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  • Writer's picturePatrick Dawkins

Big Burn Off in Canterbury

In October several commercial beekeepers assisted the Management Agency in destroying thousands of hives formerly of North Canterbury based The Beekeepers Honey, which had gone into liquidation.

The liquidator informed the Agency in September they were abandoning the hives. Agency national operations manager Marco Gonzalez says, at that point, they were obligated to offer the hives to landowners and, if they were unwilling to take over ownership, they had to be destroyed.

“We cannot afford to have apiaries without a beekeeper responsible for them and for AFB control. Therefore, those apiaries must be destroyed under Section 25 of the Biosecurity Act as ‘Hives Posing a Risk’. It’s the only power we have. We cannot gift them, we cannot sell them, we must destroy those hives,” Gonzalez says.

The Beekeepers Honey, owned by Chris and Susan Gill at time of liquidation, did not have an AFB problem known to the Agency. He thanked the commercial beekeepers who provided vehicles and facilities to assist in destruction of the approximately 2000 hives, as it would have otherwise been a costly task for the Agency.

Apiary locations were not shared with other beekeepers, but when neighbouring beekeepers notified the Agency of the presence of The Beekeepers Honey Hives they were asked to assist in their destruction.


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