Plain English guide for Varroa mite Emergency Order

Moving bees

QuestionEradication Zone (Red)Surveillance Zone (Purple)General Zone (Blue) –
Registered commercial Beekeeper
General Zone (Blue) –
Non-commercial registered Beekeeper

I am a registered beekeeper.  Can I move my bees?

Cl 10(1), Cl 44 (commercial)

No

No

Yes, if your bees have not been in the eradication zone:

  • after 30 April 2022 (Narrabri),
  • after 1 January 2022 (Coffs Harbour) or
  • within 24 months before the movement (rest of Eradication Zone).

You may only move the bees to another location in the general zone.

You must

  • complete the Tocal training,
  • complete alcohol washing requirements, and
  • provide a movement declaration to the Department.

The emergency order imposes other requirements for transport and record keeping.

  • No

Can I move bees to undertake surveillance by:

  • Sugar shake,
  • Brood uncapping,
  • Ethanol washing?

(clause 10(2))

Yes, but:

  • Only within a single property, apiary site and apiary range.
  • Must remain within the eradication zone.

Yes, but:

  • Only within a single property, apiary site and apiary range.
  • Must remain within the surveillance zone.

Yes but:

  • Only within a single property, apiary site and apiary range.
  • Must remain within the general zone

Can I move bees within my property for the purposes of disposal or destruction?

(clause 10(3))

Yes, if directed to do so by an authorised officer.

Can I allow someone to move bees onto my property?

(clause 10(8), clause 44)

No.

No.

Yes, if the person is moving the bees from another location in the general zone, and the person has:

  • completed the Tocal training,
  • complete alcohol washing requirements, and
  • provide a movement declaration to the Department.

No.

Managing bees - Feeding

Question

Eradication Zone (Red)

Surveillance Zone (Purple)

General Zone (Blue) –

Registered commercial Beekeeper

General Zone (Blue) –

Non-commercial registered Beekeeper

Can I move a permitted bee feeder onto my property or apiary site/apiary range? (clause 13)

Yes

Can I move a permitted bee feeder within my property or apiary site/apiary range? (clause 10(4))

Yes

Can I move a permitted bee feeder within my property for the purpose of destruction or disposal? (clause 10(5))

Yes, if directed to do so by an authorised officer.

Managing bees – swarming

Question

Eradication Zone (Red)

Surveillance Zone (Purple)

General Zone (Blue) –

Registered commercial Beekeeper

General Zone (Blue) –

Non-commercial registered Beekeeper

Can I take actions to prevent swarming at one of my hives? (clause 26, clauses 42- 43)

Yes, but only if the Department did not advise you that your property is Infected Premises or Suspect Premises.

You may place an empty honey super on the hive to create space.

You must:

  • use an empty honey super that has been kept in an enclosed bee-proof place,
  • only transport empty honey supers to one   property at a time, and must not stop at other properties or apiary sites, and
  • leave the honey super on the hive at the   property.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can I capture a swarm of bees to manage as a managed hive? (clauses 42 & 43)

No

No

Yes

Yes

Can I move the swarm of bees that I have captured? (clauses 42 & 43, clause 44)

No

No

Yes, , if moving the bees to another location in the General Zone (Blue) and if you:

  • have completed the Tocal training,
  • complete alcohol washing requirements, and
  • provide a movement declaration to the   Department.

Yes, but only within the general zone and only once.

You must alcohol wash a sample of 300 bees before you move the hive with the bees in it.

No permit is required.

Queen bees

Question

Eradication Zone (Red)

Surveillance Zone (Purple)

General Zone (Blue) –

Registered commercial Beekeeper

General Zone (Blue) –

Non-commercial registered Beekeeper

Can I raise queen bees and queen cells and move those bees with escort bees? (clause 39, clause 46)

No.

Yes, but you can only move a queen bee and her escorts  and queen cells within the same premises.

You can move a queen bee and her escorts within General Zone.

You can move a queen bee and her escorts from the General Zone into the Surveillance zone.

Before you move a queen bee and escort bees or a queen cell you must:

  • complete the Tocal training,
  • complete alcohol washing requirements.

You must also keep movement records.

  • You cannot move a queen bee and her escorts into the general zone from the surveillance or eradication zones.

Yes, but you can only move a queen bee and her escorts and queen cells within the same premises.

Can I import a queen bee or queen cell into NSW from another State or Territory? (clause 50)

No

Yes, as long as:

  • the queen bee and the escort bees must be transported securely.
  • you keep records of the movement and keep those records for 5 years.

Feral bees and hives

Question

Eradication Zone (Red)

Surveillance Zone (Purple)

General Zone (Blue) –

Registered commercial Beekeeper

General Zone (Blue) –

Non-commercial registered Beekeeper

Can I interfere with or move feral bees? (clause 15)

Yes, if you are a registered beekeeper or a qualified pest controller.

