Apis cerana & Varroa Jacobsoni in Townsville – Update No. 6
I would advise that on Friday 5 August, 2016 a swarm of around 1,000 Asian bees was found at Hyde Park in Townsville. This is about halfway between 1IP and 2IP. It was reported by a member of the public.
Subsequent examination has found no Varroa jacobsoni on the bees so because V. jacobsoni is the Emergency Plant Pest, this new site is not an Infected Premises but is classed as a Premise of Relevance and will be 3POR.
As part of the surveillance the Birdlife Townsville group are collecting the regurgitated pellets from under rainbow bee-eater (Merops ornatus) roosts. The rainbow bee-eaters, as the name suggests, eat bees. When they come back to roost in a tree at night they regurgitate a hard pellet which contains parts that cannot be digested. The wings of bees are in this pellet and the wings of Apis cerana and A. mellifera can be distinguished by examining the veins in the wing. To date no cerana wings have been found. These roosts are about 3 kilometres from 3POR and would indicate that the number of cerana nests are low which is a good sign.
Surveillance around 3POR has found foraging cerana within 300 metres. Feeding stations will be set up and bee lining commenced to find this nest.
9 August, 2016
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