An attempt to control the spread of the varroa honey bee mite in the South Island is being abandoned.
MAF Biosecurity is revoking all bee and hive movement controls south of Nelson and Marlborough.
The Beekeepers Association says a South Island control line to stop varroa infestations is now a complete waste of time.
The controls will be lifted from Thursday. The control line has been in place since 2000.
Beekeepers were banned from shifting hives between properties that were on different sides of the line, in hopes of stopping the mite from reaching Canterbury.
But 17 operations in Waimakiriri and Selwyn have now been found to be infested.
MAF says the remaining control zone funds will be used for hive testing and education workshops.