[11 March/Rural News]

Sampling has been completed for Biosecurity New Zealand’s Bee Pathogen Programme which involved more than 60 beekeepers and took two and a half years to complete. The study is the largest and most detailed one ever undertaken in New Zealand, involving hives being tested every six months. Dr Richard Hall, Senior Scientist at Biosecurity New Zealand reports that the research will prove valuable to the industry as it helps to understand the effect that diseases, climate change and apiary management practices have on colony productivity and losses. Now the data is collected it will be evaluated and the results will be available to the beekeeping industry for further analysis. More than 130,000 honey bees will be studied based on 300 samples from around the country that now reside in Biosecurity New Zealand’s freezers. Biosecurity New Zealand is aiming to release its conclusions from the Bee Pathogen Programme in late 2019.