What s being done?
This range of issues requires a range of responses. The New Zealand National Beekeepers Association is calling for a range of measures, including banning honey imports, reviewing insecticide use and encouraging bee-friendly rural plantings. It also challenged the Government to produce a pollinator security strategy, which it says is just as important as New Zealand’s existing biosecurity and biodiversity strategies. The Green Party has already backed something similar.
Meanwhile, the war against varroa mite may well be fought for us by another tiny critter, the chelifer. Looking like a tiny scorpion, this creature feeds on the mites, so scientists at Plant and Food Research are currently investigating whether they can be successfully introduced to beehives.
And the Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group Trees for Bees programme includes brochures suggesting plant types to establish throughout our farms and along riparian margins in order to support bee health.
Worldwide, the United Nations has launched a five-year US$27 million Global Pollinators Project to protect key pollinators for global food security and biodiversity.