Biosecurity zones around Coffs Harbour after new Varroa mite response

25 Jul 2022

A new detection of Varroa mite has been confirmed near Nana Glen north-west of Coffs Harbour, leading to another set of biosecurity zones.

The infested hives were located at a property that sits outside of the existing zones and brings the total number of infested premises (IPs) to 43.

Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said DPI staff are continuing their strong surveillance work and have put significant measures in place to stop the spread.

“Our tracing efforts have led us to this IP after hives were moved earlier this year, prior to the introduction of the state-wide pause on movement,” Mr Saunders said.

“The good news is we can still draw a direct line between every single case so far, which means we have a good handle on the situation.

“Our field officers are working hard to conduct hive inspections with beekeepers right across the State and have connected this incursion to an existing case in the Hunter cluster.”

Biosecurity officers will humanely euthanise all hives on the infected premises and trace the movements of hives and equipment on and off the property over the past 12-months.

Contact tracing and surveillance with beekeepers will also be conducted in the area to minimise further risk.

“We remain firmly focused on eradicating this parasite from our shores and we will continue to work closely with industry representatives during this crucial phase of our emergency response," Mr Saunders said.

Approximately 5000 honeybee hives are needed for the pollination of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, avocados and macadamias in Coffs Harbour from now until the end of September, and DPI will continue working closely with industry on the best solutions.

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh says there will be a significant impact on local produce if we don’t stop varroa mite in the area.

“Bees play such an important role as pollinators and they drastically improve the quality of the fruit and vegetables that we consume every day,” Mr Singh said.

“The quicker we can get things under control the better, so I’m encouraging farmers and apiarists to please come forward and report the locations of your hives, as it is an invaluable component of our control measures.”

The response plan for the eradication of Varroa mite follows a strategy agreed to by the NSW Government, the Commonwealth and the apiary industry.

The new emergency order means a 10km eradication, 25km surveillance and 50km biosecurity zone has been set up around the latest IP.

For more information go to: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa

To report the location of hives call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

Media contact: Sally Taylor 0428 149 401