23 Dec 2022
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) tracing and surveillance work has confirmed two new detections of Varroa mite in the Hunter region.
This brings the total number of infected premises to 109 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 at Bishops Bridge and Mulbring fall within the eradication zone.
“The boundary of the Hunter eradication zone will be slightly extended as a result of one of the cases and a new emergency order is now in place,” Mr Kumar said.
“Surveillance remains an ongoing priority – to date we have tested close to 12,000 hives within the zones and more than 30,000 hives state-wide.
“Finding new mites through this phase is not unexpected and we remain committed to delimiting the spread of Varroa mite and eradicating it from NSW.”
Tracing is underway to find all possible links to the case and to ensure any at risk premises are checked.
As part of the response, it is mandatory for all beekeepers to carry out alcohol washes at least every 16 weeks and to report these results to DPI by filling out the online form at dpi.nsw.gov.au or calling DPI on 1800 084 881.
“The requirement for mandatory alcohol washes was introduced under the Emergency Order in September, so by mid-January all beekeepers should have completed this process at least once,” Mr Kumar said.
“This is a key part of the surveillance effort and is vital in helping the response remain confident in the containment of this devastating pest.
“Achieving the goal of eradication is a shared responsibility between NSW DPI, industry and the community and I would like thank all those supporting this through what we know is a difficult time for many people.”
DPI reminds all beekeepers across the State to ensure they are aware of the requirements for each zone and stresses that non-compliance with these requirements can result in significant penalties and fines.
More information is available from NSW DPI: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa
Media contact: Public Information Officer 0438 097 278