18 Nov 2011

Beekeepers welcome national summit proposal

1:31 pm on 18 November 2011

The Beekeepers Association says a proposed national summit to bring together all the stakeholders in the bee industry is timely, given the increasing resistance of the varroa mite to chemical treatments.

The summit was part of the Labour Party's biosecurity policy, released earlier this week.

Beekeepers Association chief executive Daniel Paul says the varroa mite has been established and managed in New Zealand for 11 years now.

He says, however, that the bee industry is at a turning point.

"One of the things that we have got looming, and it is quite critical, is a resistance to treatments for the varroa mite," he says.

"That could have a serious impact down the track. What the industry needs is some good research and development into how we can actually tackle that issue and make sure that our bee populations are not exposed to varroa."

Mr Paul says despite a global decline in honey bee numbers, New Zealand's bee population is healthy, with nearly 400,000 hives across the country.