Varroa Response Update
Hives in NEW SOUTH WALES
This information is specific to the 4 PURPLE emergency zones in the southern NSW regions of Euston, Euroley, Nericon and Balranald.
At this stage no movement are permitted from any of the RED zones across the 4 southern NSW detections. Police are operational around these areas to facilitate compliance to the RED zone requirements.
AHBIC has spent several days in discussions with NSW DPI, AgVic. We have also been working with affected beekeepers and brokers associated with the 4 emergency zones in almond sites to manage risks associated with rapidly declining floral resources, including hive robbing and swarming. Several scenarios to mitigate an eminent biosecurity disaster in these regions have been worked through carefully, considering that any path forward must align with the agreed National Response Plan.
Specifically for the PURPLE zones in the Euston, Euroley, Nericon and Balranald areas beekeepers will be allowed to move their hives under a special clause in the Emergency Order. This clause has been implemented with agreement from the CCEPP through an emergency meeting held earlier today.
NSW DPI has completed extensive risk assessments similar to the assessments completed for Nana Glen, Narrabri and Gumble to assess inherent risks based on mite populations and the time the hives have been on site. Hives have been located in this area for a short period with abundant floral resources until now, meaning the bees would not have travelled long distances to forage, therefore the risk that mites have been transferred between hives outside of the 10km eradication zone is negligible.
The NSW Emergency Order has been updated to allow movements from the Euston, Euroley, Nericon and Balranald PURPLE zones, under strict conditions:
- Hives in NSW must only be moved to a location within the NSW BLUE zone
- Beekeepers MUST lodge a Hive Movement Declaration PRIOR to the move for each load of bees – use the online form https://forms.bfs.dpi.nsw.gov.au/forms/12344
- Beekeepers must carry a copy of each hive movement declaration with them for the duration of transport
- Hives must be moved directly to the destination site and not moved off that site until further approval from NSW DPI
- Within 72 hours of reaching the destination site, beekeepers must alcohol wash at least 64 hives upon arrival at their new location and report the results to NSW DPI using the online form https://forms.bfs.dpi.nsw.gov.au/forms/13537
- Specific details for record keeping, including photographing tested samples are also in place in the Emergency Order Government Gazette No 390 of Tuesday 29 August 2023 (nsw.gov.au)
Hives in VICTORIA
Varroa mite has NOT been found in Victoria.
Two PURPLE zone extensions into Victoria remain in place.
No movement is allowed into, within or out of the 25 km zones at this stage.
AHBIC has spent several days in discussions with AgVIC and worked with affected beekeepers and agents associated with the 2 emergency zones in Victorian almond sites to manage risks associated with rapidly declining floral resources, including hive robbing and swarming.
Significant dicussions to mitigate an eminent biosecurity disaster in these regions in Victoria, have been worked through carefully, considering that any path forward must align with the agreed National Response Plan. These strategies are being implemented by AgVIC and will be represented under changes to the Victorian Control Area Order.
AgVIC have assured us that they will provide further details tomorrow regarding permits and procedures which will be confirmed to beekeepers.
AgVIC are to be commended on their swift action in implementing their own emergency response including standing up staff and Forward Command Posts to begin operations.
QLD hives in VICTORIA
AHBIC is aware of several thousand QLD registered hives in the PURPLE zones in Victoria. We have had some discussions with DAF QLD and can convey the DAF QLD are working through a process to facilitate QLD beekeeper hives to return from Victoria. When the process and further information is known AHBIC will include in our next update.
AHBIC recognises the complex pressure that the honey bee industry is currently experiencing. We commend beekeepers who have cooperated with the response, especially several who have dedicated staff and their own time to assist with urgent apiary work to be completed across NSW including on almond orchards.
It is especially important as an industry to check in on our fellow beekeepers wherever they may operate as we navigate through these challenging events together. AHBIC encourages reaching out to registered organisations who are trained and well placed to provide confidential support across a range of services, not limited to beekeepers in zones.
Beyondblue – www.beyondblue.org.au
Lifeline – www.lifeline.org.au
You can reach out to AHBIC via:
Varroa Coordinator Bianca Giggins firstname.lastname@example.org 0402 467 780