Biosecurity | Apiculture
Beekeepers face ongoing challenges with managing pests and diseases such as Varroa mite (Varroa destructor) and American foulbrood.
There are two main biosecurity challenges impacting the Apiculture industry in Aotearoa. Varroa mite is a serious pest for beekeepers and is causing colony collapse across the motu. It has been in the country since 2000, and while treatments are easy, 4.4% of beekeepers (including both commerical operators and hobbyists) did not treat for varroa between Spring 2020 and Winter 2021. It is also understood that varroa mite is becoming resistant to some treatments, which may be exacerbating the problem.
American foulbrood is a disease which kills hives, and spreads quickly. Aotearoa beekeepers are trying to eradicate it completely, as the industry doesn't use antibiotics. Regulations are in place that require compliance and diligent checks by beekeepers, and knowledge of pest and disease control methods are embedded into formal qualifications however, AFB is not outlined specifically.