14 Feb 2023
NSW Department of Primary Industries’ (DPI) surveillance and tracing work has confirmed two new detections of Varroa mite in the Hunter and Central Coast areas.
These cases bring the total number of infected premises to 114 since Varroa mite was first identified at the Port of Newcastle in June 2022.
NSW DPI Chief Plant Protection Officer Satendra Kumar said one of the detections falls within the current eradication (red) zone at Cessnock, while the other was located in the surveillance (purple) zone at Tea Gardens.
“These developments will see the eradication and surveillance zones expand to the West in the Hunter area, as well as a slight expansion of the Central Coast eradication zone to the North” Dr Kumar said.
“The new detections are not unexpected with the level of surveillance work being carried out in the purple zones, where response teams have tested more than 33,000 hives on top of the 102,000 that have been tested by beekeepers.”
“One of the new infected premises came through self-reporting which is encouraging to see as it is essential that industry continues with their high levels of surveillance and basic hive hygiene.”
Destruction of hives has begun at the infected properties and trace investigations are underway.
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 1800 084 881.
“The data collected through hive movement declarations and mandatory alcohol washes is vital to maintaining confidence in the containment of this devastating pest,” Dr Kumar said.
“Achieving the goal of eradication is a shared responsibility between NSW DPI, industry and the community and I would like thank all those who have done their part through what we know is a difficult time.”
All beekeepers are reminded to ensure they are aware of the requirements for each zone, as non-compliance can result in significant penalties and fines.
For more information visit: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa
Media contact: 02 6391 3686