Exotic Visitor – Beehive and Bees Checks

Hi There,

Last week we had a visitor to our Education Apiary.

Alastair, who is a designated inspector sub-contracted by Asure Quality ( who are the contractors for Ministry for Primary Industries – MPI ) attended the site with me to inspect the colonies and take Honey Bees to be checked for ‘exotic diseases’.

He explained that these are the diseases that are not yet in New Zealand, they include;

  • Tropilaelis Mercedesae
  • Tracheal Mites
  • Small Hive Beetle
  • European Foul Brood
  • Africanised Honey Bee
  • Cape Honey Bee

Upon opening, he checked the hive-mats, then opened the hive to search for a good amount of Bees on a brood frame, then he collected Bees in a small jar whilst also checking the Bees generally.

I conducted a vaporisation with oxalic acid, then he installed a drop board or sticky-board, which was inserted in for a 24hour period to check for what drops. Tomorrow we’ll meet back at the site to remove the sticky boards which will then be sent away for analysis with the jar of Bees.

It’s really good to see our registration fees working and we appreciate their work, this work requires entering Apiary sites – sometimes without notice, but Alastair called to arrange everything in-advance and also explained what was involved in the process. Yes, you will lose a few Bees in this process, as the collected Bees are sent away for analysis.

Interestingly, the power of these inspectors are the same as the police, so as to conduct this work – they can legally enter your property or Apiary without notice.

We happily work with the authorities by registering all our Apiary sites. What this means is that if we all participate…

By registering the land where you keep your hives – we can all contribute information which is used to identify if the Beekeeping industry has issues which are happening across the country. It’s a key tool used by MPI gathering information of any of these issues which could harm our Beekeeping Community and the Honey Industry, so such visits are a necessary part of helping them to achieve that, bee kind to these inspectors and welcome them on to your property, help them, to help us all.

Our advice is let them use your gear to open your hive and you are able to ask that they spray their footwear – this keeps us all safe.

If you want to know more about how you can register your Apiary with MPI and find out about diseases in New Zealand, check out this website – http://www.afb.org.nz/

Thanks for reading guys.

it’s the kiwimana buzz…

5 thoughts on “Exotic Visitor – Beehive and Bees Checks

  1. Avatar photo
    Glenn says:

    Hi Margaret,
    I really enjoyed your article re: Exotic Visitor – its good to know that MPI are busy doing checks before we have significant problems and also to receive first hand education on what the future issues might be for the industry.

    I print off all your articles as they make wonderful reading and I find them very encouraging. Please keep up the great work!



  2. Avatar photo
    Lisa Morrissey says:

    Hi Margaret, Excellent article on the inspector visit. It can be a bit nerve racking when you get the phone call to setup an inspection cause it does feel like the police are coming to check you out.
    Your article clearly explains the benefits and positive view of these inspections. Great work and thanks for all your teachings. You guys Rock with Banana’s on top : )
    Lisa M

  3. Avatar photo
    Alan Jones says:

    Interesting article, thank you for sharing. We get Foul Brood Inspectors in the UK and I never understand why Beekeepers are negative about their visits, its for everybodies good. My mentor used to say “good beekeepers get disease, bad beekeepers spread it” Enjoy your winter break!
    Best wishes

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