As of 19 September 2023, the National Management Group (NMG) as peak decision body for the National Varroa mite Emergency Response have reached a decision to shift the focus of the response from eradication to transitioning to management of Varroa Mite.
This transition to the new focus will take time and we will continue to update the information on these pages as the plan progresses. A new Varroa mite Emergency Order is in place.
We value the sacrifice of every beekeeper and thank everyone for their cooperation during the Varroa mite response and this evolving situation.
The National Varroa mite emergency response has been working tirelessly towards the agreed goal of eradication since June 2022. The focus of the response has now shifted to transitioning to management of Varroa Mite, as endorsed by the Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP) and agreed by the National Management Group (NMG).
The aim of the transition to management program is to work to increase resilience and capacity to manage Varroa mite within the Australian honey bee industry and thereby minimise ongoing impacts of Varroa mite naturalisation on the bee industry and pollination reliant industries. This will occur through slowing the spread, building industry resilience, provide management options and supporting pollination security.
This transition will take time and we will continue to update you as the plan progresses.
We value the sacrifice of every beekeeper and thank everyone for their cooperation during the Varroa mite response and this evolving situation. Those who have sacrificed their bees for this response should know that their help has not be in vain and demonstrates industry's commitment to being part of the solution.
A new Varroa mite Emergency Order is now in place.
In this interim period, NSW DPI will immediately cease mandatory euthanasia of hives in what were eradication emergency zones (red zones). Beekeepers still located within those zones will be able to opt in for euthanasia and ORC if they wish.
The Surveillance Emergency (Purple) zones will cease, as will any of the smaller regional outlier Eradication Emergency (Red) zones, including Gumble, Cuttabri, Somerton, Harparary, the southern pollination zones, Coffs Harbour area including Nana Glen. These will join the previous General Emergency (Blue) zone to become the Suppression Zone.
The Red zones in the Kempsey, Hunter and Central Coast regions become Management Zones.
Keep up to date with the latest Varroa mite Emergency Response FAQs here.
Beekeepers in former Red Zones (areas declared Red Zones up until 20 September 2023) have until 25 October 2023 to notify NSW DPI on 1800 084 881 if they would like to take up the option of voluntary euthanasia of hives and apply for Owner Reimbursement Costs.
NSW DPI thanks beekeepers for their patience and compliance as we work with the Consultative Committee for Plant Pests on plans for management.
Your compliance is essential in helping to slow the spread and allowing beekeepers and pollination industries to understand and manage challenges caused by the naturalisation of Varroa.
To learn more about Varroa biology and monitoring, read the Varroa mite Primefact
This interactive map shows where we have detected Varroa mite. The legend has different colours to represent the number of detections in each area.
There are two Varroa mite zones.
Different requirements apply depending on where your honeybees and hives are located.
Read our Assistance Guide for Beekeepers (PDF, 231.53 KB) for various assistance services available to impacted beekeepers to support them through the emergency response.
There are free and confidential support services available to all beekeepers during this difficult time and we encourage beekeepers to access small business and mental health and wellbeing support early.
Small business support is available to beekeepers through:
The Varroa mite emergency response may impact people’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
Stressful events can cause feelings of worry and unease, especially where there are levels of uncertainty involved, but there are things you can do to take care of yourself.
In tough times we need to remember to look after ourselves. As much as possible, maintaining routines with good diet, exercise, and sleep will increase your capacity to deal with stress.
This is the time to stay connected with family and friends and seek for support when you need it.
Mental health support is available from: