22 December 2006
Biosecurity Blunder Lets Down NZ
New finds of varroa in the Sherry River area near Nelson have left the varroa elimination in serious trouble, said Lin
McKenzie, chair of the Bee Industry Group.
“The joint government/industry elimination programme was put in jeopardy in September due to a botch-up by Biosecurity
“At that time Biosecurity NZ failed to keep its side of the bargain and poison feral bee colonies in the infected zone
around Nelson. The baiting programme was abandoned at the last hour when Biosecurity NZ realised it hadn’t got
permission to poison from the patented manufacturer.
The beekeepers did their bit and got rid of the managed hives in the infected zone. However the key to successful
elimination is depopulating the infested zone of all its bees. This has not happened because of Biosecurity NZ’s
“It is unbelievable that Biosecurity NZ could get so close to carrying out a major operation without getting
“Feral baiting is an essential element of any elimination programme. This was Biosecurity’s responsibility and they let
the team down.
“The discovery of varroa in the Sherry River means the future of the elimination programme is now unstable,” concluded
The Bee Industry Group is an industry group of Federated Farmers of New Zealand.