You may:

  • move the bees to a container so that you can destroy them.
  • move the container and the bees to another location to destroy the bees within the same emergency zone

You must destroy the bees as soon as possible.

Do I have an obligation to advise the Department if I see a colony of feral bees? ((clause 17 (3), clause 34 (3))Yes, if the feral bees are at your property or if you see the colony of feral bees when undertaking work in your professional capacity.

Yes, if the feral bees are at your property.

Yes, if you see the colony of feral bees when undertaking work in your professional capacity.

No.No.

Moving hives

Question

Eradication Zone (Red)

Surveillance Zone (Purple)

General Zone (Blue) –

Registered commercial Beekeeper

General Zone (Blue) –

Non-commercial registered Beekeeper

I am a registered beekeeper.  Can I move my hives that have had contact with bees? (clause 44)

No

No

Yes, if your hives have not been in the eradication zone:

  • after 30 April 2022 (Narrabri),
  • after 1 January 2022 (Coffs Harbour) or
  • within 24 months before the movement (rest of   Eradication Zone).

You may only move the bees to another location in the general zone.

You must

  • complete the Tocal training,
  • complete alcohol washing requirements, and
  • provide a movement declaration to the Department.

The emergency order imposes other requirements for transport and record keeping.

No, unless exceptional circumstances exist. Call 1800 084 881 to enquire if a permit to move your bees is an option.

Can I move a new hive, that has never had contact with bees? (clause 8)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can I move a hive within my property for the purposes of disposal or destruction?

(clause 10(5))

Yes, if directed to do so by an authorised officer.

Yes, if directed to do so by an authorised officer.

Yes, if directed to do so by an authorised officer.

Yes, if directed to do so by an authorised officer.

Can I split my hive and move it? (clause 38, clause 45)

No

Yes, but you can only move your hive within a single premises.

Yes.

The emergency order imposes other requirements for transport and alcohol washing.

Yes, but you can only move your hive within a single premises.

Can I move hives so that they can be irradiated? (cl 14)

Yes, if:

  • the hive has had no contact with bees for 21 days before it is moved.  This will be 21 days after any hive contents have been removed and the hive cleaned, and
  • the hive is double bagged and wrapped so that   it is bee-proof and it remains in that state until it reaches the treatment facility.

Before transporting the hive, you must clean any apiary equipment that had contact with the hive or its contents.  The apiary equipment must remain in the zone in which the hive was located.

Once my hive has been irradiated, can I move it? (clause 8)

Yes, but only if it has not had contact with bees since the treatment was carried out.

I have hives in other states. Can I transit through NSW  (clause 48) or permanently move hives to NSW? (clause 49)

No

No

Yes, you can move hives into NSW or transit through NSW.  If you move hives into NSW, you must:

  • complete the Tocal training,
  • complete alcohol washing requirements, and
  • provide a movement declaration to the Department.

The emergency order imposes other requirements for transport and record keeping.

You may only transit through the General zone.

This does not apply if any hive was in:

  • Narrabri after 30 April 2022,
  • Coffs Harbour after 1 January 2022 or
  • The movement of any hive that has been in the following areas in the 24-month period prior to the date of the proposed movement is not permitted. There are also other requirements to keep records.
No. Call 1800 084 881

Can I allow a beekeeper to move hives onto my property? (clause 44 (6))

No.

No.

Yes, if the person has:

  • completed the Tocal training,
  • complete an alcohol wash of the hive, and
  • provide a movement declaration to the   Department.

No.

Managing hives

Question

Eradication Zone (Red)

Surveillance Zone (Purple)

General Zone (Blue) –

Registered commercial Beekeeper

General Zone (Blue) –

Non-commercial registered Beekeeper

Can I move tamper with a hive or disturb or interfere with bees in the hive? (clause 22)

Only as set out in this table.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can I tamper with a hive or disturb bees if directed by an authorised officer? (clause 23)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can I tamper with a hive or disturb bees to carry out surveillance? (clause 24)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can I tamper with a hive or disturb bees if the hive is queenless? (clause 28)

Yes, but only once and you cannot tamper with the hive again.

You may only:

  • seal the entrance to the hive,
  • euthanise the bees in the hive with petrol,   and
  • wrap the hive so that it is bee-proof and keep   it wrapped for 21 days.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can I tamper with a deadout hive? (clause 29)

Yes, but only once and you cannot tamper with the hive again unless directed to do so by an authorised officer.

You may only:

  • seal the entrance to the hive, and
  • wrap the hive so that it is bee-proof and keep   it wrapped for 21 days.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can I tamper with a hive and interfere with bees to manage American Foulbrood or Small Hive Beetle? (clause 30)

Yes, but only once and you cannot tamper with the hive again.

You may:

  • seal the entrance to the hive,
  • euthanise the bees in the hive with petrol,   and
  • wrap the hive so that it is bee-proof and keep   it wrapped for 21 days.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Honey supers and extracting honey

Question

Eradication Zone (Red)

Surveillance Zone (Purple)

General Zone (Blue) –

Registered commercial Beekeeper

General Zone (Blue) –

Non-commercial registered Beekeeper

Can I extract honey from my hives?

Yes, but only as set out in this table.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can I remove the honey super from a hive and move the honey super so that I can extract the honey? (clause 25, clause 27, clause 37)

Yes, but:

  • only once,
  • only within the Eradication zone, and

You must not move the brood box or part of the brood box.

You must

  • move the honey super to an enclosed bee-proof space.
  • Transport the honey supers in a bee-proof and biosecure manner and decontaminate any vehicle used for transport and any   apiary equipment used for the extraction.

After you have finished extracting honey, you can directly return the empty super to the hive it came from,

OR

You may store the honey supers in a bee-proof manner for 21 days or stored in cold storage at -15 degrees Celsius for 72 hours, then these honey supers can be moved anywhere within the Eradication Zone.

Any hive material must be stored for 21 days in disposable garbage bags and then disposed of.

After 21 days, you may dispose of the garbage bag at a waste management facility or in a way that ensures that its contents do not come into contact with bees.

Yes, but only to a destination in the Surveillance zone or General zone.

The honey super is empty of bees and wrapped in a bee-proof manner that also ensure apiary products do not leak out.

You must transport the honey supers in a bee-proof and biosecure manner and decontaminate any vehicle used for transport and any apiary equipment used for the extraction.

You cannot reuse the honey supers until they have been stored in a bee-proof manner for 21 days or stored in cold storage at -15 degrees Celsius for 72 hours.

Any hive material must be stored for 21 days in disposable garbage bags and then disposed of.

Yes

Yes

Can I remove honey from a flow hive? (clause 25 (2))

Yes.

The honey extracted from a flow hive must never be exposed to bees.

Yes.

The honey extracted from a flow hive must never be exposed to bees.

Yes.

The honey extracted from a flow hive must never be exposed to bees.

Yes.

The honey extracted from a flow hive must never be exposed to bees.

Can I move an empty honey super? (clause 27)

After you have finished extracting honey, you can return the empty super to the hive it came from,

OR

You may store the honey supers in a bee-proof manner for 21 days or stored in cold storage at -15 degrees Celsius for 72 hours, then these honey supers can be moved anywhere within the Eradication Zone.

Any hive material must be stored for 21 days in disposable garbage bags and then disposed of.

After 21 days, you may dispose of the garbage bag at a waste management facility or in a way that ensures that its contents do not come into contact with bees.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Apiary equipment

Question

Eradication Zone (Red)

Surveillance Zone (Purple)

General Zone (Blue) –

Registered commercial Beekeeper

General Zone (Blue) –

Non-commercial registered Beekeeper

Can I move apiary equipment? (clause 18)

  • You can only move apiary equipment within the   Eradication zone – including on your property - to undertake a surveillance   action in the Eradication zone.
  • You must not move apiary equipment out of the  Eradication zone.

You can only move apiary equipment into and out of the Surveillance zone if you need that equipment to undertake surveillance.

Yes

Yes

Notification and testing

Question

Eradication Zone (Red)

Surveillance Zone (Purple)

General Zone (Blue) –

Registered commercial Beekeeper

General Zone (Blue) –

Non-commercial registered Beekeeper

Am I required to notify the Department if I think I have Varroa Mite in my bees?

(Section 30, Biosecurity Act 2015)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Am I required to conduct surveillance on my bees and hives?

Yes.

You must conduct an alcohol wash on the bees in your hives at least once every 16 weeks and notify the Department of the results via the online form.

The number of hives you must alcohol wash depends on the number of bees in your enterprise:

  • Less than 64 hives – alcohol wash all hives.
  • 64 or more hives, but less than 640 hives -alcohol wash 64 hives.
  • More than 64 hives -alcohol wash 10 percent of your hives.

Am I required to advise the Department of the location of my bees? (clause 17(1), clause 34(1))

Yes

Yes

No

No

Do I have an obligation to advise the Department if I see a colony of feral bees? ((clause 17, clause 34)

Yes, if the feral bees are at your property.

Yes, if you see the colony of feral bees when undertaking work in your professional capacity.

Yes, if the feral bees are at your property.

Yes, if you see the colony of feral bees when undertaking work in your professional capacity.

No

No

Can I remove or interfere with any testing material or equipment placed in a hive by an authorised officer as part of surveillance for Varroa mite (clause 11)

No

No

No

No