Varroa mite emergency response

NSW DPI has detected Varroa mite, which was confirmed as Varroa destructor, in biosecurity surveillance hives at the Port of Newcastle. NSW DPI is working to protect the NSW honeybee industry by ensuring we eradicate the parasite.

All beekeepers within the eradication and surveillance zones must report their hives, preferably online by completing the Beekeeper Notifications - Varroa mite online form

  • If you detect Varroa mite, call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline to report your detection on 1800 084 881 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

The Varroa Emergency Response Hotline, accessed via the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881, is operational Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm. For urgent matters outside of these hours you can call the hotline number for instructions on accessing the on-call function for the Varroa Emergency Response Hotline.

Varroa mite emergency zones

There are three Varroa mite zones.

Varroa map legend

Different restrictions apply depending on where your honeybees and hives are located.

If you have honeybee colonies or hives in the Eradication or Surveillance zone, you must tell NSW DPI where they are. This includes queen honeybees in cages and packaged honeybees.

What do the emergency zones mean?

  • The red represents the 10km eradication zones where honeybee hives will be euthanised.
  • The purple shows the 25km surveillance zones, where officials are monitoring and inspecting managed and feral honeybees to limit the extent of these incursions.

If you find varroa mite in a hive you are responsible for, notify NSW DPI by:

Varroa mite emergency zone map

What beekeepers should do

  • Check the latest update, and use the online map to determine whether you are in a biosecurity zone.
  • All beekeepers within the eradication and surveillance zones need to report your hive, preferably online by completing the Notification of hive movement form
  • If you detect Varroa mite, call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline to report your detection on 1800 084 881 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).
  • All registered beekeepers are required to conduct three alcohol washes a year, at least one every 16 weeks to help facilitate surveillance across the State and ensure our industry remains viable and healthy.
  • Beekeepers must report results of alcohol washes to NSW DPI by calling 1800 084 881 or by filling in the form at

Your wellbeing

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: