Varroa Mite Outbreak in NSW

Varroa Mite Outbreak In NSW

Varroa Mite has been detected in biosecurity surveillance hives at the Port of Newcastle.

NSW DPI is working to protect the NSW honey industry by ensuring we eradicate the parasite.

The Varroa Mite is best described as the biggest threat to the beekeeping industry across the world.

Australia is the only country to not have them established here. We’d like to keep it this way.

NSW Biosecurity Zones For Varroa Mite

The eradication plan in order to get rid of Varroa Mite is supported by the biosecurity zones covering an area within a 50 km radius of each infestation identified.

Different restrictions apply depending on where your hives are located.

To see what restrictions apply to you, check out the emergency order on the DPI website.

https://gazette.legislation.nsw.gov.au/so/download.w3p?id=Gazette_2022_2022-310.pdf

If you have hives in the Notification zone, Eradication or Surveillance zone, you must tell NSW DPI where they are located. This includes queen honeybees in cages and packaged honeybees.

Unless otherwise permitted by the NSW DPI, a person must not move bees or a hive into, out of or within:
(a) the Varroa mite general emergency zone,
(b) the Varroa mite eradication emergency zone,
(c) the Varroa mite surveillance emergency zone, or
(d) the Varroa mite notification emergency zone

You can check on the DPI website to see the biosecurity zones, they are updated regularly.

Important Updates From Across Australia

Queensland, South Australia and Victoria have all banned the import of any bees. Including queen packages, any type of honeybee colony or hive.

They have also banned the import of related product from NSW. Meaning used equipment, honey or honeycomb.

What does Varroa Mite look like?

Varroa Mites are a tiny reddish brown mite.

Individual mites are easily identifiable to the naked eye.

Photo By NSW DPI

How is it spread?

The easiest way for them to spread is through drone bees.

Drones move from hive to hive and even different apiaries.

Varroa Mites are then able to move into hives quickly.

Using contact between bees, it makes it easier for them to transfer and become an infestation.

How to do your part

If you are located in NSW:

Ensure all of your hives are registered with the DPI:

If unsure you can register here:

https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/animals-and-livestock/bees/beekeeper-registration?SQ_VARIATION_444177=0

If you see anything suspicious use the online form at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hives

Send an email to [email protected]

Or call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881.

No honey or honeycomb can be removed from hives. Hives must not be touched.

Unless conducting surveillance for Varroa mite or at the direction of an NSW DPI officer.

If you are located outside of NSW:
Ensure all of your hives are registered:
QLD https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industries/farms-fishing-forestry/agriculture/niche-industries/beekeeping/hive-registration

VIC: https://agriculture.vic.gov.au/livestock-and-animals/honey-bees/beekeeper-registration-and-hive-disposal

SA: https://pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/animal_health/bees/beekeeper_registration

NT: https://nt.gov.au/industry/agriculture/livestock/honey-bees-and-beekeeping/register-your-bee-hives

WA:https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/livestock-biosecurity/registering-owner-stock-or-beekeeper

TAS:https://nre.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/animal-biosecurity/animal-health/bees/beekeeper-registration-form

Do the right thing

It is estimated that varroa mite could result in losses of $70 million a year should it become established in Australia.

Follow the advice and rules being put in place in order to eradicate Varroa Mite.

Inspect your hive regularly and check for signs of varroa mites.

If you think there are signs, contact your state department.