bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Widening split over Kiwi varroa strategy

Beekeepers in New Zealand's South Island are split over the strategy recently put in place to try to delay the spread of varroa from the North Island.

Marlborough beekeepers (at the top of North Island at the heart of New Zealand's wineries) say that the new strategy will cost too much and be ineffective. There are too many feral colonies in teh area and eradication of these if varroa is found in the vicinity will be virtually impossible.
“... in Marlborough, costwise, it's hard to justify, because we don't want it. It would be 50 cents a hive for what we wanted, compared to the $2 a hive we have to pay now,” said Marlborough commercial beekeeper Darren Clifford.

Ironically, wearing his other, Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group Executive, hat, Clifford feels he must support the new strategy!

Meanwhile, Canterbury beekeepers (a plains area further south) believe they have a lot of areas where eradication could be successful, and are strongly supporting a heavier surveillance programme.

The question I have is: What are the relative costs of trying to keep varroa out and just accepting it will arrive sometime and starting treatment regimes ASAP.



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