4 Apr 2016

Beekeeper suspects poisoning of 300 hives

8:33 am on 4 April 2016

A beekeeper in Northland has lost at least 300 hives in what he suspects is a deliberate poisoning.

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Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

David Yanke and his partner Rachel Kearney first noticed the huge numbers of dying bees and dead hives at Easter weekend on their property near Taipa, in the far North.

Police and Ministry for Primary Industries are investigating the incident.

Mr Yanke said the way the bees died made him and other beekeepers suspect the hives were poisoned, but he was waiting on tests on the honey and the bees to find out what killed them.

The couple have run Daykel Apiaries for over 30 years and breed queen bees for commercial sale.

Mr Yanke said the deaths would have an impact on the business, but it would bounce back.