20 Aug 2008

Long term funding wanted for bee research

9:50 am on 20 August 2008

A bee scientist says the Government should provide long term strategic funding for research into the varroa bee mite.

The United States is spending $87 million to find out why its bee population is being decimated by a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.

Both the Australian and Canadian governments are considering similar requests from beekeepers and scientists.

HortResearch bee scientist Mark Goodwin says funding is needed in New Zealand to speed up breeding programmes for varroa resistant bees and research into a fungus that attacks the varroa mite.

Dr Goodwin says the research would cost about $50,000 to $60,000.