Apiculture surveillance programme

MPI's apiculture surveillance programme is searching for signs of non-native pests or diseases in bees. Find out what we are looking for, and what's at stake.

What we are looking for

We need to keep an eye out for any pests and diseases that can put our bees at risk.

Signs of non-native pests or diseases include:

  • mites such as tracheal mite and Asian mite
  • European foulbrood
  • small hive beetle
  • undesirable bee species
  • unusual or unexplained symptoms, behaviour, or mortalities.

Honey bee exotic diseases and pests [PDF, 5 MB]

Surveillance

Apiary inspections

More than 300 apiaries are investigated every year. These are selected from about 20 high-risk sites across New Zealand.

In each of these apiaries, authorised persons inspect each hive, lay and check mite traps, and send a sample of adult bees to the lab for testing. A further 300 bee samples a year are taken from beekeepers who supply export markets. These are tested for external and internal mites.

Education and reporting

Beekeepers are educated on pests and diseases through The New Zealand Beekeeper magazine. In addition, all beekeepers are encouraged to report suspect cases to MPI using the pest and disease hotline. In 2014, 8 beekeeper reports triggered formal investigations. No new pests or diseases were found.

Keeping track

MPI partners with AsureQuality to maintain a register of all New Zealand apiaries. This records important statistics that assist in our biosecurity planning and preparedness.

Find out more

2018 report on apiculture surveillance

European foulbrood disease

Last reviewed: