13 Sep 2012

MPI confirms varroa in hives where many bees died

6:46 am on 13 September 2012

The Ministry for Primary Industries has confirmed the presence of varroa mite in a number of hives owned by an Auckland beekeeper.

On Monday the beekeeper reported 800,000 bees in 40 hives had died.

The ministry says it's likely an infestation of varroa was a major contributor to the deaths, and that chemically resistant varroa mites may be a factor.

MPI is carrying out further testing to determine whether viruses or bacteria could have contributed to the situation.