[27 October/Stuff]

Four samples of New Zealand honey tested positive for neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides, in a global study by Swiss Biology Professor Edward Mitchell. The findings are not in keeping with Ministry of Primary Industries testing, which found no traces of neonicotinoids in honey for sale. Mr Mitchell said the concentrations detected in Oceania samples were low and did not represent a health risk to consumers. Several countries have recently questioned the use of neonicotinoids, including France who has implemented a ban on the substance. Apiculture NZ chief executive Karin Kos said she was surprised at the findings and would need to know more about the samples. New Zealand’s environmental regulator, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) recommends no insecticide spraying near hives, budding or flowering crops; and no spraying on crops likely to be visited by bees, or when bees are foraging.