[04 April/Stuff NZ]

Many South Wairarapa and Upper Hutt areas are now a high risk area for the American Foulbrood Disease (AFB). 275 hives owned by a single beekeeper were infected with the disease, and are in multiple sites region wide. National AFB Management Plan manager Clifton King said it was the worst infestation he had seen in the 18 months he had been with the organisation. The only way of controlling the disease was burning the infected hives before they could infect other populations, which is required by the biosecurity act. The beekeeper’s remaining uninfected hives were now subject to twice yearly inspections until the annual incidence of AFB was less than 1 per cent. Normal infestation across New Zealand hive populations is around 0.3 percent according to Mr King.