Pollinator safety

Protecting healthy bee populations ensures productive agriculture.

Bees are extremely good pollinators of crops and contribute substantially to New Zealand’s multi-billion dollar agricultural economy.
Pollination is essential for plants to produce fruits and seeds and to assist with nitrogen regeneration in clover pastures.

New Zealand’s bee industry is thriving

Beehives, beekeepers, and honey production numbers are steadily climbing.

Studies show that honey bee losses are low on an international scale. The second Colony Loss and Survival Survey show losses average 9.78 percent – down from the year before and over two percent lower than the northern hemisphere average.

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

Challenges to bee health

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

Ensuring pest control products don’t harm bees

Sprayers – read the label

Before spraying, read the product label to see if it includes statements about bees. For example, the product should not be sprayed on crops in flower when bees are foraging.

Bee responsible awareness campaigns

A campaign for aerial and ground sprayers on keeping bees safe by using agrichemicals responsibly was launched by Agcarm with NZ Aviation in Agriculture and Rural Contractors to coincide with Bee Aware month in September 2017.

Poster - protecting bees from unintended exposure to agrichemicals.

Agcarm and Apiculture New Zealand prepared simple rules for farmers and beekeepers to ensure the coexistence of agriculture and bees:

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.

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