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Bee Mite Puts Crops at Risk

24 March 2010

NEW ZEALAND - Beekeepers in New Zealand have said the spread of a pesticide-resistant mite could decimate hives, in turn putting crops at risk.

Researchers have recently found evidence that the mites can develop resistance to the synthetic treatments used to control them, ABC reported.

Dr Mark Goodwin of the New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research said there is no information on how far the resistance has spread and pointed out that beekeepers will now have to turn to new chemicals, as two or three in common use have similar actions.

The agricultural industry relies on bees for pollination and hives are regularly transported around New Zealand to pollinate seasonal crops.

However, this free movement of hives will allow the spread of chemically-resistant mites, Dr Goodwin warned.

Pollination by insects is called entomophily and bees will pollinate crops including canola, soybeans, sunflowers and flax as they collect nectar.

TheCropSite News Desk

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