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FW: Varroa found in New Zealand

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  • Garry Libby
    ... From: Informed Discussion of Beekeeping Issues and Bee Biology [mailto:BEE-L@listserv.albany.edu] On Behalf Of Nick Wallingford Sent: Tuesday, April 11,
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 11, 2000
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      -----Original Message-----
      From: Informed Discussion of Beekeeping Issues and Bee Biology
      [mailto:BEE-L@...] On Behalf Of Nick Wallingford
      Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2000 4:51 AM
      To: BEE-L@...
      Subject: Varroa found in New Zealand


      This is a sad one for me personally to be reporting to this list, but
      I would like the dissemination of the information to be accurate,
      complete and timely. New Zealand beekeepers have always prided
      ourselves on our pest and disease status, our openness and our
      honesty. Though this announcement makes a dent in the first, the
      second and third remain.

      5:30pm local time Tuesday (about 3 hours ago as I write this...)

      Diagnosis of Varroa jacobsoni

      This is to advise that today, we have ceased to export live bees
      because of an outbreak of Varroa jacobsoni. Exports will cease until
      the extent of this disease is defined.

      At least six affected apiaries have been identified so far in the
      affected area in South Auckland. It will be necessary for tracing
      activities and movement controls to be imposed before MAF will be in
      a position to know how we can certify exports where Varroa freedom is
      required. This is complicated because some of the infested hives
      were "dead" which indicates quite a longstanding infestation.

      We have identified that certification has been issued and
      consignments that are in transit. We are in the process of notifying
      the importing countries concerned.

      We expect to be in a position to advise on the future of export
      certification within a day or so.

      Jim Edwards
      National Manager International Trade
      Biosecurity Authority
      Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
      P O Box 2526
      Wellington

      --------------------


      Tel +64 4 474 4138

      Fax +64 4 474 4227

      (\ Nick Wallingford
      {|||8- nickw@...
      (/ NZ Beekeeping http://www.beekeeping.co.nz

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    • tomas mozer
      ... From: JMitc1014 Newsgroups: sci.agriculture.beekeeping Sent: Friday, April 28, 2000 12:24 PM Subject: NZ quarantine backed with
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 30, 2000
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "JMitc1014" <jmitc1014@...>
        Newsgroups: sci.agriculture.beekeeping
        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).
        Is
        it
        > accurate to say that beekeeping in some Southern states of the U.S.
        has
        been
        > "devastated" by the introduction of the small hive beetle? Also,
        I'm
        interested
        > in comparing quarantines: What are the repercussions (legal and
        financial)
        of
        > violating the quarantine on moving honey bees out of Texas counties
        that
        have
        > been infested with the Africanized honey bees? And a question for
        New
        Zealand
        > 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,
        have
        > caused disquiet among industries and MAF officers responsible for
        > New Zealand's border defences. THE bee mite emergency has exposed
        New
        Zealand's
        > vulnerability to organic nasties bombarding our borders.
        >
        > Beekeeper Don Bell sums up the feelings of many in the
        industry: "We've
        been
        > acutely aware that we were very susceptible," he says. "Sooner or
        later
        some
        > damn thing was going to happen."
        >
        > Honey producers in about 40 other countries live with the deadly
        varroa
        mite
        > that has been found in the northern North Island. Bell says the
        risk of
        its
        > spread here was a constant worry.
        >
        > "Our worst nightmare, you could say. This creature kills bees - it
        kills
        them
        > very effectively, very efficiently, very quickly."
        >
        > The mite has the potential to devastate honey production, and a
        thriving
        export
        > in live bees. Primary industries that depend on bees for
        pollination are
        also
        > fearful. The mite can be chemically controlled but not eradicated.
        Control
        is
        > costly and could force many small beekeepers out of business.
        >
        > The benefits bees bring to the economy are valued at about $ 9
        billion.
        They
        > 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
        the
        > horticulturally rich Bay of Plenty, although this now seems less
        likely.
        >
        > The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) has banned moving
        hives in
        the
        > North Island, and several beekeepers being investigated for
        > possible breaches of the ban could face heavy fines, even jail. A
        big
        effort is
        > going into protecting South Island apiaries.
        >
        > Dr Barry Donovan, of Lincoln, an independent researcher
        specialising in
        bees
        > and wasps, says if the mite is confined to the North Island
        > eventually the country could be split into two beekeeping provinces
        with a
        > permanent ban on all bees and equipment moving from the North to
        the
        South
        > Island.
        >
        > "We could end up with border controls at South Island airports and
        seaports for
        > people coming from the North Island."
        >
        > Even then honey producers might not be safe. "We are not 100
        percent
        certain
        > that drone bees couldn't fly across Cook Strait."
        >
        > But Andrew Matheson, of MAF's biosecurity authority, doubts this is
        much
        of a
        > risk.
        >
        > "I'd have to consult textbooks but I don't think drones could
        actively fly
        that
        > distance across water. You are talking more about (the risk of)
        bees being
        > blown across."
        >
        > A successful quarantine of the North Island raises the possibility
        of the
        South
        > Island at least marketing its honey as chemical-free, thus
        preserving part
        of
        > the premium New Zealand honey has enjoyed until now.
        >
        > There are claims the varroa mite was deliberately released but how
        it got
        here
        > may never be known.
        >
        > Bell, an executive member of the National Association of
        Beekeepers, is
        > reluctant to predict what may happen to his industry.
        >
        > He says other countries infested by the varroa mite have
        experienced a
        shakeout
        > of smaller operators and a drop in production.
        >
        > "That goes for all hive products, whether its beeswax, propolis or
        any of
        the
        > things that are currently extracted by the bee industry."
        >
        > Bell, whose apiary is in Sheffield, inland from Christchurch, says
        the
        majority
        > of the "public good" benefits of the industry are through
        pollination, and
        > aren't reflected in returns to beekeepers. Neither is this very
        often
        publicly
        > recognised.
        >
        > He says while beekeepers are anxious about their livelihoods and
        keen to
        learn
        > how the mite got here, they aren't looking for scapegoats. "They
        (beekeepers)
        > are not running round like a lynch mob. They are getting on with
        the job
        to the
        > extent they can and supporting MAF. That's good. It gives a measure
        of
        hope."
        >
        > There are few positives to be found, though Donovan identifies one.
        He
        says
        > overseas experience shows that wild hives in rock cavities, hollow
        > trees and old buildings are eliminated by the mite. This could
        benefit
        native
        > wildlife. "Introduced bees in native environments have competed
        with
        native
        > insects and birds for pollen and nectar for 160 years."
        >
        > Donovan says native species can be expected to prosper with their
        main
        > competition gone. He says because only Australia and central Africa
        are
        varroa
        > mite-free, infestation here was probably inevitable.
        >
        > Bad though the mite is, the honey industry has remained free of
        even worse
        > 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
        New
        Zealand
        > has avoided. Donovan says this may be more by good luck
        > than good management.
        >
        > Our borders are being bombarded by organisms. Many get established
        without
        > causing too many problems.
        >
        > Others like the varroa mite are plague-like. Donovan says trying to
        erect
        > totally efficient border barriers would be hugely expensive and, in
        the
        end,
        > likely to be futile.
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