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Varroa Control Vital to the Future of Pastoral Farming

The Varroa Movement Control Line must remain in place as long as possible or New Zealand runs the risk that people’s minds will drift from the importance of controlling the spread of the Varroa Bee Mite.

In its recommendations for a Varroa Pest Management Strategy the Varroa Programme Group said that it does not support maintaining North Island movement controls as they believe it is unlikely that any significant North Island areas will be free of Varroa when the new strategy comes into effect.

“Pastoral farmers have been slow to realise the long term impacts of reduced pollination on the pastoral sector, says Federated Farmers National Board member Hugh Ritchie.

“If Varroa spreads to the East Coast of the North Island and the South Island it would have an estimated impact of $314 million over 35 years with 90% of that falling on the pastoral sector.

“Biosecurity is a broader issue than just protecting New Zealand’s borders.

“Even though the Varroa Movement Control Line has been breached, it is still slowing the spread of Varroa. New Zealand cannot afford to be complacent about stemming the spread of Varroa.”

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