused disquiet among industries and MAF officers responsible for
> New Zealand's border defences. THE bee mite emergency has exposed
> vulnerability to organic nasties bombarding our borders.
> Beekeeper Don Bell sums up the feelings of many in the
> acutely aware that we were very susceptible," he says. "Sooner or
> damn thing was going to happen."
> Honey producers in about 40 other countries live with the deadly
> that has been found in the northern North Island. Bell says the
> spread here was a constant worry.
> "Our worst nightmare, you could say. This creature kills bees - it
> very effectively, very efficiently, very quickly."
> The mite has the potential to devastate honey production, and a
> in live bees. Primary industries that depend on bees for
> fearful. The mite can be chemically controlled but not eradicated.
> costly and could force many small beekeepers out of business.
> The benefits bees bring to the economy are valued at about $ 9
> are essential to the production of an estimated 80 percent of the
> country's food.
> The mite was first found in South Auckland and might have spread to
> horticulturally rich Bay of Plenty, although this now seems less
> The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) has banned moving
> North Island, and several beekeepers being investigated for
> possible breaches of the ban could face heavy fines, even jail. A
> going into protecting South Island apiaries.
> Dr Barry Donovan, of Lincoln, an independent researcher
> and wasps, says if the mite is confined to the North Island
> eventually the country could be split into two beekeeping provinces
> permanent ban on all bees and equipment moving from the North to
> "We could end up with border controls at South Island airports and
> people coming from the North Island."
> Even then honey producers might not be safe. "We are not 100
> that drone bees couldn't fly across Cook Strait."
> But Andrew Matheson, of MAF's biosecurity authority, doubts this is
> "I'd have to consult textbooks but I don't think drones could
> distance across water. You are talking more about (the risk of)
> blown across."
> A successful quarantine of the North Island raises the possibility
> Island at least marketing its honey as chemical-free, thus
> the premium New Zealand honey has enjoyed until now.
> There are claims the varroa mite was deliberately released but how
> may never be known.
> Bell, an executive member of the National Association of
> reluctant to predict what may happen to his industry.
> He says other countries infested by the varroa mite have
> of smaller operators and a drop in production.
> "That goes for all hive products, whether its beeswax, propolis or
> things that are currently extracted by the bee industry."
> Bell, whose apiary is in Sheffield, inland from Christchurch, says
> of the "public good" benefits of the industry are through
> aren't reflected in returns to beekeepers. Neither is this very
> He says while beekeepers are anxious about their livelihoods and
> how the mite got here, they aren't looking for scapegoats. "They
> are not running round like a lynch mob. They are getting on with
> extent they can and supporting MAF. That's good. It gives a measure
> There are few positives to be found, though Donovan identifies one.
> overseas experience shows that wild hives in rock cavities, hollow
> trees and old buildings are eliminated by the mite. This could
> wildlife. "Introduced bees in native environments have competed
> insects and birds for pollen and nectar for 160 years."
> Donovan says native species can be expected to prosper with their
> competition gone. He says because only Australia and central Africa
> mite-free, infestation here was probably inevitable.
> Bad though the mite is, the honey industry has remained free of
> scourges such as the small hive beetle from Africa, which has
> devastated honey production in some southern US states.
> European brood disease and the cape honey bee are other bee menaces
> has avoided. Donovan says this may be more by good luck
> than good management.
> Our borders are being bombarded by organisms. Many get established
> causing too many problems.
> Others like the varroa mite are plague-like. Donovan says trying to
> totally efficient border barriers would be hugely expensive and, in
> likely to be futile.
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