13 Dec 2013

Beekeepers undecided on Govt biosecurity deal

6:32 am on 13 December 2013

Horticulture New Zealand, forest owners and Federated Farmers are among those who support the chance to have a say on biosecurity in return for sharing the costs.

However, the bee industry is still uncommitted about whether it will sign up to the Government's biosecurity deal.

The ministry has told the two beekeeper organisations that it won't negotiate with them separately.

So, the National Beekeepers Association and Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group have agreed to form a joint advisory council to deal with the ministry on that.

But NBA chief executive Daniel Paul said beekeepers are nowhere near the stage yet of deciding whether they want to be part of a biosecurity agreement with the Government.

He said they still need to sort out the pros and cons and the obvious downside for beekeepers in signing up to Government Industry Agreements is the additional cost.

But Mr Paul said there is potential benefit for beekeepers in that they will have some influence over how biosecurity for the industry is set up and managed.

He said the Beekeeping Industry Advisory Council will also oversee a national bee health survey that's being planned.