6 Apr 2011

Beekeepers keep watch on Australian management of bee pest

9:13 am on 6 April 2011

Beekeepers are keeping a close watch on moves in Australia to control an aggressive bee invader.

Asian honey bee was first found in Queensland in 2007, and the government has been trying to eradicate it since.

The eradication programme is in doubt after the Asian Honey Bee National Management Group decided that it was no longer feasible.

However a Federal Government advisory committee is reconsidering this decision after pressure from angry beekeepers who still believe eradication is possible.

The Asian honey bee has not been found in New Zealand but it could pose a threat to the country's bee population if it was found here.

The bee robs honey from hives, and is also a natural host for the varroa mite and other bee pests and diseases.

The national beekeepers association says it is a very serious pest, and one that they would not want to find here.

Co-chief executive Daniel Paul the presence of the Asian honey bee in Australia makes it even more important to keep a ban on imports of honey and bee products from that country.