Friday, 24 August 2018 07:55

Minister stings sector

Written by  Peter Burke
Damien O'Connor. Damien O'Connor.

The ‘wild west’ of the primary sector is what the Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor calls the bee industry. 

O’Connor at the annual conference of Agcarm launched a full-scale attack on the industry, saying some beekeepers’ behaviour is putting the exports of honey at risk. 

Many need a good shake-up, he said, pointing to alarming incidences of colony collapse. The health of the bee industry must improve, he said.

“The bee industry is the wild west of the primary sector. They have grown very quickly and not always in a sensible and rational way. I have told them that directly and we are happy to work with the sector to bring it into some order and to get more collaboration and a united sense of direction.” 

O’Connor has also accused the industry of what he calls bee abuse. 

“If you have overstocking and bees that are hungry and not being fed properly or not fed the right stuff, then that’s not good. Traditionally we have had a sound approach to all our livestock management and bees are no different; they need to be looked after and not abused for a commercial opportunity,” he says.

O’Connor says he personally has a passion for bees, describing them as amazing insects. But commercial opportunities have caused behaviour not always good for hive management and disease control. 

» Connect with Rural News

More like this

High alert for stink bugs

Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way.

O’Connor off to trade talks

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages.

Angry pills?

A mate of the Hound attended the huge meeting in Timaru, last month, on the Government’s proposed freshwater reforms. Hundreds of anxious farmers turned up to hear officials – as well as Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Environment Minister David Parker – discuss the topic.

$31k Californian junket for PSC members

Taxpayers forked out at least $31,000 sending Primary Sector Council (PSC) members to an agribusiness bootcamp at Stanford University in California, USA, in July.

» The RNG Weather Report

Featured

Vaccinations protect people, animals

As we struggle to fathom how we ended up in the throes of a measles outbreak again, we’re reminded of the importance of vaccinations to protect us from life-threatening diseases.

 

» Connect with Rural News

» Connect with Rural News

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Chipping in

The Hound was intrigued to read an article recently, on the Newsroom website, that shows that Education Minister Chris ‘Chippy’…

I'm alright

This old mutt has been contacted by many concerned individuals about the role the former Synlait boss John Penno is…

 

» Connect with Rural News