Special permit to move bees in flood warning areas

8 Aug 2022

Beekeepers in flood warning areas across the State will be allowed to move their hives to higher ground under a special group permit issued by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI).

NSW Chief Plant Protection Officer Dr Satendra Kumar said the permits come with a strict set of conditions to underpin NSW DPI's continuing efforts to eradicate the bee parasite Varroa mite while allowing beekeepers to also manage their hives.

“Hives can only be relocated to a safe position within the same premises, and only if that premises is in an official flood warning area,” Dr Kumar said.

“If the entire premises is at risk of flooding, the hives can be moved to a new location, but it must be within the same emergency zone.

“Beekeepers in a flood warning area must not transport honeybees or hives out of, or through, another emergency zone at any time.

“It is important to note that the permit only allows one movement, so after the hives have been moved, they cannot be moved back to the original location.”

Current flood warnings are impacting many areas of the state and Dr Kumar urged affected beekeepers to check the Bureau of Meteorology warnings page for updates.

"If you are not in a flood warning area you must not move honeybees or hives, and if you do you may face significant penalties under the Biosecurity Act 2015.

“In the meantime, people are encouraged to continue to report the locations of any hives, both managed hives and wild hives they might be aware of.”

Notification of any change in location must be notified by the Beekeeper Notification – Varroa mite online form.

There are currently 79 Varroa mite infected premises in NSW after two additional sites were detected at Anna Bay and Seaham in the Hunter Region on Sunday 7 August. Both sites fall within the existing eradication (red) zones.

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