Pollinator safety

Pollination is essential for plants to produce fruits and seeds and to assist with nitrogen regeneration in clover pastures.

Bees are extremely good pollinators of crops and contribute substantially to New Zealand’s multi-billion dollar agricultural economy.

Healthy bee populations need to be protected to ensure the productivity of New Zealand agriculture.

How is the bee industry doing?

New Zealand’s bee industry is doing very well, with increasing number of beehives, beekeepers, and honey production.

The second Colony Loss and Survival Survey showed that New Zealand honey bee losses are low on an international scale. Losses averaged 9.78 percent – down from 2015 and over two percent lower than the northern hemisphere average.

The survey can be viewed from the Ministry for Primary Industries website.

What are the challenges to bee health?

In 2016, starvation, queen problems and wasps were the main contributing factor to honey bee losses.

We need to ensure that products used to control pests are not harming bees and other beneficial insects.

Sprayers – read the label
Sprayers should read the label to see if a product includes statements about bees. If so, the user must follow the label statements. For example, the product should not be sprayed on crops in flower when bees are foraging.

What is Agcarm doing?

Bee responsible awareness campaign

Agcarm and Apiculture New Zealand launched a campaign in September 2016 to increase awareness of the importance of keeping bees safe by using agrichemicals responsibly.

A flyer and poster were produced with simple rules on protecting bees from unintended exposure to agrichemicals.


Bees and neonicotinoids

Despite claims that particular types of seed treatments (neonicotinoids) are harmful to bees, there is no evidence that neonicotinoids have harmed bees in New Zealand.

Neonicotinoids have been used safely across millions of hectares of crops worldwide. Many years of independent monitoring prove that when used properly, this effective crop protection technology does not damage the health of bee populations.

See also: