1 Jun 2010

Varroa bee mite found further south

12:57 pm on 1 June 2010

The varroa bee mite has spread further south, with reports of infected hives in Queenstown and Central Otago.

The bee-killing mite reached the top of the South Island in 2006, but attempts to contain it in Nelson and Marlborough were abandoned in late 2008, when the mite was found in North Canterbury.

Federated Farmers says the varroa incursion in Queenstown was directly related to an infected hive being transported to the region from Christchurch.

Bee group chairman John Hartnell says beekeepers had hoped it would not get there for at least another two years.