Varroa Response Update
Surveillance (purple) Zone
Extensive efforts continue within the PURPLE ZONES, noting surveillance by the DPI teams throughout the last four months has contributed to the vast majority of the required first round surveillance being almost completed. We are optimistic that the surveillance targets are on track even after additional hives being added due to last weeks new detections and praise the work of DPI operations teams. First round surveillance targets once met, will be another major milestone for the response giving beekeeping industry further confidence that the eradication program is on track.
Several DPI personnel have switched to night crews to successfully euthanise over 300 of the hives from last week’s newly confirmed infested premises, keeping the program on track to have euthanasia work in these areas completed by the end of February. AHBIC and the industry acknowledge the challenging work in the red zones and the effort of personnel and beekeepers alike. Any beekeepers wanting to retain their hive ware in the recently declared red zones from last week need to let DPI know as soon as possible. A reminder to the community within all red zones that the location of all hives, if not already, must be declared to the DPI on 1800 084 881.
Wild European Honeybee Management
Removing honeybee hosts from the red zones is one of the key aspects to the success of Varroa eradication. Volunteering to host a station greatly assists the Varroa emergency response as well as your community and Australia’s beekeepers. If landowners are able to host a station, please contact DPI on 1800 084 881 to provide your details. WEHBM Program team are looking for prospects in all zones and would encourage landowners in the Wards River and Bulahdelah areas to get in contact with DPI for station deployment aimed for early March.
The 9 designated zones at varying stages of their 30-day program, teams have completed 16 additional spikes to feeder/baiting stations in four of the zones with the establishment of an efficacy trial well underway in Denman. Teams from the program are continuing to deploy stations on a daily basis concentrating on western areas of the Newcastle red zone.
Across other sections of the Varroa Response in the past week, the Department has facilitated around 250 movement permits and completed roughly 25 beekeeper reimbursement applications.
The whole system including the eradication, continued easing of restrictions and maintaining confidence is reliant on beekeepers being compliant. Each state has different requirements for their beekeepers, but it is critically important that we all play our part. Whilst we are on-track for eradication we can only achieve it if beekeepers remain vigilant and continue to work within the rules.
To ensure we have the best possible chance of eradication AHBIC reminds beekeepers that they still need to follow all the requirements set out in the Emergency Order. This includes reporting your 16-week alcohol washes to the Department upon completion and to submit movement permit requests in purple and declarations in the blue zones.
Sugar 4 bees
AHBIC encourages beekeepers in the PURPLE ZONES to consider utilising the Sugar 4 bees program, supported by Sugar Australia and NSW DPI Varroa Response. More information is available through our website. CLICK HERE to secure a collection if you are impacted by the incursion and your colonies require supplementary feeding to maintain hive health.