22 Feb 2011

Another bee disease confirmed nationally

7:30 am on 22 February 2011

Beekeepers are resigned to having to manage another bee disease: hive testing has revealed the presence of Nosema ceranae in both the North and South islands.

The Ministry of Agriculture confirmed the disease in Coromandel apiaries last year.

Last month it was also found in Christchurch, lending weight to MAF's view that it's already well established in New Zealand.

Nosema ceranae is a microscopic parasitic disease that infests the gut of bees, killing them and wiping out hives.

It's one of the pests, like the varroa parasite, that has been linked to colony collapses overseas.

The National Beekeepers Association's chief executive, Daniel Paul, says it accepts that the disease is likely to be widespread, but there's no quick-fix solution for keepers.