Kiwi fury at inaction on varroa

18 July 2000

Kiwi fury at inaction on varroa

NEW Zealand farmers and horticulturists are up in arms at their governments decision not to eradicate a bee-killing parasite, the varroa mite.

Bees contribute an estimated NZ$3 billion (923m) a year to the New Zealand economy, pollinating grasslands and crops, reports the Financial Times.

The ministry of agriculture has told the government that the mite could cost agriculture NZ$1.5bn over the next 35 years by reducing bee numbers.

Farmers claim losses will be much higher.

The government says it decided against eradication, not because of the NZ$55m cost, but because there success is unlikely as the mite has spread to the wild.

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