Beekeepers want action on pesticide use

2:30 pm on 6 October 2015

The National Beekeepers' Association says there is no effective system in New Zealand for dealing with the mass killing of bees by the careless use of pesticide sprays.

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Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Association spokesman Don McLeod said beekeepers were still waiting for an inquiry into a pesticide incident that wiped out 300 hives in the Wairarapa last February.

The dead bees were tested and the culprit was found to be Fipronil - a pyrethroid insecticide, he said.

Beekeepers reported the incident to the EPA as required and the EPA referred the matter to Worksafe to investigate, but nothing's happened since, Mr McLeod said.

He claimed the EPA was ineffective as an enforcement and investigation agency.

The EPA said it monitors reports of bee-kill incidents like the Waikato one, but has no power to investigate or act on them.

A spokesperson said the misuse of sprays that kills bees was treated as a workplace incident, and it was up to Worksafe to follow up.

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