Volunteers Needed in Townsville for Varroa Eradication

Dear industry member,

As you would be aware there has been a recent Varroa jacobsoni incursion at Townsville, North Queensland and a response is currently being led by QDAF.

AHBIC is actively involved with the response and wants to see the industry become more involved by sending beekeepers to Townsville to assist in the response. It is crucial that the industry is seen as being proactive at this early stage.

QDAF are happy for industry volunteers to assist in the response and I am sure you will agree that we all want to see varroa eradicated from the Townsville area.

Following are details of the proposed plan:

Tasks for Beekeepers/Knowledge Required

  • Priority for volunteers will be to follow up our initial contact with managed hive owners and give training/demos/assistance with:
    • Drone uncapping
    • Sugar Shaking
    • Alcohol washing
  • If there is a break in these activities, volunteers could help out with:
    • Sweep netting
    • Feeding stations
    • Aerial pheromone traps
  • It is essential that volunteers have experience with the managed hive surveillance techniques and can confidently discuss and demonstrate these; it is less important that they have experience in the field surveillance methods – QDAF can give the volunteers some training and they are likely to be working with BQ officers and contract staff.
  • There will need to be short inductions for any volunteers involved – QDAF are putting a package of information together.


  • At this stage we anticipate sending groups of 4-8 industry volunteers commencing the week of 29th August, continuing weekly.
  • We want to be able to maintain this effort for as long as possible or until industry funds are exhausted. We also need the ability to place additional volunteers on the ground above the 4- 8 should an unforeseen circumstance develop (eg: multiple AHB nests found with varroa in a short period of time).
  • Work hours will be approximately 6-8 hrs per day, hours will vary.

Travel & Accommodation

  • Flights reimbursed to the value of $600 from Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Perth & Brisbane. Volunteers from Western Australia to contact the co-ordinator if fares are over$600 for consideration. Flights to be booked at least a week in advance in order to obtain the cheapest fare.
  • Volunteers to travel to Townsville Sunday to begin work on Monday morning. Travel home after work Friday or Saturday.
  • Accommodation to be provided to volunteers for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Accommodation provided at a suitable location organised by AHBIC.


  • Volunteers must be co-operative and not go up there with a challenging or confrontational attitude. Any issues regarding the response need to be addressed by AHBIC. If you have issues please raise them through your AHBIC executive members.
  • Volunteers need to be able to work in a team environment both supervised and unsupervised.

At this stage we are still in negotiations with QDAF so some of the points made above may change slightly.

We are urgently trying to put a roster for the start date week 29th August. I urge anyone able to commit a week to volunteer up in Townsville to contact myself with available dates.

If you are not able to commit to a date but would still like to volunteer please contact me and I will put you on a To Be Contacted list.

Please contact me at the below email address if you can assist up in Townsville:


Craig Klingner
0428 344 125

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