4 May 2009

Pesticide poisoning causes bee losses

3:28 pm on 4 May 2009

There has been a call for a more co-ordinated approach to tackle poisonings of honey bees by agri-chemicals.

The group Bee Safe, intitiated by beekeepers providing kiwifruit pollination services in the Bay of Plenty, says last year about 300 hives in the region suffered serious losses from pesticides.

The group's president, Neale Cameron, says contractors trying to complete a backlog of work have been applying chemicals in conditions when they should not, and in other cases, the correct use of chemicals has not been understood.

Agcarm, which represents agri-chemical manufacturers and distributors, maintains education is the key to keeping bees safe from chemicals.

Chief executive Graeme Peters says it has distributed more than 15,000 brochures in the past year as part of its efforts in that field.

The Green Party says the Government also needs to take a hand by phasing out pesticides that are highly toxic to bees.