Beekeepers permitted to work hives

10 Jul 2022

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has amended the statewide emergency order to allow NSW beekeepers, in all zones except the red eradication zone, to work their hives.

NSW DPI Deputy Chief Plant Protection Officer, Kathy Gott, said this is positive news for beekeepers after varroa mite was detected at the Port of Newcastle on 22 June.

“We are committed to working with industry and the community to eradicate varroa mite in NSW,” Dr Gott said.

“Working with beekeepers across the state, the measures we have put in place have proven to be effective in slowing down this threatening incursion.”

Beekeepers are now able to work their hives, remove frames for honey extraction and place empty supers on full hives.

The changes do not apply to beekeepers who are in the red eradication zone and do not permit the movement of hives, brood boxes, nucleus hives, packaged bees and queen bees anywhere in NSW.

Danny Le Feuvre from the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council welcomed the latest changes to the emergency order.

“The removal of the ‘do not tamper’ component in the order is important to ensure beekeepers can manage their hives,” Mr Le Feuvre said.

“This decision is a measured risk-based approach and will allow beekeepers to prevent swarming as we get closer to spring.

“It is important we balance the risk of spread and business continuity for the rest of the state.”

Beekeepers are advised to run an alcohol wash test on their bees and report results to NSW DPI by calling 1800 084 881.

More information about the NSW DPI varroa mite response:

Media contact: DPI media 02 6391 3686 or Varroa mite media: