Important Notice Varroa Mite Incursion Update

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100 day milestone of the response

30 September 2022

The total Infested Premises (IPs) remain at 100 across all zones in the Hunter, Narrabri and Nana Glen. There have been over 30,000 hives surveilled by the DPI across all […]


The total Infested Premises (IPs) remain at 100 across all zones in the Hunter, Narrabri and Nana Glen. There have been over 30,000 hives surveilled by the DPI across all the zones, with a further estimated 30,000 hives surveilled by beekeepers through the movement permit system.

A total of 11,500 hives have been euthanised, with destruction of hives in the Nana Glen, Narrabri, Denman, Jerries plains and Wards River completed. Thank you to everyone for your support as we enter day 100 of eradication. Below is an update regarding the sterilisation of bee equipment, as well as helpful information on performing Varroa inspections.

STERITLISATION OF EQUIPMENT

We are pleased to share with you that NSW beekeepers that wish to send equipment form the blue emergency zone can now send materials for sterilisation at Steritech’s Narangba, QLD, facility. You can apply for a permit using this form.

Beekeepers based in the southern parts of Australia can also access treatment of full pallets at Steritech Merrifield, VIC. Apply here.

Please note, irradiation is not yet an approved method of treatment for Varroa mite. We hope to have more information regarding this soon, but until then please be patient with cross-border requirements when transporting hives to and from Steritech’s locations.

REPORTING INSPECTIONS

It is crucial that beekeepers Australia-wide remain vigilant and perform routine inspections for Varroa as we progress eradication efforts. We’ve outlined each State’s requirements below. Please note that all apps and platforms for surveillance are government run and are strictly confidential to the user who is reporting the information and the department. If you discover a suspect sample when conducting surveillance in NSW, immediately call the Exotic Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 (9am to 5pm, 7 days a week).

New South Wales (NSW)

It is now mandatory for all NSW beekeepers to do at least one alcohol wash every 16 weeks, regardless of if hives are being moved or not.  Beekeepers must report the results of the alcohol washes through this online form when completed.  The ratio of washing hives has not changed and is outlined below:

  • Less than 64 hives owned – all hives must be washed
  • 64 hives up to 640 hives owned – washing of 64 hives
  • 640 hives or more owned – 10% of hives washed
Queensland (QLD)

The BEE 123 reporting tool is key for collecting Varroa surveillance data in QLD. We encourage all QLD beekeepers to participate in sampling at least 10% of hives and reporting these checks. Learn how to use the app here or report your checks via the online survey here.

Detailed information on how to check hives and report results can be found at  daf.qld.gov.au/varroa and daf.engagementhub.com.au/varroa-mite.

Victoria (VIC)

Victoria has reached the end of the 2022 almond pollination event with pleasingly no detections of Varroa mite. VIC beekeepers are encouraged to continue to inspect their hives for Varroa mite using the drone or worker brood uncapping, sugar shake or alcohol wash methods. It is important to pick a sunny day (14-15°C and above), with minimal wind. Inspections should be recorded via Ag Victoria’s BeeMax portal for registered beekeepers, which can be accessed here.

For assistance with the BeeMax portal, please call the Bee Registration Helpline on 1800 356 761 between 9.00am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

South Australia (SA)

The Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) recommend that beekeepers sample for Varroa mites using the alcohol wash method. This comprises of an alcohol wash of:

  • Approximately 300 adult bees
  • Dislodged material from 2 frames
  • Approximately 100 drone brood (if present).

Learn how to sample for varroa mite (PDF 1.4 MB) and then complete the following steps:

  1. Fill out the Notification of suspect varroa mite detection form (DOCX 48.3 KB).
  2. Email the form to beebiosecurity@sa.gov.au
  3. Send your samples and form to:
    PIRSA Apiary Unit
    Ground Floor
    33 Flemington Street
    Glenside SA 5065

Whether or not you detect debris or mites on your sample, send your samples to the PIRSA Apiary Unit.

West Australia (WA)

Beekeepers based in WA are encouraged to inspect their hives for Varroa mite using the drone or worker brood uncapping, sugar shake or alcohol wash methods. At this stage, WA does not have a reporting tool for inspections conducted by beekeepers. However, WA’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) are actively working on surveillance plans. Any questions regarding varroa in WA can be directed to the DPIRD Apiary Team via pbhoney@dpird.wa.gov.au.

Still have questions?

Check out our comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions page on our website. Find our previous updates here.