Minister encourages apiarists to provide bee health data

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor is urging the country’s beekeepers to complete a survey checking the health of the country’s bee stocks.

The Ministry for Primary Industries’ Colony Loss and Survival survey is an important part of the work the Government and beekeepers do together to understand bee health, losses and beekeeping practice.

Typically the surveys are completed by only a third of the apiculture sector of nearly 8000 registered beekeepers, who look after nearly 900,000 hives.

“A united sector builds resilience and can take action on the big issues such as hive overstocking rates, access to floral resources, queen bee performance, seasonal variability in climate and production, and pest and disease management,” O’Connor said.

“Working with the thriving mānuka honey industry, we recently introduced the science definition to protect the integrity of exports and I strongly believe there is more value to extract from our other native honeys. We need to work together to protect the long-term viability of the sector and get more from what we do now.”

The 2017 survey showed bee colony losses in New Zealand continue to be significantly lower than many other countries. Annual hive losses were reported at 9.84% overall.

But, O”Connor said

” … we need to monitor trends and collect as much information as possible to protect our bees.”

Registered beekeepers will receive the survey from Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research in September.

Source:  Minister for Agriculture

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