Thousands of apiaries have been destroyed by a powerful storm in New Zealand.
Beekeeping experts estimate that up to 6,000 honeybee hives in the northeastern regions of Hawke’s Bay and Te Tai Rawhiti could have been damaged or completely destroyed by Cyclone Gabrielle.
Karin Koss from the Apiculture New Zealand organisation told Radio New Zealand: “We’re still working with beekeepers to get a sense of the damage, but our early estimate at this stage is that between 5,000 and 6,000 hives have been lost or damaged in the flooding.”
Karin warned that “at least the same amount if not more” had been cut off from roads, meaning that beekeepers were currently kept from examining their condition.
The Apiculture New Zealand official expressed concerns over potential shortcomings regarding colony health inspections.
Honeybees and the various solitary pollinator species that exist in New Zealand are crucial for domestic apple and kiwi crops.