New Varroa detections expand red zone

7 Dec 2022

NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) tracing and surveillance work has confirmed two new detections of Varroa mite, as field officers continue hive inspections with beekeepers across the state.

This brings the total number of infected premises to 106 since Varroa mite was first identified during routine surveillance at the Port of Newcastle on 22 June.

NSW DPI Chief Plant Protection Officer Satendra Kumar said the new detections from premises at Tumbi Umbi on the Central Coast, and Mulbring in the Hunter will expand the current eradication zone with a new emergency order now in place.

Tracing is underway to find all possible links to the new detections and ensure any at risk premises are identified and promptly surveyed.

“NSW DPI is putting significant resources into surveillance across the purple zones which surround the red zones and finding new mites through this phase is not unexpected,” Mr Kumar said.

“The purple zone is there so we can delimit the spread of the Varroa mite from the infested sites and we remain confident in containment.

“Surveillance across these zones is a priority for the response and our teams have tested over 10,000 hives as part of this and almost 30,000 hives state-wide.”

As part of the response, all beekeepers are now required to carry out mandatory alcohol wash surveillance at least every 16 weeks and must report the results of these washes to NSW DPI.

They can do this by calling DPI on 1800 084 881 or by filling in the online form at

“NSW DPI acknowledges this incursion is difficult for many people and would like to thank the industry and communities helping the response to achieve the goal of eradication,” Dr Kumar said.

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