Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group is urging caution after an Auckland beekeeper's claims that hives have suffered colony collapse disorder (CCD).
CCD is a phenomenon causing the entire population of a hive to suddenly die, but is yet to be seen in New Zealand. The causes are unknown, but in the United States in particular, CCD has resulted in significant losses for beekeepers and reduced food crop pollination.
"It is a concern, but beekeepers should look at their own management in the first instance," Bee Industry Group chairman John Hartnell said.
"The varroa mite is still the major threat to honeybees in this country.
"It is essential that varroa treatments are in on time and chemical families are rotated.
"Beekeepers in the upper North Island are now seeing possible signs of varroa resistance to the miticides that were first available so it's important we now alternate between modes of action."