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MAF Biosecurity has confirmed varroa bee mite in hives outside of the current South Island controlled area.
"Yesterday a hobbyist beekeeper in North Canterbury reported a suspected varroa infestation to MAFBNZ and this morning our laboratory has confirmed the presence of varroa mites," said MAF Biosecurity's incursion manager, Richard Norman.
"Tracing of hive movements and associations with this operation may help us understand the extent of infestation in the North Canterbury region."
MAF Biosecurity said it appreciated the assistance of beekeepers reporting suspected finds.
It said it was important that beekeepers in the South Island outside Nelson/Marlborough regularly test their own hives for varroa mites on bees or in brood.
Beekeepers detecting varroa in their hives should report the find to MAFBNZ via the 0800 80 99 66 free phone number.