FW: Varroa found in New Zealand
- -----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
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.
National Manager International Trade
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
P O Box 2526
Tel +64 4 474 4138
Fax +64 4 474 4227
(\ Nick Wallingford
(/ NZ Beekeeping http://www.beekeeping.co.nz
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----- 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.