Varroa tracing confirms additional detections

NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) Varroa mite tracing and surveillance work has confirmed two new detections of Varroa, as field officers continue hive inspections with beekeepers across the state.

This brings the total number of infected premises to 64 since Varroa mite was first identified during routine surveillance at the Port of Newcastle on 22 June.

NSW DPI Deputy Chief Plant Protection Officer Chris Anderson said the new detections at One Mile and Anna Bay fall within existing emergency zones.

“Having conducted significant surveillance around the edges of the most affected eradication zone around Newcastle, we are confident that we have a clearer picture of the current spread of varroa mite,” he said.

“We have now refocused our efforts on tracing and euthanising hives within this zone, which has led to an increased number of detections in recent days.”

“The good news is that all the confirmed cases either have clear links to existing cases or are geographically linked through the movement of hives or equipment, which continues to give us confidence we are on the right track.”

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.

“Along with staff from Local Land Services, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the NSW Environment Protection Authority, the apiary industry and horticulture industry, NSW DPI has made significant progress in reducing the risk of any further spread of Varroa mite,” Dr Anderson said.

Australia is the only major honey producing country free from varroa mite, the most serious pest of honeybees worldwide.

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