Narrabri in the Front Line of Efforts to Stop the Varroa Mite

9 Jul 2022

NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) is encouraging local beekeepers to be aware of their responsibilities under biosecurity emergency zones, which are in force around Narrabri as part of the biosecurity emergency response to Varroa mite.

Acting Chief Plant Protection Officer, Dr Chris Anderson said NSW DPI biosecurity officers have been working with local beekeepers in and around Narrabri, since an infested premises was located in the area earlier this week.

“Critically, this Narrabri premises is directly linked to a previously identified property which shows the prompt and efficient response by the NSW DPI is working well,” Dr Anderson said.

“Infested hives found at Narrabri had been stored in Newcastle with other hives for several months before being transported to Narrabri.

“Once the Narrabri Varroa Mite infestation was detected an emergency zone was established around the affected property.

“Australia is the only major honey producing country free from varroa mite, the most serious pest of honeybees worldwide. It’s critical we get on top of this incursion fast and the assistance of beekeepers and the community will be critical to that success.”

Under orders issued by NSW DPI no honeybee hives can be moved within NSW without a permit, no honey or honeycomb can be harvested and honeybee hives are not otherwise permitted to be tampered with except to carry out sugar shake or ethanol wash testing to monitor for the presence of varroa mites.

Beekeepers within the 10, 25 and 50 km biosecurity zones around infested properties must also notify NSW DPI of the location of all bees by calling the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline, 1800 084 881, or visiting

Eradication plans include treatment of beehives within a 10 km emergency zone around infested sites and inspection of managed and feral honeybee colonies within a 25 km surveillance zone.

Beekeepers work side-by-side with government as part of Australia’s early warning system to detect exotic honeybee pests, the National Bee Pest Surveillance Program, which includes surveillance hives and catch boxes at strategic locations around our ports and airports.

More information is available from NSW DPI:

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