New Varroa mite detections in Tamworth

2 Sep 2023

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) tracing has uncovered two new Varroa mite infestations in beehives recently moved from Kempsey to Tamworth in the New England region of NSW.

NSW DPI Chief Plant Protection Officer, Shane Hetherington said the response has also uncovered a new Infested Premises (IP) at Balranald.

“These new infested premises all had surveillance because of hive movement declarations showing movements from Kempsey emergency zones,” Dr Hetherington said.

“We know this news will be disappointing and worrying to beekeepers in the New England region who have been free from Varroa until now, but we are confident we have discovered the infestation quickly, and our surveillance will give us a good picture of any other spread.

“Our teams are rapidly following all movements from the Kempsey zones and we ask the community to continue working with us as we track down the source of this cluster which is behind so many of these new IPs.”

This brings the total number of infested premises to 236.

NSW DPI has immediately established Emergency Eradication and Emergency Surveillance zones around the sites, under a new Biosecurity Emergency Order published today.

The surveillance data in all regions is key to understanding where the mite is, and this is something all beekeepers can assist with.

“We strongly encourage all beekeepers to continue doing their timely alcohol washes and report that data to us,” he said.

“Between them and NSW DPI, over 130 000 tests have been undertaken in the past year which is phenomenal, and it is testing like this which originally highlighted the Kempsey situation, so its importance cannot be underestimated.”

Hive locations and alcohol wash results must be reported to NSW DPI by filling out the online forms at or by calling the Varroa Emergency Response Hotline on 1800 084 881.

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