Biosecurity New Zealand has completed sampling for the largest and most detailed study of honey bee health ever undertaken in New Zealand.

More than 60 beekeepers took part in the Bee Pathogen Programme and had their hives tested every six months for two and a half years.

Biosecurity New Zealand senior scientist Dr Richard Hall said the research would provide a wealth of valuable information to the beekeeping industry.

"The Bee Pathogen Programme will help us better understand the effect that diseases, climate and apiary management practices have on colony losses and productivity," he said.


"We have completed sampling and our experts have begun carefully evaluating the huge amount of data that has been collected.

"This includes studying more than 130,000 honey bees from 300 samples taken throughout the country that are now archived in Biosecurity New Zealand's freezers.

"Once the data has been carefully evaluated it will be available to the beekeeping industry and to researchers for further analysis."

Biosecurity New Zealand said it was aiming to release its conclusions from the Bee Pathogen Programme in late 2019.

Hall said Biosecurity New Zealand was grateful to the beekeepers who took part in the research programme and the inspectors who conducted the fieldwork.