14 Oct 2010

New bee parasite 'well established' in Coromandel

9:05 am on 14 October 2010

The Ministry of Agriculture says preliminary results from an investigation into a new bee parasite indicate it is well established in New Zealand.

The exotic pest, Nosema ceranae, was found in hives belonging to a beekeeper on the Coromondel peninsula in September. It infests the gut of bees, killing them.

A spokesperson for MAF Biosecurity says many apiaries in the Coromandel have tested positive to Nosema ceranae, indicating it is well established there and likely to be widespread across New Zealand.

MAF will continue to carry out tests to determine how it got here and how long it has been in the country, she says.

At this stage, MAF Biosecurity has not imposed any movement restrictions on beekeepers to control the parasite.