'I just about burst into tears' - devastation after poisoning kills thousands of bees near Nelson

Hundreds of thousands of bees may have been accidentally poisoned at properties in Murchison, near Nelson. 

Honey producers are facing massive losses as they discover hundreds of dead hives in the area.

Beekeeper Ricky Leahy made the grim discovery of dead bees at his Murchison property on Friday.

"Oh, I just about burst into tears to be quite frank," he said.

A carpet of carcasses surrounds around 200 hives on the property and another 60 next door.

Mr Leahy suspects accidental poisoning. 

"Somebody with the best intent to try and solve their wasp problem, and they've just used a poison which has attracted our bees."  

It's recommended that baited 'meat' is used to poison wasps, rather than sugar-based bait, like jam, which also attracts bees.

Mr Leahy said bees which have just hatched are dying.

The Ministry for Primary Industries is investigating and dead bees have been sent to a lab for testing. But results aren't expected for a month. 

"To go and buy a queen bee on the market is somewhere around $50 each at the moment," Mr Leahy said, adding that he had about 400 queen bees in a mating yard.

Mr Leahy expected to produce up to 1200 queen bees this season, but now all the affected hives will have to be burnt to prevent poisoning others. 

Honey producers in Murchison are facing massive losses as they discover hundreds of dead hives in the area. Source: 1 NEWS



'I consider them to be parasites' – Jacinda Ardern has clear message for people smugglers targeting NZ

Jacinda Ardern has given a strongly worded message to people smugglers looking to target New Zealand, calling them "parasites".

Speaking at a post-cabinet stand up in Wellington this afternoon, Ms Ardern was asked if she had a message for asylum seekers looking to flee to New Zealand.

"My message in fact is for people smugglers, as I have said many times before, I consider them to be parasites.

"They prey on people's vulnerability, they manipulate situations and use propaganda to take money from vulnerable people," she said.

The Prime Minister says the government is working alongside Australia to protect vulnerable refugees from people smugglers.

"They're ultimately the ones that everyone is targeting and for good reason, and the clear message to them is that we are working alongside Australia to put an end to people who are risking other peoples lives for monetary gain."

Ms Ardern would not give intelligence specifics on the threat faced by people smugglers to New Zealand, but said their is a general "ebb and flow of chatter" at present which is nothing out of the normal.
 

The Prime Minister says the government is working alongside Australia to protect vulnerable refugees from people smugglers. Source: 1 NEWS

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Auckland high-rise evacuated again after another suspicious fire

A spate of suspicious fires continued this afternoon at a nearly-completed central Auckland high-rise apartment building.

Emergency services were at the building on Albert Street for a second day in a row, this time finding paper burning on a stove.

Northern Fire Communications Centre shift manager Scott Osmond told 1 NEWS they sent seven fire appliances to the scene and firefighters contained the small fire immediately. 

The building was evacuated and firefighters searched but found no other fire.

Police are investigating the incident, as well as five suspicious fires yesterday at the same building.

One of those fires was also on a stove top.

It's believed that two fires at the construction site were deliberately lit. Source: 1 NEWS

They were quelled by the interior sprinkler system.

Emergency services were at the nearly-completed Albert Street apartments for a second day in a row as paper burned on a stove. Source: 1 NEWS