Varroa mite traced to the Coffs Harbour region, further detections near Kempsey

10 Sep 2023

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) tracing has uncovered a new Varroa mite infestation in beehives north of the existing Nana Glen purple zone, at Barcoogere in the Coffs Harbour region.

NSW DPI Chief Plant Protection Officer, Shane Hetherington said the infestation was discovered following NSW DPI tracing movements from the Kempsey cluster, in this case undertaken legally six months ago.

“Due to the length of time this infestation has been there, and a relatively high mite load a 10km eradication zone and 25km purple zone will be implemented,” Dr Hetherington said.

“We know this news will be disappointing and worrying to beekeepers in that Coffs Harbour region who have been free from Varroa until now, and we will be working quickly to understand any further spread.

“Our teams are tracing all movements from the Kempsey zones and surveilling them as we know many of these movements have already spread mite to other blue zones.”

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

Lab results over the weekend have also uncovered nine new infested premises (IPs) in the Kempsey cluster which will result in slight zone changes north and south. Total IPs are now 264.

Dr Hetherington said uncovering these IPs in the Kempsey cluster is not unexpected as the response is focused on surveillance in that zone to understand and control the spread.

“We know there is significant spread in this zone, some of which has moved to other areas around the state, and we are very much focused on understanding the spread and delimiting any further spread,” he said.

Hive locations and mandatory 16-week 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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