Surveillance key to stemming Varroa incursion

NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) has confirmed four new detections of Varroa mite as field officers continue to carry out hive inspections and surveillance with beekeepers in the affected areas.

NSW DPI Acting Chief Plant Protection Officer, Dr Chris Anderson, said the new premises where the Varroa mite was detected all fall within existing emergency zones and are linked to existing cases.

The new detections at Berry Park, Heatherbrae, Seaham and Hinton, brings the total number of infested premises to 28 since Varroa mite was first identified during routine surveillance at the Port of Newcastle on 22 June.

“NSW DPI has established emergency zones around the infested premises and has put significant measures in place to stop the spread of the Varroa mite,” Dr Anderson said.

“As per the agreed response plan with industry, NSW DPI will commence euthanising all hives and equipment on the premises, with the assistance of the owners. All movements of hives and equipment onto and off the properties over the past 12-months will be traced, and risk analysis and surveillance with beekeepers will be conducted in the area to minimise further spread,” he said.

DPI’s response plan for the eradication of Varroa mite in NSW follows a strategy agreed between the apiary industry, NSW DPI, neighbouring jurisdictions and the Commonwealth.

“We also cannot underestimate the importance of community reporting as an invaluable component of our control measures and continue to encourage people to report their hives, wild hives or abandoned hives,” said Dr Anderson.

NSW DPI has contacted beekeepers in the Hunter surveillance zone, south of the Karua River, to advise that authorised officers will commence conducting hive inspections over the next week.

NSW DPI’s efforts to arrest the Varroa mite spread are being assisted by the apiary industry, Local Land Services (LLS), NSW Police, NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) and the wider community.

Further Information:

Throughout the remainder of NSW, no beehives or honeybees may be moved.

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