2 Dec 2022
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) Varroa mite emergency response is reminding all beekeepers in the eradication or red zones that they cannot re-establish bees in those zones until they are deemed safe.
NSW DPI Chief Plant Protection Officer Dr Satendra Kumar says it is important all beekeepers are on the same page and that the message is clear.
“We have almost successfully euthanised all managed hives in the red zone, but we are hearing some reports of people attempting to establish, or re-establish bees, which is not allowed under the emergency order,” he said.
“The goal of the Varroa mite Response is the full eradication of the parasite from NSW, which is the best outcome for Australia's $147M honey bee industry, the $14.2B pollination reliant industries and the communities they support.
“Full eradication requires us to euthanise 100% of Varroa hosts, being all European honey bees in the red zones, managed and wild, and to ensure the red zones are free from Varroa mite for a period of time to support a declaration that Australia is free of the mite.”
Euthanising all bees in these areas removes any chance of Varroa mite surviving and spreading undetected through potential future hosts, where incubation of the parasite may be happening.
“NSW DPI knows this is difficult for beekeepers and appreciates the cooperation we are seeing from the majority of people,” Dr Kumar said.
“Reimbursement is available for registered beekeepers in the red zone in consideration of the financial impact of the response and acknowledgement that it may be a few years before hives can be managed in this zone.
“Our aim is to get to this freedom of Varroa as soon as possible, and we will be keeping our communication lines open so that beekeepers know how things are progressing.”
More information is available from NSW DPI: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa
Media contact: 02 6391 3686